The Magic of K-Pop: A Cultural Consumption Perspective

The rise of Korean music (K-Pop) around the world in the last two decades has been a mystery to many industry experts.  Some compares it to the explosion of British rock and roll in 1960s (“The British Invasion”), calling it “The Korean Wave (Han-Ryu)”.  Even though it is not a part of the main stream music worldwide, it definitely deserves our attention as a cultural sensation.  What is the magic ingredient of K-Pop for its worldwide popularity?  How has a tiny country such as South Korea become a major exporter of a cultural product?  We will first discuss the history of the rise of K-Pop and try to identify the answers to these questions.  Our focus will be on K-Pop as a cultural product and examine the market forces including the consumers who adopted K-Pop as their music of choice.