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Ok-pop trade goals for a much bigger piece of pie by way of ‘glocalization’

BTS (Large Hit Music)

The Ok-pop trade is strategically increasing its wings past the Asian continent to unexplored markets such because the Center East and the American continent.

Following the success of globalization that dates again to the early 2000s, when singer BoA ​​and boy group TVXQ efficiently broke into the Japanese market, Ok-pop leisure businesses have now moved on to full-fledged “glocalization” methods by accentuating the originality of Korean tradition and localizing their idol teams.

Glocalization is a time period used to explain a services or products developed and distributed globally however adjusted to accommodate customers in an area market.

The world-renowned Ok-pop woman group Blackpink, as an illustration, consists of 4 members which embrace Rose, a Korean born and raised in New Zealand, and Lisa, who’s from Thailand.

“These two play a significant function in forming the musical identification of Blackpink. This differs from BTS, which consists of solely Koreans and whose lyrics are principally written in Hangeul. BTS put extra emphasis on its origin than on universality, whereas Blackpink put extra emphasis on the latter,” stated Dr. Lee Gyu-tag, a Ok-pop professional who teaches pop music and media research at George Mason College Korea, in explaining the advertising methods behind the 2 profitable Ok-pop acts.

BTS, which has probably the most No. 1 hits on the Billboard Sizzling 100 – together with different charts — on this decade, included Korean conventional tradition parts corresponding to hanbok and gugak by way of artistic reinterpretations of their music.

Blackpink topped the Billboard 200 chart final September with their second full-length album “Born Pink,” which carries an English monitor.

Advertising and marketing paradigm shift by main Ok-pop powerhouses

JYP Leisure teamed up with Republic Data, an American music label owned by Common Music Group, to launch a joint audition underneath the title “A2K (America2Korea)” looking for a brand new world woman group.

“The ultimate artists that come out of this process would be the first American group produced from the Ok-pop system. Artists will undergo a coaching system just like that of an Olympic gymnast. That is why world audiences fell in love with Ok-pop performers, due to their dedication, self-discipline, laborious work and values. That is what separates them from a variety of artists,” stated Park Jin-young, JYP Leisure’s founder and chairman.

The A2K mission follows on from JYP’s profitable launch of NiziU, a nine-piece Japanese Ok-pop-style woman group that debuted by way of the joint mission between JYP and Japan’s Sony Music.

The band was educated by the Ok-pop powerhouse and debuted in December 2020. The group has constructed a profitable fandom and topped album charts in Japan.

“We additionally launched a Chinese language boy band with Tencent Music Leisure Group, composed of solely Chinese language members again in 2017. That is how we opened the JYP 2.0 period with our tactic ‘Globalization by Localization’,” defined Kim Jae-hyun from JYP Leisure’s communications division.



CJ ENM, the native leisure conglomerate that runs the well-known actuality competitors present “Produce 101,” can be specializing in launching new Ok-pop idol teams abroad made up of international members — identical to they did for the Japan-based boy band JO1 and INI from the Japanese model of the present.

“We’re presently planning for a brand new native audition abroad. We’re nonetheless present process negotiations with the nation, so we can not let you know the place we’re going to maintain the subsequent audition. However we will let you know that we are going to proceed to pursue a localization technique to broaden our market attain,” stated a CJ ENM official.

YG Leisure, which is presently specializing in increase its energy within the American and Japanese markets, says it’ll quickly introduce a brand new advertising technique with the debut of its new woman group Babymonster within the close to future.

“We’re trying into various international markets past North America and Japan. We can not let you know which particular nation we’re concentrating on, however quickly we will probably be unveiling a concrete define of our international advertising technique hand in hand with the debut of Babymonster,” stated a YG Leisure official.

In the meantime, SM Leisure isn’t solely glocalizing its artists, but additionally its enterprise mannequin.

Final month, SM Leisure founder Lee Soo-man signed a memorandum of understanding with the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Tradition to search out gifted native artists to develop S-pop (Saudi pop) primarily based on its distinctive producing know-how and mental property that helped Ok -pop flourish.

“Individuals come to Korea to find out about this Ok-pop enterprise mannequin and the way businesses create various media content material that creates a particular bond between artists and their fandoms. These are options not discovered elsewhere and create this distinctive style and a ‘complete package deal of tradition,’” Dr. Lee stated.

SM Leisure and the Saudi Arabian Tradition Ministry will even collaborate on holding large-scale SM live shows in Saudi Arabia.

The leisure company additionally signed a enterprise settlement with Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Tourism Minister Princess Haifa bint Muhammad Al Saud in November to call the company’s artists as honorary tourism ambassadors of Saudi Arabia and have Saudi Arabian sights as backdrops in music movies.

RoseBerry (KOFICE)

RoseBerry (KOFICE)

Authorities-level efforts to glocalize Ok-pop trade

Along with businesses, there are additionally government-level efforts to show the Ok-pop idol coaching system right into a enterprise mannequin that may be exported abroad.

The Korean Basis for Worldwide Cultural Alternate, an establishment accountable for worldwide cultural change designated by the Ministry of Tradition, Sports activities and Tourism, chosen a Thai leisure company that needs to debut a profitable idol group like Blackpink for its Develop Collectively Venture final yr.

The mission invitations singers from different nations to coach underneath the Ok-pop system for about 4 months.

Final yr, KOFICE invited the famend Thai company IDX Leisure and its new woman group RoseBerry to Korea earlier than the quartet’s debut.

KOFICE provided administration classes from main businesses within the nation to the Thai company, and vocal and dance classes as properly to the Thai woman group.

RoseBerry made a profitable debut final yr after its coaching in Korea, and received the rookie of the yr award on the Thailand Digital Awards 2022 final month.

“We plan to function the mission recurrently every year, and this yr we can have one other group from a distinct nation. It’s prone to be a gaggle from both an company in Indonesia or within the Philippines that we are going to be working with in Might,” stated Kim Min-jung, KOFICE Cultural Alternate & Cooperation crew chief.

Not solely about catchy music and fancy dancing

From the fandoms’ viewpoint, behind the success of Ok-pop within the music trade are Ok-pop teams’ catchy music and highly effective dance performances.

However cultural options additionally play an necessary function in attracting foreigners to Ok-pop teams.

For members of As soon as, the fandom of the Ok-pop woman group Twice, within the Philippines, it was the Korean tradition included into Ok-pop that piqued their curiosity.

“I discovered a variety of issues about their tradition and meals, primarily by way of Ok-pop incorporating Korean tradition into its idol content material. It’s attention-grabbing because the Korean tradition could be very completely different from ours,” a Filipino admin of As soon as informed The Korea Herald.

“Today it is extra interesting to emphasise the Korean tradition within the content material of Ok-pop teams corresponding to Hangeul within the lyrics. Now Korean tradition itself has grow to be a energy, so it’s higher to promote it as ‘made in Korea’ as a substitute of blending it with different cultures. If artists have a narrative that every one generations can join with, language and nationality are not obstacles for the Ok-pop trade to broaden its market abroad,” stated Dr. Track Jung-eun, an unbiased researcher of Hallyu.

Twice (JYP Entertainment)

Twice (JYP Leisure)

For As soon as members in Brazil, it was the Brazilian music infused in one in every of Twice’s hits that garnered their curiosity.

“Twice got here underneath the highlight along with his album ‘Style of Love.’ The music ‘Alcohol-Free’ having a bossa nova rhythm helped rather a lot. Many individuals began listening to Twice due to this music. In addition they gained visibility by way of Twitter, the place a Brazilian fan posted a video of Dahyun with a Brazilian soda referred to as ‘Guarana’ at ISAC 2020,” a Brazilian Eleven member informed The Korea Herald.

Opinions assorted on whether or not foreigners discover a Ok-pop group extra likable if there’s a group member of their nationality.

“No, liking a gaggle doesn’t require being from my nationality. What makes an individual like a gaggle is what it has to supply corresponding to vocals, efficiency and lyrics,” stated a Brazilian Ok-pop fan.

“And it’s. Filipinos assist Filipinos. Celebrities working overseas that achieve consideration or fame in our nation are sometimes from our nationality. The foreigner-only Ok-pop teams can name themselves Ok-pop teams and so they have the suitable to exist as such, however personally, I feel they are going to have a tough time selling with out the assist of native or Korean fandom,” a Filipino Ok -pop fan stated.

By Hong Yoo (


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