Covid-19 VS International Artists

Raiyan Ahmed
Oct 7, 2020 · 3 min read

Due to Covid-19, many artists have not been able to connect with their fans and haven’t been able to promote effectively. This lack of promotions has hurt artists. However there has been an outlier to this data, and that is the K-pop industry. This industry has skyrocketed during the covid-19 pandemic even through the lockdowns. So the question is why has the K-pop industry skyrocketed while other artists struggled?

The simple answer as to why K-pop acts are so successful is due to their use of social media and response to the Covid-19 pandemic. According to Jared Diamond, a writer for the Wall Street Journal who in May, 2020 published the article “BTS, ‘Parasite’ and Now Baseball: South Korean Pop Culture Is Having a Moment,” states, “the handling of the pandemic is a huge source of national pride,” for South Korea. Due to the Korean nation taking immediate action, many industries in Korea were able to plan more strategically.

In an article entitled, “Online concerts and government spending: How K-pop is riding out the COVID-19 pandemic by Lim Yun Suk in September 2020, she discusses how “COVID-19 has opened up new opportunities for Korea’s Hallyu to expand and grow further.” Many Korean entertainment industries have been investing in technologies, such as "virtual realities for 10 years now.” They have been simply ahead of the game. Their online concerts have started as early as March of 2020. The crazy aspect is that even when western artists have begun to perform in online concerts they have not been able to leave the same impact as their eastern counterparts. For example, B.T.S a kpop act that has gone past all boundaries due to their interaction with fans on social media have the record for the highest attendance for a virtual concert at 756,000 viewers in more than 100 countries. Also, BTS’ new release Dynamite, which “aims to bring a new surge of much-needed ‘energy’ to reinvigorate the global community in the midst of Covid-19,”(BTS)has attracted many people who have felt down and has lifted their emotions. Through their uplifting track, they went on to become the first Korean group to top the Billboard Hot 100. These are just a few accomplishments for this group and their achievements during the pandemic alone, is expected to “generate 1.7 trillion won (US$1.43 billion) of economic activity and nearly 8,000 new jobs.”(L.Y.S)

However not everything is simple. These changes may benefit more established groups such as B.T.S, it fails to support newer acts. “These so-called trainees don’t have a stage anywhere, and it’s difficult to hold online concerts if people don’t know who they are.” However even when faced with adversity many companies are working together to launch these newer artists, one such idea is that, "some agencies have started mixing them up with the more popular groups.”

Overall, if artists wish to succeed going forward they will have to take notes from international acts and build themselves up.

Works Cited:

Diamond, J. (2020, May 08). BTS, ‘Parasite’ and Now Baseball: South Korean Pop Culture Is Having a Moment. Retrieved October 07, 2020, from https://www.wsj.com/articles/bts-parasite-and-now-baseball-south-korean-pop-culture-is-having-a-moment-11588932001

Yunsuk, L. (2020, September 12). Online concerts and government spending: How K-pop is riding out the COVID-19 pandemic. Retrieved October 07, 2020, from https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asia/how-k-pop-is-riding-out-covid-pandemic-19-bts-13101212

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