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[HanCinema Korea's Diary] K-Pop as its own music genre on YouTube?

2012/03/03 | 1021 views |  | Permalink

Last year Google's Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt announced that a YouTube channel will be launched dedicated to Korea's own brand of popular music called "K-pop". This was huge news, especially when considering that it would come to be the only true category of music inspired and fuelled by a specific country. I mean genres such as reggae, Latin, and country music all have there roots in other countries, but an exclusive category for Korea's popular music? Surprising indeed, but what's not surprising is the popularity of the music and its continued spread around the world that has come to be known as the "the Korean Wave".

Google's announcement may have raised some eyebrows, but the popularity of K-pop has become an almost unstoppable force. Korea's top bands/groups are lining up concerts not only in Asia, as Europe and North America have been hit hard with a string of concerts from a lot of the big names in K-pop. Recently, the K-Pop Festival-Music Bank took place in Paris where big names such as Girls' Generation, SHINee, 2PM, B2ST, 4Minutes, U-Kiss, Sistar and T-ara played to about 10,000 screaming fans at Bercy Stadium. Girls' Generation also just finished a brief tour in the US, appearing on a number of prime time talk shows to promote their new album. It's undeniable that K-pop has, at least for the time being, been able to penetrate the Western markets and with YouTube adding K-pop under the music tab, that success and momentum can only spell good things for K-pop's global popularity.

Technically, there is a YouTube channel that has existed since Jun 23rd 2006 that is dedicated to K-pop. It currently has round a 1,000 subscribers and claims to be YouTube's official K-pop channel. "MBC K-POP" is another popular one that has over 3 million video views enjoyed by its 11,555 subscribers. These, along with hundreds of others, are strong testaments to the genre's popularity and global appeal. Love it or hate it, K-pop is and will continue to invade your YouTube stream!

A lot of HanCinema's readers are indeed fans of the K-pop movement, so what do you all think having now had the chance to browse and experience K-pop on YouTube in this way? Should K-pop be considered its own music genre to begin with? I wonder if music from other countries will be too be given a spot under YouTube's music genre listings. What about J-Pop from Japan? Don't they deserve some love from YouTube along with other, possibly other more "niche" markets? I wonder if YouTube has unknowingly set a precedent for how the company will approach music products from other countries.

Please feel free to share you thoughts, comments, criticisms, or love for YouTube's decision to label K-pop as a genre on its site.

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