Sunday, January 20, 2019

Big bucks from BTS

I think this is BTS.
Years ago, in the middle of the last decade, I remember loads of kvetchpats in Korea scoffing at the attempts by the Korean government and Korea’s entertainment media establishment to make k-pop not just an East Asian sensation, but a global phenomenon. Who in their right mind would go crazy over a bunch of Korean singers or actors/actresses?

Well, say what you want about the meat grinder that is the Korean pop establishment (and yeah, I have plenty to say), but the investment is paying off, economically at least (built on the crushed dreams and youth of thousands of people, though, but since when is that new?).

According to UPI:
Fans of the seven-member boy band BTS are driving a global surge in the popularity of the "Korean Wave" and adding $3.5 billion a year to the South Korean economy, according to new research.

Besides concert, album and music-streaming sales, the K-pop band is credited with merchandise exports and a spike in foreign tourists visiting South Korea.

The band's economic impact is 26 times the average annual revenue of a midsize company in South Korea, according to a recent study by the Seoul-based Hyundai Research Institute, which analyzed the K-pop band's soaring popularity around the world.

Last year, BTS made history as the first Korean group to top the Billboard 200 albums chart and the fastest artist to reach 10 million views for a music video on YouTube. Its concerts in 12 cities in Asia, the United States and Europe sold out as soon as tickets went on sale. Tickets from brokers were priced at up to $6,194 for a show at the Staples Center in Los Angeles and up to $7,277 for the New York concert, the Maeil Business Newspaper reported.
I don’t have much more to say, generally staying away from K-pop myself (male or female versions). Korean movies are more my thing, and all I can say is, here in Hawaii, away from my apartment in Seoul, thank goodness for Netflix.

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