The Booming K-pop Industry: BTS & Blackpink

In the past few years, the South Korean entertainment business has been booming, with K-pop groups reaching global acclaim and influencing culture, breaking it down!

Odds are you’re familiar with the current largest boyband in the world, BTS. Or maybe you’re a fan of the highest-charting all-female, Korean group Blackpink. These are simply two examples of K-pop groups who have taken the world by storm in recent years.

K-pop, short for Korean pop, is a massively popular music genre that has grown in popularity all across the globe. Taking influence from many other genres, K-pop tends to have a blended music style suitable for everyone. Upbeat, timely, and digestible – this music isn’t just made spontaneously. It takes a lot of effort on behalf of the performers and teams behind them to curate their look, sound, and products for an audience.

The K-pop business is so lucrative, Business Insider reported that the group BTS is worth $3.6 billion to South Korea’s economy, contributing massively to tourism and products sold. Forbes reports the group took home $57 million dollars of income 2019, easily making them the highest paid K-pop group.

So how did these groups get to be so massively successful? Well, aside from their undeniably catchy songs and amazing performances, many K-pop groups have incredibly loyal fanbases. BTS’ own fan group referred to as the BTS Army has frequently made the group #1 trending on Twitter and breaking countless Youtube records. The group Blackpink has fans nicknamed “Blinks” who have also led the group to recorded breaking social media accomplishments.

Taking a look at the market for these bands, much of their success in the U.S. began booming when they collaborated with popular American artists and companies. These bands were already massively popular in other countries, but hadn’t hit widespread notoriety in America until recent years. BTS became the first Korean group to play at the Grammy Awards and Blackpink was the first to perform at Coachella! They haven’t stopped there, in the past few weeks BTS has topped the Billboard charts for the first time. This is super exciting for the bands, fans, and music lovers.

These groups also have multiple documentary film movies available to watch. Blackpink’s latest 2020 film, Blackpink: Light Up the Sky, is available to watch directly on Netflix and BTS’ latest film, Break The Silence: The Movie, is available in select theaters.

As huge fans of groups BTS and Blackpink, we at Afterbuzz are always waiting to see what’s next for them. We’re looking forward to the growing popularity of these groups and certainly look forward to more new music!

About the Author

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Haley Mendoza

Haley Mendoza is a lover of all things film and TV. Whether you want to bond over horror movies or competition shows, she’s always down. Haley attends Emerson College, pursuing a degree in Media and Visual Arts and writing scripts in her spare time.