K-pop: More Than A Social Media Trend?
There is nothing more unifying than music, and it is something that can influence mood, inspire action, and teach valuable lessons.
People begin their relationship with music from a young age, and for many, it will become a lifelong passion. They may end up in a group themselves, figure out how to create a band page to post their music, and go on to be an online success. They may enter a massive music competition and find international success. They may simply enjoy listening to music throughout their lives and appreciate the different genres and influences that change and shape it over the years.
No matter how music involves itself in your life, and whatever kind of music you are into, there is no denying that K-pop has become one of the most powerfully influential and talked about genres in recent times.
K-Pop is short for Korean pop and is a style of music that has become one of the biggest and most exciting things to happen to the global music industry to date. It covers a huge range of music types from solo artists to massive groups, with the one common thread being that the songs produced are mixed with traditional Korean music. This results in some impressively catchy tunes -ones that have gripped people all over the world.
It’s no wonder that K-pop has received some serious attention on social media. Just type the hashtag into Twitter or Instagram, and you’ll get hundreds of thousands of results, search on YouTube for K-pop artists, and the number views, likes, and comments on their videos demonstrate just how massive a trend this really is. The rise and continued success of bands such as BTS, EXO, and Red Velvet prove that the strength of Korean pop music continues to rise.
But is this nothing more than a social media trend? Will the hype eventually die down and fizzle out? The truth is that managers and producers in South Korea are exceptionally talented and making social media work for them. As long as there are users on these platforms who are hungry for content, they will continue to observe and manage the artists they are responsible for to ensure that there are sufficient hype and interest to secure their success. Platforms such as YouTube are different from more conventional advertising outlets such as TV or radio. These social media sites provide a genuinely global mechanism that arms producers with the opportunity to advertise music at the same time as selling it by charging for downloads and creating fees for those who want to advertise on their pages.
At the 2017 Billboard music awards, BTS – the most famous boy group in the K-pop world – picked up the Top Social Artist award. In addition to this, the most successful K-pop groups continue to prove their staying power through sell-out world tours.
There is also something to be said for the difference in the way these bands conduct themselves. These big bands produce video content on such an enormous scale; it is a challenge to keep up. They allow insight into their lives, and the genuine affection for one another and positive attitude conveyed through these videos is having a significant impact on their fans. This is true not just of their performances, and their song lyrics (which often promote self-love and harmonious living) but also in their day to day lifestyles. People relate to people, and the willingness to give insight into their personal lives and to truly connect with their audiences could provide these bands with an advantage over those who choose to keep their lives as artists separate. This could indeed mean that despite the social media hype, K-pop bands are offering something more to their fans, fostering loyalty, which will no doubt, in turn, secure their longevity.
While there is no denying that the K-pop music industry owes a massive amount to the social media platforms on which it thrives, it has also transcended them. Not long ago, this music industry was really only known to residents of East Asia. Yet, it is now a massive global phenomenon, and we can’t see it going anywhere anytime soon.