SEOUL, KOREA --- Even back when only one Korean out of seventy could afford a 9 inch television - either by peeking in a television owner’s living room through the low fences or visiting the house with some boiled sweet potatoes- the ones without TV found a way to see Elvis Presley on the screen. This was only a few decades ago. Recently, the Korean media aired Brad Pitt visiting Korea for the first time. But even before Korea’s GDP hit $30,000 dollars, many Koreans had paid to watch his movies in theaters and fell in love with him, and that is the true power of media.
Now we have something greater, multimedia and smartphones. Korea is no longer “ole China” either. Korea is gaining global consciousness as a country strong in IT, with the fastest Internet, and intelligent city operating systems. But how many Americans or Europeans acknowledge K-pop (Korean Pop) Would Samsung and LG’s IT gadget owners around the world sing along with K-pop the way Koreans sang along to Michael Jackson’s songs without knowing the words or meanings
A few months ago, SM Entertainment’s top Korean idols performed in Paris. The spokesman of SM Entertainment said, “All tickets were sold out in ten minutes. The fans in Paris protested in front of the Louvre Museum for hours requesting more concerts to be added.” This is a good start. But how are we ever going to compete with Pop Songs on the billboard music chart Increasing the number of social interactions through media sources and the global penetration of smartphones and computers shows another distinct possibility. National leading entertainment companies including YG Family, JYP Entertainment, and SM Entertainment, thus have all announced their plans to dig for hidden stars.
The top running talent show, “X Factor” says the show’s name represents that indefinable something that makes for star quality. JYP Entertainment has long been throwing online auditions (http://audition.jype.com) to increase the chances of finding the ones with X-factor as well. Here, anyone with a special talent in music or dance can submit a video file ubiquitously. The CEO and producer of JYP Entertainment, Park Jin-young (JYP), successfully presented the girl group Wonder Girls to the States earlier last year by following the same procedures any American singers have to- State tours and performances at the opening shows of “biggies”. When the group hit the highest rank at home with hit songs like “Tell me” and “Nobody but You”, they challenged the Billboard’s Top 100.
Reaching for global recognition is not only JYP’s concern. Lee Soo-man, president of SM Entertainment, is making a fast move as well with the establishment and expansion of SM TOWN Virtual Nation. President Lee Soo-man recently introduced the concept of Virtual Nation, "The Korean wave is quickly spreading through new media such as Facebook and YouTube. K-Pop is no doubt spearheading that revolution.”
The vision of Virtual Nation is completed when the development of Culture Technology grows with the IT industry. Internet and multimedia allow the global generation to feel a sense of kinship by sharing cultural content, thereby transcending time and space.
Producer Lee said, "A Virtual Nation called SM TOWN is formed and its citizens are increasing not only in Asia, but also in America, Europe, and South Asia. New Media such as YouTube, communication networks, and mobile smart devices are the backbone of SM Town.”
Promoting Korean music to the globe and it gaining a global identity is happening now. In this industrial world, everything from Kellogg’s corn flakes to Boeing aircraft can be sold with the right kind of marketing strategy. Here are a few areas that Korean idol singers haven’t touched in an effort to go global:
Targeting the indie radio webcasts – these can get Korean singers live on the radio.
Organized feedback-When uploading videos on the Internet, below the video there must be a feedback box that requires all the viewers to mandatorily fill in the "Email ID" and "Area/City”. This will create a database of email IDs and the location of people who liked or disliked the singer’s music. These e-mail addresses will play a vital role when Korean groups release new songs. The new videos can be forwarded with a personal message to keep them updated with the singers’ recent activities.
Google exposure – How many articles and image of Korean singers do we find in English on Google or Google News Many of the Korean artists’ recent activities are hard to found on Google in English.
With new strategies and developing technology, Korean pop and its artists are expected to go global. If any readers have a good idea on how to promote K-pop music to get more recognition in western culture, please drop us some comments below.