• http://twitter.com/fah2ma Fatouma

     Dongwoon, or at least I think it’s Dongwoon, in the Featured Picture looks like he’s constipated, lol.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=750740725 Sabrina Muslima Shaw

     It was never really big to begin with outside of Japan/SE Asia…

    • whirlypop

      Yeah. Comedians from my country hold concerts all over the world, but you don’t see press releases of a wave of some sort. Lol. 

  • cutiepie88

    Hallyu Wave in the “whole” grand scheme of things is a big turn-off to me just because the arrogance that I get from it. But certain artists I believe will still be popular in their own right. (And that mostly the 2nd Gen idols) I mean how many comments I read “Oh once Big Bang is done I’ll be out of Kpop or when Girls Generation is done maybe I’ll visit Kpop.”

    So the future rookies unless their really good will just get swept under the radar (internationally speaking) but in SK/SE Asia and if they were smart try to hit up Europe I still think it can go strong. But on the Western side of things if they didn’t have loyal fanbase to begin with then the little attention that the Hallyu Wave that its getting will fade away.

  • Black_Plague

    I think the survey by KOFICE makes a good point (also grim) about the current status of Hallyu, more or less.

    As the years go by, it’s no doubt that the currently well-known Kpop groups such as SNSD, Big Bang, Super Junior, 2NE1, Kara, Wonder Girls, 2PM, T-ara etc. are pretty much going to split up or disband – at the most, I’d argue those groups have 3 years at the shortest and 6 years at the most (and this is assuming that they don’t use AS’s ridiculously effed up graduation system, followed by CCM), unless they all plan on going out to Shinhwa’s path, whic

    Idols aren’t going to stay as idols forever and looking at the massive number of rookie groups around, it doesn’t look like there’s a noteworthy replacement for the groups I’ve mentioned for the most part – sure, EXO and BAP have some potential but then again, it’s too early to tell. Not to mention that music material is also arguably (at the least), unoriginal, reptitive or simply downright poorly-executed while the number of untalented(?) idols is on the rise.

    For K-dramas? Make something MEMORABLE for the generations to come. At least for me, K-dramas have become much more forgettable, the number of idol actors with questionable ability has increased and even plots (or settings) have become formulatic and repititive.

    Now, if K-dramas made something like Band of Brothers, The Pacific, Dead Set or The Walking Dead, that would be a welcome fresh change – which also goes to say, the broadcasting companies should also start getting more lax on the amount of gore that’s allowed – from the historical and action K-dramas I’ve watched, the amount of violence/blood/gore for such plots shown is frankly, downright laughable – even the typical B-grade horror movie uses more of it. It’s not as if the Korean public isn’t used to that kind of content. K-movies seem much more free on it but so why not the dramas/TV-series?

    I could probably go on forever about this.

  • Winter_Rose

    i think it will decline in a few years. kpop is becoming stale and predictable now. they need to switch things up or do something we haven’t seen before or something if they want the hallyu wave to expand. also most of the fans are getting so annoying. i’m considering getting out of kpop once tvxq has their korean comeback or something. i always thought the hallyu was blown out of proportion anyways by the media and fans, its really not big outside of asia. as some other comments brought up, will the hallyu wave still thrive without the idols that made it what it is today? (idk if that makes sense…)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003507824553 ICassie Gaemgyu

    I agree… I used to think K horror movies were excellent (tale of 2 sisters, someone behind u, 4horror tales, etc). They were serious contenders to the J horrors like The Ring and Ju-on and especially after J movies started to get boring….. but now…. its :P ..zzzzz (like white, melody of the curse.. but that was sort of interesting still..)
    The dramas spend like an entire hour dwelling on a single scene/emo that could be done in 2seconds. draggy and irritating.. and its ALWAYS the same plot.
    And I don’t think k pop will survive outside of Asia. Unless of course their English skills dramatically improve and they actually invest on good songs with meaning.
    but I think it will live it out within Asia. I haven’t heard any complaints from the korean fans though… are they starting to complain? or are we the majority complaining outside Korea?
    I get a feeling some of these idols really have a passion to make it outside Korea, but it will depend on the support they get from their management. If they don’t get any support, I wonder how much agencies outside Korea are willing to pick up their contracts.. Its a dream of mine for some entertainment company in Singapore to sign up SJ or Kyu after their contracts end… but looking at the companies here.. I don’t think so… they really really really have to learn English.. seriously.. or at least they have to learn another language besides Korean or Jap. Chinese is good too..
    so yes, even if the management isn’t willing to change or evolve, it really is up to these idols/artistes to take their future into their own hands and break out of this mould. Would they have enough experience and guts to do this… ?
    And same as Winter_Rose and cutiepie88 mentioned… my fascination with kpop will end once TVXQ/JYJ and Kyu leaves the stage… I will love no other.

  • Alixana_Tigana

    Another article on kpop fad… Geez seoulbeats…
    Haven’t you covered this topic enough by now?
    And besides, who cares if it’s a fad?
    It’s fun, here&now, so why can’t we just enjoy it without launching all the time in these pointless discussions?
    Que sera sera

    • http://twitter.com/JohnDeSims JDSono

      I rather read these articles than the endless selca articles on AKP

      • Holiday0906

         But, these articles has become the “selca articles” of seoulbeats…

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001235329632 Luiz Rodrigo Souza

        I actually prefer reading these kind of articles to non-critical, fantard stuff that we find on the absolute majority of kpop sites

    • http://twitter.com/littlegirlgray6 Rosa

       I thought you were done with Seoulbeats, judging from your last comments. Quit trolling the comments with your complaints.

      • Alixana_Tigana

        Not sure if dumb as fuck or trolling me…?

        • http://twitter.com/littlegirlgray6 Rosa

           In case you have short term memory loss, but here’s a link to your asinine comment in Justin’s JJ Project review and quotes if you’re too lazy to click the link:


          Seriously? 2.83 out of 5 (btw, what’s up with .83? This isn’t Winter Olympics in skiing)?Am I the only one who absolutely adores this song?

          And on the side note, why are 90% of articles on seoulbeats negative and kind of pretentious?Intellectual and emotional factor? Lol, say what? O.o

          It’s like… it’s not cool to like things. I don’t remember the last
          time some song was given a decent grade (excluding songs by
          underrated/indie or YG artists).

          And let’s not forget all the articles about how kpop will never
          succeed in America, how it’s a temporary fad, how writers here are
          waaaay above all the hype surrounding kpop, how Korea is racist etc…

          Now you folks who love seoulbeats, don’t jump on me. I like certain
          stuff here too (Ree and Patricia are kind of awesome) but some things
          have been bothering me for a while and this .83 bull prompted me to get
          out of it.

          So yeah, peace out~

    • Mintmint

      1) There are infinite ways to look at a situation, so welcoming the perspectives of many different writers and commenters, even if that means addressing the same topic multiple times over, helps solve problems. Edison didn’t invent the electric light in one day, he did thousands of experiments and going back to square one millions of times before he ever succeeded. Looking at these kinds of issues in K-entertainment many times helps solutions evolve from little ideas and thoughts to real answers.
      2) Commenters like me who unfortunately don’t have the time to read every article during the week (or even during the weekend in busy months), appreciates it when SB readdresses certain topics so that we all have an opportunity to discuss and give our input on the occasional chance that we have more leisure time to read and discuss with our fellow SB community.
      3) Haters and trolls with negative attitudes are not appreciated here. They break the flow of conversation, add nothing interesting to the commentary and are simply tiresome to deal with. If you’re going to criticize at least put in a useful suggestion so that SB can improve, and if you’re going to playfully troll then at least be funny and intelligent about it so that you come off as entertaining and witty instead of looking like an annoying fantard. If you don’t like these articles the writers put out and you’re not invested in building the readers’ community then you can go elsewhere to talk about Kpop.
      4) There’s NO such thing as “pointless” discussion.

      “It’s fun, here&now, so why can’t we just enjoy it…?”

      Even if we ARE a small and “insignificant” group of international Kpop fans who have no “real” authority in what goes on in K-entertainment, if Korean journalists are going to stick their heads in the sand and pretend that nothing wrong is going on (and I assure you that suicidal idols, saesang fans, sexual abuse and objectification of women are only a FEW issues that surround Kpop), then who else is going to talk about it and document it for later generations? The fact that the Korean media has no official documentation or reporting on serious social issues for future generations to learn from – and teenage/young adult international fans and non-professional expat blogs are the only means of REAL and critical discussion about these kinds of issues – just goes to prove how pathetic the media really is. As trivial and superficial as Kpop may be on the outside, this is an important part of Korean society for the young generation who, in maybe five or ten years, will be leading their country. Pop culture, whether you like it or not, DOES have an influence on the young generation. Even if it’s just for the “here and now” it has a substantial effect nonetheless. We can still enjoy Kpop and at the same time REALIZE that it has a dark side that NEEDS to be addressed as immediately as possible.

      “And besides, who cares if it’s a fad?”

      “Who cares” is never the right answer to anything. Who cares if white people are lynching black people? Who cares if people are starving in developing countries? Who cares about dictators abusing their subjects and brainwashing their citizens? Who cares about the CEOs of Kpop companies who are raping underage teenage idols? People will sit on their asses and complain, complain, complain about racism, murder and all kinds of evils in this world and how society will never change, but won’t do the fucking work to discuss these issues and find a solution. NOTHING is ever accomplished by ignoring the problem and pretending that it doesn’t exist. And society will “never change” unless people start CARING and do something about it.

      On a side note, I can’t tell you how fucking irritating it is when I’m attempting to have some “real talk” with a fan girl about this stuff and they essentially tell me to shut up, put on a smile and pretend that everything is fucking perfect and happy with rainbows and unicorns. Just recently I was reading over a conversation between a delusional fan girl and someone who was apparently trying to talk some sense into her, and everyone started bashing the latter telling her to “Just take a chill pill” and “LOL don’t take things so seriously!!!!” I was again reading through some Big Bang news about their short video that was congratulating the graduation of a Korean culture program “Kpop Academy” (yeah, I know) in London and one girl was complaining about how much she loves Koreans/Kpop even though she’s not Korean, and Big Bang won’t send a message to her school even though she “tries so hard” to support Big Bang. And this other ignorant girl replied with, “I feel your pain… Sucks to be anything but Asian in these cases, doesn’t it?” OH OKAY, so being Asian is something you can CHOOSE when it benefits you right? And in other “cases” when it’s not convenient to be Asian – like when people are mocking you for being nerdy, being a FOB, telling you to go back to your country, that your food stinks and “your people” are rude and uncivilized barbarians, that your relatives live in grass huts in a third world country with no toilets, or harassing you with their yellow fever – you’ll have no problem jumping ship, joining the crowd and putting us down right? However, I knew that if I called her out on that comment, people would respond with “HAHAHA it was just a joke, GOSH!!!!!!!!!!!”

      Seoulbeats is by no definition perfect, and it is still a growing and changing group of authors that are trying to improve bit by bit everyday. However I have full appreciation for what they’re trying to do when commentary like theirs is so scarce in both Kpop entertainment and Korean media as a whole. If Korea is not willing to do the dirty work that is necessary to change their society, someone else will have to. I’m sorry that you’re too prissy to take the heat.

      • Alixana_Tigana

        But from skimming through your essay, I gathered 2 things:
        A) you take both yorself and kpop way too seriously
        B) take a chill pill
        … And no, it’s not because you’re Asian, it’s just because you’re anniying as fuck.

        • Mintmint

          Here’s a shortened version just for you since you seem to have the attention span of a fly. I’ll be extra generous to make an allowance for your brain capacity’s special needs.

          A) Learn how to spell if you want anyone to take YOU seriously – “yorself” and “anniying” doesn’t count.
          B) I’ll take a chill pill when my doctor prescribes me one, thanks for your genuine concern.

          By the way, why do you think issues like frequent rape in Kpop aren’t things to be serious about?

          P.S. The internet is a very useful tool.


          “He developed many devices that greatly influenced life around the world, including the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and a long-lasting, practical electric light bulb.”

          In case you need more help – it’s at the top of the page, second sentence. I hope that’s not too complicated for you to follow.

          I won’t bother responding to you again if you reply. Have a nice life my dear.

          • Alixana_Tigana

            Wikipedia, forever the reliable source, ey?
            Edison just stole other people’s inventions and marketed them better

  • whirlypop

    A little less ego and boasting. Lol. Then hallyu shall continue. They think they’re the only one with a fandom in Asia, but we all know Jpop alone is on another league.
    I don’t think hallyu will become bigger as it is now either. Even if it did, it’ll be just like any one hit wonder.

    • black_rose45000

      “A little less ego and boasting. Lol.” well said.

  • bhus

     Kpop has an uphill climb to reach the global stage. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like the entertainment companies are willing to put the time or effort into delivering a good product. The decline in quality has become so noticeable, even Korean TV stations are now talking about it. Just the other day, MBN did an in-depth report, basically calling the hallyu wave fake and exaggerated. They pointed out the lies that these entertainment companies spread in Korea about their global dominance. I was quite surprised, because they even called out SM and SM Town. When even Korean media is turning against the Kpop façade, you know there is trouble on the horizon.

    A huge part of the problem is that Kpop is driven by the built in fanclubs, rather than the actual music. Once, the current big groups age out or are no longer popular, I doubt Kpop will be what it is now. Currently, Kpop might have more flash than Jpop, but Jpop has an established culture behind it. There is gaming, anime, movies and Japan actually has a sustainable music industry. On the other hand, the Korean music industry cannot survive without the internal fan market. So if Kpop is just an internet fad, then like all fads, it will dissipate once its consumers move on to something else.

    The Korean system of taking young kids and then grooming them in some idol factory is such an antithesis to other countries. It immediately adds a manufactured, fake and phony sheen to the whole thing. I’m not saying that there are no real talents in Kpop, but audiences are more willing to embrace music they feel is organic, than something they consider ‘spoon-fed, sickeningly sweet’ syrup. Similar to the smirks and disdain that some have for Disney artists trying to cross over into the mainstream.

    Another problem is the imagery in Kpop. The idols are presented as fluff and their public personas come off as fake and put on. ‘Aegyo’ might be cute in Korea, but parading 20 year olds as little kids, is not something that will be viewed favorably in most international markets. Then add the language barrier, the cultural barrier and the entertainment companies trying to force their way into the market, without adequate research. Frankly, the boom, wave or whatever was never really as big as it was made to seem. The entertainment companies with their horrible, archaic managing style killed the golden goose before it laid its egg.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003507824553 ICassie Gaemgyu

      wow. Thanks for posting.. I just googled and read/watched the MBN report.. I wonder what the artistes themselves and their agencies are thinking while they are watching this documentary… would be very interesting to see their reaction.
      But seriously with such reactions from the foreign press, it takes guts for the artistes to go over there and reach their ‘fans’….

    • MAR_M3anie

      I just watch the MBN report on youtube…I hope someone subs it. One thing I am glad that they showed is how some of these songs are heavily taken from American music/artist and compared them to what song they took it from.  That’s more for the delusional fans that keep saying Kpop is original.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/TTZ2FYN62OVKFZZEXXIJT4M54U Julia

        MAR_M3anie ,can you tell me where you read/watched it from? i tried looking online but i cant find it. : )

    • black_rose45000

      I love your comment.
      Do you happen to know what did the media say about SM and SM town?

    • FallingSnow

      Thanks for the heads up on the MBN report – a surprisingly objective journalistic venture from SK on a touchy subject matter. Their research for the report could have been a little more in-depth (eg. I have a feeling that they did only a single, small street survey that doesn’t quite capture the Paris youth demography) but for a rebuttal piece that aims to buck trends, it was successful in getting it’s point across. I too hope the video gets subbed soon so I could get a more complete understanding of what they said. At least all the interviews were conducted in French so I could understand that half of the video. LOL

    • whirlypop

      I wanna watch that MBN report. This global hallyu wave is but a hype. The problem is if you tell it a gazillion times, people actually eventually eat your lies. It’s like Yoona. She’s not even that pretty, but if you press release that lie continuously, people eventually believe she’s a goddess. Lol. The power of media.

      That’s what Kpop’s using. Standing up towards their lies, hoping that people might eventually eat it up.

      • theonetwo

         i agree.  they try to force feed the hallyu wave down peoples throat a lot of times.  youre either going to start to believe it or get really sick of it.

        about yoona,  shes pretty imo but i agree that she is over hyped but that whole thing is subjective.

        my preference would be lee hyori =D

    • theonetwo

      thanks for mentioning the MBN report thepurp

      MAR_M3anie posted the link but the video isnt subbed for those who wanna watch it.

      whats surprising is that some comments on that forum state stuff like isnt it obvious that the hallyu wave is over exaggerated?  it might be for people who are on the outside looking in or for people who are objective but its not obvious to the hardcore, super dedicated, rabid fans.  they really think that the hallyu wave is making a huge impact when its really not.

      these people will gang up and verbally attack someone if they even mention the truth about the hallyu wave.  telling people if they dont like it to leave kpop or kdrama behind.  really?  when people are being objective about the subject and not acting like brainwashed zombies?  they should leave kpop/kdrama behind?  wow …

      comments like how big bang, 2ne1, 2pm, or girl generation can make it in the US because some speak english or because they have amazing “style” only add to the hype.

  • gowhalego

    From what I can remember, the first Hallyu wave was more drama-oriented: Winter Sonata and the likes. That died down for a while and then Kpop exploded into the scene and contributed to the second wave of Hallyu. And before Hallyu arrived on the scene, there was the J-wave (correct me if I am wrong?)

    Which just shows that what goes up must come down and what has plummeted will rise up again. So let’s relax and just enjoy the show. It’s difficult to predict market trends and life is full of surprises. Also ‘waves’ that have died down do not necessarily mean a loss in interest or fanbase e.g. Jpop (though whether we can compare the longevity of Jpop and Kpop is another issue altogether, considering their different nature…)

  • dodo18

    problem right now dbsk, bigbang , suju, kara, snsd ,2 ne 1 are mostly the group that hold the hallyu wave at least from what i see. for older fans most of them will leave kpop when their group leave . from what i see for boygroup dbsk, suju, bigbang, 2 pm they will all enlist for the army around the same time. the thing new generation of kpopo need to make a strong and faithful fanbase. problem even new younger fans who get into kpop recently you see most of them becoming fans of older group. so unless new group get a following of some crazy fangirls like dbsk, suju, bigbang got . yes i see kpop wave ending soon. 

    • Chyrita Bonita

      Exactly! these new groups that are constantly debuting are not going to be able to keep the Hallyu wave going. Once the senior groups of today move on to the military and start getting married and their groups disband the wave will die down dramatically. My favorite group is After School and once the original members graduate or the group disbands I’m pretty sure I won’t care much for kpop anymore. 

  • http://twitter.com/kmi_chan Camille カミーユ

    it is absolutely sure that Hallyu wave will not last, it is like all phenomenon – yes hallyu is a phenomenon just like the Jonas Brothers or Tokio Hotel were – but it doesn’t mean it will disappear. I think the first fans will keep listening to it, they will still watch kdramas.

    Hallyu is just killing it-self by producing too many groups and trying to conquer the US by debuting there. Why can’t just stay in Asia, they didn’t need to promote abroad to become famous, almost all kpop fans discover kpop through the Internet. I just hope that artists and trainees won’t be too much hurt in this process, because if people stop taking interest into Kpop, there will be no need of so many groups.

  • http://twitter.com/kmi_chan Camille カミーユ

    it is absolutely sure that Hallyu wave will not last, it is like all phenomenon – yes hallyu is a phenomenon just like the Jonas Brothers or Tokio Hotel were – but it doesn’t mean it will disappear. I think the first fans will keep listening to it, they will still watch kdramas.

    Hallyu is just killing it-self by producing too many groups and trying to conquer the US by debuting there. Why can’t just stay in Asia, they didn’t need to promote abroad to become famous, almost all kpop fans discover kpop through the Internet. I just hope that artists and trainees won’t be too much hurt in this process, because if people stop taking interest into Kpop, there will be no need of so many groups.

  • http://twitter.com/flickaddi Felicia Addison

    I think in order to go forward Korea has to stop exaggerating and have a realistic idea of where they’re at in their overseas success.
    I feel they haven’t done enough to push it globally and try to appeal to the global audience but have instead just utilized the international fans that have discovered already Kpop by their own means through the internet and who are used to the certain workings of kpop and (that would be irritating or offputting to general western culture). I think they are used to the mass of overly devoted fans and assume that the same will happen in the west like it so easily happens at home.  as well as trying to use it as a something to boast about how ‘successful’ they are in other countries. 

    Evidence of this is probably in the lack of organisation in which some of the overseas Kpop concerts are conducted. For example in Australia for the Kpop fest in Sydney last November there was little consideration of the fans attending and more towards the viewers in Korea who received the broadcast and the SS4 that way cancelled which could have been avoided with promotion and understanding of the fan situation of the country that would be otherwise unnecessary in Korea. Or in The Boys by SNSD with its horrible use of English, Its MV which was pitched to a Korean audience rather than an American one, the album that wasn’t even an album. There was absolutely no understanding of the targeted market. 

    Although I don’t think completely changing is needed to appeal to the western market as seen in the variety of cultures and people it does appeal to, I do believe when trying there needs to be certain tweaks made that appeal to the western audience as well as still holding onto the unique qualities that make Kpop what it is. 

    The way I think Hallyu will be successful in the west is to get rid of the idea of everything Hallyu as a collective thing under the one category and instead present each part as its own entity. Because Korea pushes it that way I think the west is seeing it that way seen articles or short segments on television that try to give us a Kpop 101 (that seoulbeats has also mentioned) full of the of research and misrepresentation of Kpop that although gives people some idea i don’t think the any-publicity-is-good-publicity rule applies here and is not going to get many people jumping on the bandwagon.

    People will be overwhelmed and won’t want to be ‘flooded’ by this so called wave and rather appreciate a music group or a korean film for what it is and then it will hopefully lead them to appreciating other parts of korean culture similarly to the way it probably has happened for many of us.

    • black_rose45000

      Mind me asking, what do you mean when you say ” For example in Australia for the Kpop fest in Sydney last November
      there was little consideration of the fans attending and more towards
      the viewers in Korea who received the broadcast” ?

      • http://twitter.com/flickaddi Felicia Addison

        - It was held during the final exam period for high school students.
        - it was being broadcast in korea so the MCs were mainly speaking Korean into a camera rather than to the audience.
        - SNSD performing the korean version of The Boys even though they were in an english speaking country

        • black_rose45000

          I understand :| Thank you for explaining!

    • Mintmint

      “I think they are used to the mass of overly devoted fans and assume that the same will happen in the west like it so easily happens at home… There was absolutely no understanding of the targeted market.”

      I agree. Those are two absolutely huge problems in Kpop. For one, they go under the assumption that we will automatically accept every one of their groups, “flawless” and all. That is actually pretty insulting when you consider the IQ of the average Kpop fangirl. That’s like assuming every music lover in the US has the brains of a Belieber. On the other hand, they disrespect us again when they do things like you said in your second comment, performing the Korean version of The Boys in an English-speaking country. To be honest I generally prefer listening to the songs in Korean because the composition was specifically written for Korean lyrics – however, I do agree that they put in NO effort to learn the culture of non-Korean countries – except maybe Japan to an extent since it’s considered a valuable market close to home. What cannot be any more obvious is that when you are doing business with somebody or want their acceptance, YOU have to work for THEM to like you, not the other way around. Kpop is pushing its weight around arrogantly expecting people to pay attention to them without considering the feelings and opinions of those who they are supposed to be working to please. To me that kind of superiority complex is one of the greatest insults you can give to a targeted market, and is pretty much suicide in any kind of business.

      • http://twitter.com/Les_Diabolique AZ

        On the other hand, they disrespect us again when they do things like you said in your second comment, performing the Korean version of The Boys in an English-speaking country.” I actually don’t think it is insulting to perform the original version of a song even if it is in another language. For SNSD, since they have a korean and english version then yes it is strange that they did that, but for other artists this does not apply. I mean our artists go overseas and perform in english to audiences whom english is not their first language and it is not considered insulting.
         What i do think is insulting is that when they have their monologue/fan interaction and it is not directed to the audience in front of them, but to the audience back home. Learn a few phrases to recite in english and the fans would be happy and really appreciative. 

        • Mintmint

          That’s true. Like I said in my comment, I actually PREFER the original versions sung in Korean. I just think it’s strange that they release an English version as a way to please more international fans, and the fact that they don’t perform it very much, especially in an English-speaking country, is just a little weird I guess. I mean, if I did it my way, I wouldn’t pretend to know English and release a song in the language if I wasn’t fluent in it – it feels a little manufactured and fake. When they release an English song in that way, it feels like maybe it’s just a business tactic and not a genuine interest in debuting in another country. I suppose it all goes back to toning down the Hallyu Wave and not trying to groom or “package” groups so much for foreign success. Just stay Korean and make music that you like, and then foreign fans who are interested will make their way back.

          A lot of foreign countries like to listen to American music, but if you turn it around, Americans don’t like foreign music that much, especially with the stigma of Asian performers in the US. I’m not saying it’s right, but the truth is that a lot of people who the Kpop companies are aiming for WILL feel “disrespected” (or irritated might be a better word) if they had to listen to music spoken in an Asian language. Americans don’t even like subtitles and prefer dubs when foreign movies make it to the mainstream market. Personally I feel dubs are cheesy and take away the complexities, little nuances and emotional “feeling” of a foreign language in movies, but unfortunately that’s how a lot of people like it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nate-Broadus/100003245734823 Nate Broadus

      Excellent post.

      Sadly, I don’t think any Korean companies are really up to the task of separating their groups into individual entities — not when their entire music system is so regimented. 

      We have all heard the term “manufactured pop stars”, but South Korean companies take it to a whole new level. They literally pluck children out of their normal lives and move them to dorms. From there, they are coached on what to say, how to act, taught to dance, sing or act, and are otherwise groomed in every single way before even knowing where those kids will be placed. Then after an indeterminate amount of time, the kids are placed into groups. Call me crazy, but that doesn’t sound like an environment from which individuals are culled — that sounds like a factory churning out commodities, not people (which is almost tragically accurate). 

      There is a reason why most international acts that survive longer than a few years never come from the realm of superficial pop. It is because at some point individualism and talent do have to come into play. Michael Jackson wouldn’t have lasted much past The Jacksons/Jackson 5 if all of his subsequent songs were all shallow lyrically and musically, even with his voice. 

      So what did he do? He created infectious pop tunes with lyrics that actually had substance. 

      To songs with catchy musical hooks, he wrote lyrics about murder (Smooth Criminal), stalking and unstable fans (Billie Jean), and privacy concerns (Leave Me Alone) among others, Moreover, the songs listed were ones he wrote, himself. They weren’t songs that  were written for him, he composed them, musically and lyrically. 

      Consider that MJ wasn’t even the greatest songwriter of the past 40 years. Not by a longshot. 

      What are the odds a manufactured K-pop artist is going to achieve anywhere near that level of success?

      I just don’t see anything unique coming out of K-pop. The most unique thing I’ve seen is 2NE1′s brand of female empowerment pop, which isn’t a guaranteed hit for the US market. Beyonce covered that years ago, and a dozen or more other singers have followed that mold dutifully ever since. I wouldn’t expect 2NE1 to come in doing the same thing and expect to suddenly explode onto the scene. 

      If any musical act from Korea is to breakthrough onto the world scene, I wouldn’t bet on that act coming from K-pop’s artificial, highly manufactured, creatively gimped system. 

  • GracefulCassieShapley

    There are many things that kpop needs to do to go forward. In fact, its at a point where they have to go forward, because if they don’t, the fad will die. 

    What kpop fans need to keep mind is that just because entertainments make kpop to be a special genre only unique to Korea, its still in fact pop music. Besides the fact that its singed in  Korean, a lot of kpop songs sound very euro-pop or american pop. Pop music (aka. POPULAR music) is still a fad, and like all fads, it will eventually die out unless it does something to keep itself relevant. 

    The difference between the western pop scene (and Jpop scene) vs. the Kpop scene is that the first two already have a sustainable and efficient running market. American popstars don’t need to venture out into other countries to make huge amounts of money, but Kpop needs its international fanbase. Jpop also sustains itself within its own country and it has created its own identity/niche already. Kpop, in some ways, lacks identity. Yes, there are certain characteristics that make Kpop what it is, but it has lost that factor that makes it sound Korean or at least Asian. This can be a good thing and a bad thing. Its good because most of the American population is quite white washed and might prefer something they can relate to. 

    On the other hand, Kpop has lost a quality that makes it stick out and most American listeners might look at it and say “Hey this sounds exactly like the music here…why would I listen to it when I’m getting the same (if not better) quality sound here plus I can understand the singers?” 

    Kpop entertainments and Corporations that cater to the hallyu wave are pushing too fast in a small amount of time. They’re not thinking of actual ways to cater to new audience with different cultural values and views on things. They think that since what they’re doing in Korea is making them big bucks it has to work in America and rest of the world. However, it doesn’t work this way. Like SME adjusted SNSD’s sound on their Japanese album to fit the Japanese audience, entertainments have to adapt to the trends of the American Pop scene or whichever pop scene the choose to break. Companies aren’t creating music that will appeal to the general public. Just because your signed with all these big names or so-so says they’re fan of kpop doesn’t really get you anywhere. Sure it may help you with your market tactics, but the real way to gain recognition is through the radio or music shows. 8 times out of 10 if one likes the song the hear on the radio, they will research the song and download it. Maybe they will even look the artist up as well. 

    Granted, the music may not always be the greatest in the western industry, but consumers will go after the song before the artist/group. Kpop works backwards. They market the group first through variety shows and CFs, and then the songs. But here is my question all these big CEOs, how do you market your idols this way when countries like America don’t even have variety shows? How do you make people attached to your idols when there is hardly any media settings to do it? 

    The only way to make your idols worth a first time viewer’s time is through raw talent, good songs, and a mentality that says “I’m going to give everything I got.” 

    Another point that I want to bring up (and I’m pretty sure it was brought up in the article) is the fanbase. Its the fanbase that sustains the industry, and therefore, entertainments create music that will mainly cater out the fanbase. However, what happens when your fanbase goes? What are you left with? Nothing, no consumers to support your product means your fad is dying out and no more money will be made. 

    A good real life analogy was the basketball team that I was on a couple of years ago. We were a pretty good team and we won a lot of tournaments. But most of our points came through two girls who could pop up three pointers like they were nothing. 

    I remember my dad saying “When the shooting goes, what are we left with?” He brought up a good point. We didn’t get a lot of rebounds and we weren’t physically stronger then other teams, so what would be our next move? However, most of the parents and the team chose to ignore this issue. 

    In the championships everything that my Dad said would happen, happened.  One of the girls was injured and the girl suddenly fell into a slump. She couldn’t get any points, and we really didn’t have any other scoring options. We still got points but we didn’t make it to the finals. 

    Like the way the good shooters carried the basketball team point wise, there are certain players that carry the Hallyu wave and keep it strong. Those groups are SNSD, Super Junior, SHINee, DBSK/JYJ, Big Bang, 2NE1, and a few others. They have the largest fanbases and are widely popular among the kpop community. But what happens when those groups die out? Half of your fans leave as well, meaning less consumers. Therefore, the Hallyu wave will already make a decline. Instead of producing more groups, entertainments should solely be concerned about producing good quality groups with talent and that can appeal to the audience. They should work to try and form the same attachments with not only current fans, but cater to non fans as well. 

    Also I think Kpop needs to stop being so formula based. Eventually this will start to tire current fans and non-fans or the western audience will view most kpop idols as fakes and phonies. The western audience is bound to cringe and laugh at girl and guy groups dancing around with lollipops and acting like two year-olds. Entertainments also need to stop idealizing their idols allow them to act more genuine. Scripting can also harm an idol who wants to crack the American industry because when you go on talk shows there are no scripts. Audiences will immediately perceive these idols as phony.

    • theonetwo

      what the hallyu wave needs to do to when it comes to its music is to expand on it.  kpop is fine but we all know that is the only thing featured in s.korea.  wheres the rock?  feature more rap, more ballads, more r&b, or anything else besides kpop.  the market is flooded with kpop and honestly, its making it extremely dull.

      also, when it comes to kpop, age is a major issue.  when youre in your late twenties and hitting your thirties then what?  its practically downhill from there.  for the men, the military can have a huge impact because being away for two years could mean the end of your kpop career if you arent super famous.

      your basketball analogy, though good, is a little flawed imo.  every group you mentioned is from kpop.  thats like having a team of all point guards.  in the long run that team isnt going anywhere and thats where kpop is stuck right now.

      i get that kpop is the industries cash cow but they are milking that thing to death.  

      • GracefulCassieShapley

        Yes, I definitely agree with Kpop needing to expand upon its music. I don’t think I articulated that point well enough, but your totally right. They are entering the west assuming everyone loves pop music. While the vast majority of the teenage population like pop groups and music, there is still a large majority that wouldn’t listen to any form of pop. I remember when I showed my non-kpop loving friend a Super Junior video and she started laughing and said “WTF?” However, when I showed her something that is more indie, she actually liked it and said it was pretty good (despite that she couldn’t understand it.) 

        If all that the Korean music industry can export is the same cliched dramas and basic pop sound then it will go no where. It needs to feature, like you said, a lot more rock, R&B, ballads, and indie. There needs to be a variety and groups/idols need to learn how to break the “Formula” and be a little more bold. In the western music industry, its better to be a little too bold then too plain; its the only way to stand out. 

        With my basketball analogy, that’s exactly what I was trying to get at. The team that get’s promoted in the Hallyu wave is Kpop which is like having a team full of fancy point guards who really can only do one to three moves really well. Sure a team full of guards can shoot, but when you can’t do that anymore, how else do you attack the basket? 

        Lastly age, is a huge factor. When your 26 in kpop, your considered “old.” Only a few female idols, such as Kahi and 3/4 of B.E.G, are actually extending beyond the barrier. Males have to face military service, but really most adults in that age group might not even want to be in a pop group anymore and want to explore their own music. Kpop idols are getting younger and younger. 

        Amen, to the last statement you made :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1240283540 Jenna Nelson

    I think the over saturation of idol groups will be the big down fall to the hallyu wave. there are just so many new groups being pushed on to the market, that i have no time or interest to become a real fan. when groups like big bang, super junior, dbsk/jyj, shinee and snsd grow up and move on, so will i because i will have no real attachement to any new groups. and unfortunatly this should be happening in the next few years with the exception of SHINee. Suju has already started what is going to be a very long wait before it’s youngest members are finished in the military and the dbsk/jyj and big bang members will start to leave in the next few years as well.

    Fandom is very different in k-pop compared to north american music. For an american audiece, unless they really take an interest in a group and start following them via the internet, they will not have the chance to really become a fan because variety shows do not exsist in north america and music shows aren’t very popular. North American music listeners also don’t really have a lot of interest in an artist themself so much as liking their music. as opposed to k-pop fans, the average listener will have no interest in looking up an artist’s background or interests, and this is again due to the lack of variety shows. A north american audience hasn’t grown up with the chance to see their favorite stars on tv constantly and the chance to learn about them via these shows and so they grew up with no interest in looking up an artsit or learning about them. Fans are the driving force of the hallyu wave and without new fans and the ability to keep old fans, the wave will retreat back to korea.

     people also like things that are new and interesting. k-pop is rather formulated and with so many new groups, it becomes impossible to tell them all apart. Once the big groups leave the scene, it will be an all out blood bath to see witch group can set themselves apart from the rest and gain a large fanbase, and with such fomulated groups and similar music it may be impossible to do so. in the end the novelty of k-pop will die and with no real fan loyalty left in international audiences, K-pop will have to retreat into korea where it will still be possible to form dedicated fanbases.

    But eventually even korea will get bored of the same group formula and over abundance of groups. All three of my friends who were born and raised in korea have less interest in k-pop then i do. i guess it all comes down to novelty again. Fans local and international are mostly attached to big name groups and even now the new groups are constantly have to try to out do each other to gain interest wich leads back to the problem of oversaturation. international fans aredrawn to k-pop because it is different and new compared to the music that is offerd in their own countries. so in the long run, k-pop will need to reinvent itself if it wants to keep and expand it’s international fanbas and in the even longer run their keep their local fans.

  • Fatricia Fatlegs (Trish Okeke)

    I hope the Korean gov’t will regulate the debut of idol groups from shitty companies. They only ruin the image of KPOP.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Alexis-Testman/100000892581132 Alexis Testman

    If you juxtapose K-pop with Latin pop and you start to make the connection and began to figure out where K-pop can go.

    No doubt at the current moment the British wave (an on again off again) relationship with Americans is starting to die down. With lady Adele ruling queen of European soul music. In fact in the eve of K-pop frenzy, the British were storming our charts and competing against Gaga, Katy, Rihanna and whom ever is Billboards Hot 20 to dominate despite the season.

    The formation of Billboard for Korean music and its ever expanding K-pop is a redundant move. When you think of chart ranking and how there is over 7 major downloading sites. It was more of a west meets east without being MTV. To really make K-pop its idols,artist and music officially recognize. Did it help? Yes and No. It didn’t mean much to Korean fans for this is another music chart but for international its us beginning  to see K-pop as an actual music entity verse YouTube obsession.

    If K-pop makes it to the west it would be a short lived venture. Very concentrated in a specific age group of young teens. What K-pop represent on native soul is related to social context within Korean youth and maybe some young adults who are emotional shelter. 

    But state side K-pop is the least creative and most rudimentary form of music. It doesn’t dwell deep or isn’t abrasive enough with lyrical context. In other words its very basic, has no substance and even lacks the boldness to make it more appealing to a wider audience. 

    Back to my contrast with Latin pop is very much filled with boy and girl bands. But it also has music for those who are more adult that would even make YG idols blush and have second thoughts. Korea isn’t a culture that likes to take risk or even be risque. Regardless political,sexual, sociable etc..  This is a total bore to majority of American audience and we discredit our own pop artists for doing this. Completely ignoring those who do this with brilliant thoughtful  presentations that has a cohesive thought verse vague catchy pop,club,dance substance-less pop songs. That usually clutters our pop charts. The general public isn’t big on complex thinking sometimes keeping it K.I.S.S (keep it simple stupid) works best with music. That doesn’t give a guarantee stay more of a short time visit on the charts look at Far East Movement “Like A G6″ and how the can not repeat success.

    Like Latin pop, K-pop is link to a culture of people and will always have an audience. Regardless if its state side, Japan or in their native lands. Also I can’t help think the influx of Latinos coming to the U.S has supported or music even it the media doesn’t care anymore. So its really up to the k-pop fans to decide the importance of K-pop and where its stands globally.

    I don’t think K-pop should push for the west but strengthen their holds in native Korea. The increase of lack luster K-pop newbie acts are becoming to much. K-pop it self needs to go through an evolution within  not venture to strange new lands and try to find itself among those who simply don’t understand.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Alexis-Testman/100000892581132 Alexis Testman

    Seriously, who is the pic above with the derp face? lol

    • Juss_sayin

      Beast’s maknae Dongwoon

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nate-Broadus/100003245734823 Nate Broadus

    Honestly, I think if Hallyu was really going to dominate the globe, it would have dominated it by now. I don’t see K-pop, specifically, getting much more polished than DBSK, Wonder Girls, SNSD, Big Bang, 2NE1, etc. When you look at the evolution of the scene, you can already see that this next wave of idols decreases in quality from the previous generation — that is not a good sign for longevity (outside of Korea). 

    Aging is Hallyu’s biggest enemy, since success is so heavily dependent upon an idol’s attractiveness. These idols won’t stay the same age forever, and eventually they will want to do something else with their lives. Maybe they’ll do what YG or JYP did and become producers and run talent agencies, while others will go off to start businesses or host tv shows, and so on. Either way, they are running on borrowed time, just like H.O.T. did, or S.E.S., or Baby V.O.X.. 

    I don’t really question IF Hallyu is going to die down — I KNOW it will. That is just the nature of changing trends. Remember when the Latin Wave hit the U.S.? Remember when anime was king? A lot of the same people that are into the Hallyu wave now are the same people that were into those fads. Tomorrow it will be something else (maybe C-pop, or a new British invasion or something). 

    I don’t think K-pop, as it stands right now, has longterm viability. I could see another division of the Korean music scene finding surprising success (like a rock group that does something different from the norm), but not K-pop. It just doesn’t differentiate itself enough from American pop, and even most American’s are getting tired of pop.

  • Guest12456

    Sometimes, I just wish everything about K-pop would just go back to normal. I wish we could go back to the times when K-pop actually sounded different from American pop, when the leading idol groups (Super Junior, SNSD, Big Bang, etc.) weren’t as arrogant as they are now and actually focused on their fans in Korea (and actually stayed in Korea for more than a month each year). I wish we could go back to the times when the plots of K-Dramas were actually original. And most importantly (at least for me), I wish we could go back to the times where there were only 3 or 4 idol groups debuting each year, instead of 60+ like this year. Not only going back, but they should keep going forward, of course. Going forward, they should give the idols more freedom and creative control. You’d think that after all the handwork these idols put in over the years, their companies would at least give them that. As much as I want these singers to achieve their goal of becoming popular in the worldwide market, I truly believe that they can become popular stars (and not one hit wonders) if they go back to their roots, and work on their own style so that they can come back, refreshed and confident, as Korean artists, not “Lady Gaga/Rihanna/Britney Spears wannabes”
    Sorry If I offended anyone. I love K-pop (Super Junior, SNSD, Big Bang and so many more). But its becoming so systematic,boring, and fake that I’m loosing interest. 
    I’m sure I’m not the only one. This is how I think the Hallyu Wave will die down. Their new material is so much like American entertainment that the overwhelming number international fans, many of whom initially turned to K-pop looking for different, will walk away. I wish the idols and the C.E.O’s could see that.