Published : 2013-10-16 19:18
Updated : 2013-10-16 19:18
Korean pop culture has become a steady anchor in introducing Korean culture to foreigners through music, film and TV dramas. But many foreigners feel the popularity of K-pop will not endure without increased diversity, a survey suggested.
According to a joint survey of 604 foreigners by Democratic Party lawmaker Yoo Ki-hong and the King Sejong Institute Foundation, 66.1 percent of respondents overall came to know about Korea through Korean pop culture including K-pop, film and TV dramas on the Internet. They usually listened to 10 K-pop songs.
Respondents said they liked Korean culture because of Korean celebrities’ good looks or the uniqueness of the culture. Among their favorite K-pop idols were Big Bang, SNSD, Super Junior and EXO. Their interest in K-pop influenced them to buy K-pop-related goods and wanting to learn the Korean language or even visit the country. Those who visited became interested in Korean culture overall, the food and the country itself.
But Yoo said the whole pop culture industry needed a huge revamp or it would drop out of the spotlight, pointing out that while more than 90 percent of respondents answered that K-pop was a global phenomenon now, about 36 percent also said it would only last around 5-10 years.
Yoo noted that K-pop had focused heavily on dance-orientated music by idol groups. An analysis of the songs ranked on Gaon Chart in 2012 showed that 82 percent of tracks were by boy or girl bands. Contemporary pop music took up a mere 8 percent, followed by original soundtracks with 5 percent, hip-hop 1 percent, rock 1 percent, and folk music 1 percent.
“It is completely different from the U.S. Billboard Chart where contemporary pop takes up 31 percent, rock 26 percent, hip-hop and country 13 percent each,” Yoo said. “It is the same with the Oricon chart of Japan and other parts of the world.”
With the current market extremely narrow, Korea would not be able to have another world star like Psy, Yoo said.
“We should have a quota for indie or less popular genre musicians on TV programs and have music file distributors promote a wider range of music on their websites,” Yoo said.