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English Hallyu posts on YouTube jump thirtyfold after ‘Squid Game’

An illustration shows related content keywords that appeared when ”K-variety” was searched online in 2021. (KOFICE)
An illustration shows related content keywords that appeared when ”K-variety” was searched online in 2021. (KOFICE)
Since the release of Netflix’s mega-hit Korean original “Squid Game” last year, English-language online posts related to Hallyu, or the Korean Wave, have increased approximately 30-fold, according to a Korean Foundation for International Cultural Exchange report released Monday.

The Culture Ministry and KOFICE jointly analyzed data from three online media platform categories -- video and social media, community sites and review platforms -- from June to December last year. The platforms included YouTube, V Live, Tiktok, Reddit, Fandom, Soompi, IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes.

The research also took into account 27 English-language based foreign media from 15 countries.

On YouTube, the weekly average posts for Hallyu-related videos was 70,600 per week after the release of “Squid Game” on Sept. 17. The figure is a significant jump from 2,300 per week from June to August.

Signs of increased interest in Hallyu were also seen on online communities and review platforms.

On Reddit, Hallyu posts exceeded 20,000 per week last October, a significant leap from 15,000 per week a month earlier.

The number of Hallyu content reviews also increased from less than 20 posts per week to 130 posts on average.

As for foreign media, Hallyu articles averaged 16.6 per week before “Squid Game,” before rising to 133.3 per week in October. K-pop themed articles accounted for 54 percent of the articles followed by K-drama at 32.5 percent.

While the spread of K-pop content is centered mainly around tightly knit fan groups, fans of K-drama showed a tendency to reach out to other content, according to KOFICE.

By Kim Hae-yeon (hykim@heraldcorp.com)
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