The Hallyu Lens: The Success of Korean Pop (K-Pop) Music as an International Business Strategy

This article focusses on the success of the K-Pop industry, with a background on the industry itself, and how it can become a business strategy that international businesses can use.

BTS, EXO, TWICE and Seventeen are some of the biggest names in Korean Pop (K-Pop) music in the 21st century, and have brought fans worldwide into the world of Hallyu or Korean Wave. “Hallyu refers to the phenomenon of Korean popular culture, which came into vogue in Southeast Asia and Mainland China in late 1990s.”1 Anything that has to do with the consumption of Korean culture can be considered as Hallyu. This has taken different forms of entertainment and media such as dramas, movies, fashion, beauty and, the most popular, music.

In the perspective of an average Joe whose limited knowledge on Hallyu is prevalent, K-Pop would not seem like a big enough deal to read or know about. Hallyu in itself is a pop culture, since it has been widely accepted and supported internationally by people of any age. This vast amount of culture consumed by people worldwide through K-Pop creates a stable yet successful business structure among Korean entertainment companies; slowly taking advantage of the popularity of the culture itself.

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1. Kim Bokrae; Past, Present and Future of Hallyu (Korean Wave), American International Journal of Contemporary Research Vol. 5, No. 5; October 2015;

2. Tucci, Sherry. “K-pop A to Z: A beginner’s dictionary” The Daily Dot – common – terms – to – know/

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4. “Former SM Entertainment Trainee Reveals What Trainee Life Is Really Like”

5. DatJoeDoe. (2018) “Most viewed K-pop music videos in the first 24 hours” SBS – viewed – k – pop – music – videos – first – 24 – hours

6. Wong Siew Ying. “How can Singapore learn from the success of Hallyu?” The Straight Times. / business / takeaways – from – the – success – of – hallyu

7. Wong. “How can Singapore.”

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10. Seo, Min-soo. “What Business Can Learn from K-pop for Global Strategy.” Korea Focus

11. Seo. “What Business Can Learn.”

12. “Ibid.”

13. Seo, Min-soo. “Lessons from K-Pop’s Global Success.” 060 – Lessons – from – K-pops – Global – Success.pdf

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of The World Financial Review.