What can the global music industry learn from K-Pop and South Korea?

K-pop is the genre that ate the world whole. Acts like BTS, Blackpink, Twice and TVXQ are not just some of the biggest acts within the genre – they are some of the biggest acts in the world. There is a lot that other artists can learn from how K-pop markets itself, how its acts […]

BTS Army (and Cape Verde) help K-Pop stars break iTunes record

Is there any country in the world where BTS aren’t big? They’re certainly big in Cape Verde: their ‘Black Swan’ track has gone to number one in the country’s iTunes chart. Why are we writing about this? Well, this was the 103rd country where the track had topped the iTunes rankings, breaking Adele’s record of […]

K-Pop stars Blackpink break YouTube 24-hour views record

This one is going to get the K-Pop stans roused up. In April 2019, BTS broke the record for one-day video views on YouTube, with the 78m views of their ‘Boy With Luv’ video trumping the previous record-holder, ‘Kill This Love’ by fellow K-Pop group Blackpink. Now the record has been broken again… by Blackpink! […]

Sandbox Issue 255: K-Pop. What the Global Music Industry can learn from South Korea

Lead: K-pop is eating the world whole and is changing what marketing – especially superfan-centric marketing – can do. We speak to those working in and around the K-pop world to learn how the genre markets itself, where its acts engage with their fans to build incredible levels of loyalty, why trans-media marketing underscores everything they do […]

BTS take over Uno! mobile game and donate to Crew Nation

Music Ally knows card game ‘Uno!’ best for being second only to Monopoly in the chart of ‘games most likely to cause almighty family rows at Christmas’. What we don’t know it for, until now, are digital marketing campaigns with world-famous K-Pop groups. But yes: BTS are taking over the mobile game version of ‘Uno!’ […]

Music’s global evolution: K-Pop, China, and Eastern Europe

The second morning at this year’s NY:LON Connect conference focused on ‘emerging international and influential markets’. Three territories in particular: South Korea, China, and Russia / Eastern Europe. The track began with a keynote from Sun Lee, YouTube’s head of music content partnerships and subscriptions for Korea and Greater China. Lee was interviewed by Billboard […]

Music Ally Report 426: Trends of 2019

This year we’ve picked 42 (also the answer to life, the universe and everything as fans of Douglas Adams will know) of the trends and moments we found most significant in 2019. What are they? *takes deep breath* industry growth; the European Copyright Directive and Music Modernization Act; Spotify’s two-sided marketplace; Apple Music’s bundled future; […]

Take cover! Viberate claims Blackpink are bigger than BTS

It takes a brave person to get involved in arguments between the world’s keenest superfans over whether one artist is better or bigger than another. So doff your caps but retreat a safe distance from music-database Viberate, which has sent out some figures claiming that Blackpink are ‘the biggest K-Pop group’ ahead of BTS. Blackpink […]

SuperM create UGC-powered Canvases on Spotify

On Friday, we covered Spotify starting to slowly open up its Canvas feature to more acts and posting a related blog that gives tips on how those using it can get the most out of its assorted features. One of the tips was “try creating a theme or narrative that crosses an entire album” such as […]

K-Pop stars BTS are the latest artist to join TikTok

At the time of writing, it’s 19 hours since Big Hit Entertainment’s official Twitter profile for BTS made this announcement: “#BTS TikTok Channel Open!”. 19 hours later, BTS’ TikTok account is being followed by 2.2 million people. Their two posts so far have 2.9m and 1.9m likes respectively. BTS are the latest prominent artist to join TikTok with […]

BTS fuelled Big Hit Entertainment surge in first half of 2019

Korean music firm Big Hit Entertainment held its latest media briefing yesterday, and dropped some impressive numbers to show how its business is surging in 2019. The company’s revenues in the first half of 2019 were more than 200bn Won (around $166m) – already more than Big Hit’s revenues for the whole of 2018. And […]

SM Entertainment and Capitol to launch ‘the Avengers of K-Pop’

Well, it’s actually SM Entertainment, Capitol Records AND Caroline who are working together on a new K-Pop supergroup. It’s called SuperM, and will feature members drawn from existing Korean bands SHINee, EXO and NCT 127, as well as Chinese band WayV. And, following the recent Stateside success of BTS and Blackpink, SuperM is very much aimed […]

BTS World mobile game launches today with another new track

Today’s the day that BTS fans get to play the band’s new, official mobile game, BTS World. It’s being released by publisher Netmarble as a free download for Android and iOS from this evening (26 June). As we reported previously, the game puts players in the role of BTS’ manager at the start of their career, […]

BTS top YouTube global artist chart with Blackpink at number two

Music Ally reported last week on the success of K-Pop group Blackpink, specifically on YouTube, where they topped its weekly artists chart with 342m views for their music. Now they’ve been unseated… by another K-Pop group. Yes, BTS are sitting proudly atop this week’s YouTube artists chart, with 307m views for their music in the week […]

Tumblr has launched a dedicated hub for K-Pop music

K-Pop! It’s big on YouTube, Spotify and all manner of other global digital platforms, thanks to the likes of BTS, Blackpink and other artists following in their footsteps. Now blogging platform Tumblr is getting in on the action by launching its own dedicated K-Pop hub. It’ll be curating posts from fans already publishing on Tumblr, as […]

Blackpink soar to top of YouTube chart with 342m weekly views

We’ve reported a few times recently on the way Indian and Latin American artists are dominating the upper reaches of YouTube’s global artists chart. Last week, though, they were trumped by a pop band from South Korea. No, not that one. Blackpink were the top artist on YouTube for the week of 5-11 April with a mightily-impressive […]

BTS smash YouTube record with 78m first-day views of ‘Boy With Luv’

2019 is going to be a very big year for K-Pop stars BTS, spurred by their new mini-album ‘Map of the Soul: Persona’. Milestones are already tumbling. The band’s ‘Boy With Luv’ video smashed YouTube’s single-day viewing record, notching up 78m views in its first 24 hours last week. That takes the record from another K-Pop band, […]

Deezer launches dedicated K-Pop channel after 157% growth

Deezer is launching a new hub for Korean pop music on its streaming service. The new K-Pop channel will feature programmed playlists (including some from guest artists like iKON and Stray Kids). “K-Pop is one of the world’s fastest growing genres and is resonating with more and more fans. Deezer’s streams of the genre have already increased […]

BTS success fuelled record year for Big Hit Entertainment

You may have noticed that K-Pop band BTS are just a little bit popular around the world. That’s now translating into financial success for the company behind them, Big Hit Entertainment. The firm reported a 132% growth in its annual revenues to 214bn won (around $190m) in 2018, with an operating profit of 64.1bn won […]

Blackpink are first K-Pop artist with 20m YouTube subscribers

Chances are, when asked who the first K-Pop artist with 20 million YouTube subscribers was, many people would guess BTS. But no: their BangtanTV channel currently has 16.2 million subscribers, while the first Korean star to break through on YouTube, Psy, has 12.7 million. So take a bow girl-band Blackpink, whose channel has just crossed the […]

K-Pop star Jung Chan-woo to get his own skin in Fortnite

The crossover between video-game Fortnite and music artists is beginning to pick up pace. We’ve seen Marshmello’s Fortnite concert and Weezer’s in-game island, but now K-Pop star Jung Chan-woo is getting the treatment. Chan-woo is a member of popular band iKON, and he’ll now be getting his own ‘skin’ (a playable character/outfit) plus ‘emote’ (dance […]

K-Pop music sparked 5.3bn tweets on Twitter in 2018

Twitter is shouting proudly about the popularity of Korean pop music within its community: “With a new global record of 5.3 billion tweets last year” according to a blog post yesterday. Naturally, this is about K-Pop’s popularity outside South Korea continuing to grow, but Twitter is keen to stress the efforts it has been making […]

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