Bang Si Hyuk, the chairman of HYBE Corporation, presented his vision for the future of K-Pop during a forum held by the Kwanhun Club at the Seoul Press Center on March 15th. While discussing the sustainability of the K-Pop industry, he urged industry leaders to recognize the challenges ahead and prepare for the future instead of celebrating K-Pop's globalization.
During his lecture, Bang Si Hyuk pointed out that although K-Pop has made progress in the past, the industry still faces significant obstacles compared to the global music industry as a whole. He highlighted that K-Pop companies together occupy less than 2% of the revenue shares of the worldwide music industry, while the major three music companies of the world, Universal Music Group, Sony Music Group, and Warner Music Group, each occupy 15~30% of the industry's revenue shares. Together, these three giants occupy as much as 67.4% of the revenues of the worldwide music industry, making the K-Pop industry a mere "David" among the three "Goliaths."
Bang Si Hyuk then cited trends indicating a recent lull in K-Pop's growth in regions across the globe, including the United States and Southeast Asia, compared to data from 2021. He argued that for Korean entertainment companies to compete with top tier companies around the world while maintaining and expanding the indigenous characteristics and features of K-Pop, the industry must offer something more than the freshness of a new player in the field. He likened the emergence of a global entertainment powerhouse to "Samsung" in the global semiconductor industry and "Hyundai" in the global automobile industry, calling it essential for the growth of the K-Pop genre.
The absence of BTS's team promotions is also a crucial factor contributing to what Bang Si Hyuk believes is an "threatened" era of the K-Pop industry. He claimed that BTS's global reach is broader than that of the K-Pop industry on its own, and their absence would decrease the industry's size significantly. Even if BTS were to resume their group promotions tomorrow, there is no guarantee that the industry will recover the same influence and reach, according to Bang Si Hyuk.
He acknowledged the difficulty in finding a specific reason or solution to sustain K-Pop's growth, even in BTS's absence, and stressed the importance of researching and assessing what factors influence consumers in different regions and nations. He proposed using fan platforms as the contact point through which more K-Pop artists can enter the global market and nurture the awakening of dormant fandoms worldwide.
Bang Si Hyuk expressed his faith in the global capacity of K-Pop and urged people to support the industry's great challenges against the Goliaths. With responsibility, he promised to take the lead in beginning those efforts to ensure that people all over the world can enjoy the music and content produced by their nation for years to come.
HYBE Corporation Chairman Outlines Challenges Facing K-Pop Industry and Calls for Action
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