Chairman Bang Si Hyuk of HYBE Corporation presented a business outline for the "Future of K-Pop" during a forum hosted by Kwanhun Club on March 15 at Seoul Press Center.
On this day, during his lecture on the sustainability of the K-Pop industry, Bang Si Hyuk warned industry leaders that this was not a time to "celebrate" the globalization of K-Pop, but instead, recognize the "dangers" lying ahead while preparing for the future.
"If you compare K-Pop to the past, sure, the industry has made worthwhile progress. But if you look at the global music industry as a whole, there are still numerous mountains to climb," Bang Si Hyuk began.
"If you look at the K-Pop companies forming the foundation of this industry, all of these companies together occupy less than 2% of the revenue shares of the worldwide music industry. But if you look at the major 3 music companies of the world, Universal Music Group, Sony Music Group, and Warner Music Group, each company occupies 15~30% of the entire industry's revenue shares. Together, with their immense influence, these three giants occupy as much as 67.4% of the revenues of the worldwide music industry. In other words, the K-Pop industry is still just a 'David' amongst three 'Goliath's," the businessman and producer continued.
Bang Si Hyuk then went on to point to trends indicating a recent lull in K-Pop's growth in regions across the globe, including the United States and Southeast Asia, particularly compared to data from 2021.
"For our Korean entertainment companies to compete in good faith with top tier companies around the globe, while maintaining and expanding the indigenous characteristics and features of K-Pop, the industry itself needs to offer something more than the freshness of a new player in the field. Just as 'Samsung' has its place in the global semiconductor industry, and 'Hyundai' has its place in the global automobile industry, K-Pop has arrived at a point where the emergence of a global entertainment powerhouse, which can break through the current barriers and play a key role in the genre's overall growth, is essential," chairman Bang explained.
Bang further commented, "As someone who has witnessed the value and energy of this industry being built and created by numerous artists, producers, and staff through their blood, sweat, and tears, I do not wish for it to simply disappear with the passing of time, only for it to become someone's 'memories'."
According to Bang Si Hyuk, the absence of BTS's team promotions is a crucial factor contributing to what he believes is an "threatened" era of the K-Pop industry. The producer claimed, "The IP influence held by BTS worldwide is just incomparable. BTS's global reach is broader than that of the K-Pop industry on its own, and if you take BTS out of that industry, its size decreases tremendously. So the fact that BTS will be absent as a team from this industry is a great contributor. And the true threat we can perceive from that is that even if BTS were to resume their group promotions tomorrow, there is no guarantee that the industry will recover the same influence and reach."
Here, Bang added on, "We need to find a way to sustain K-Pop's growth, even in BTS's absence. It will be extremely difficult to find one specific reason, one specific solution. The sale of music occurs when consumers behave as consumers of culture. It is necessary to research and assess what factors influence consumers of different regions, different nations. We've seen through the BTS trickle-down effect how global consumers come in contact with K-Pop. We must utilize 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."
Finally, Bang Si Hyuk relayed, "With faith in the global capacity of K-Pop, which I've witnessed throughout the last 10 years as I worked alongside artists, industry leaders, and fans, I hope that people will support the great challenges that David has taken against the Goliaths. With responsibility, I will take the lead in beginning those efforts to ensure that people all over the world can enjoy the music and the contents produced by our nation for years to come."
Log in to comment