A recent K-pop concert in Paris proved the power of SNSD digital media. It is expected to pave the way for Korean groups to advance to Europe and South America.
"It was only the beginning of going to the European music market. The concert could prove the possibility of success in the European market.” -Korean K-pop representative.
The concert entitled “SM Town Live World Tour” that was held in Paris from June 10 to 11 successfully finished amidst hearty cheers from many European fans. Major newspapers in France, “Le Monde” and “Le Figaro,” reported on the concert every day with headlines such as “Hallyu makes great impact at the concert hall Zenit in Paris” and “Hallyu advances to Europe.” The concert of Korean singing groups in Paris has received favorable responses and the concert actually means more than the Korean singers’ first joint concert in Europe.
The concert could confirm the hidden potential of a K-Pop boom in Europe and it could prove the power of digital media based on various Social Networking Services such as YouTube and Facebook. The producer of SM Entertainment, Lee Soo Man, introduced the secret of success of Hallyu in France using the theory of “Culture Technology, CT,” and his explanation enhanced the interest of Europeans in the Korean popular music industry in general.
Many Korean music management companies that have only been focused on advancing to Asian countries all agreed that the concert in Paris has become the turning point for them to advance to other markets in Europe and Middle and South America.
◇ "Potential of success in Europe” = People in the Korean music industry concluded that the success of the “SM Town Live World Tour” in Paris could prove the possibility of K-Pop’s success in Europe. A critic of popular music named Im Jin Mo said on June 13, “European countries have boasted a long history and deep-rooted traditions, and they have generally taken an unfriendly attitude toward accepting other cultures.
The interest in K-Pop was not a phenomenon all around France, but the enthusiastic response at the airport and the enthusiasm in the concert hall went far enough to predict the possibility of K-Pop’s success in Europe. The Korean music industry has thought that the European music industry had a tall barrier to entry, but thanks to the success of this concert, people could be less pessimistic about advancing to the European music market.
Many star singers such as Rain, BoA, and the Wonder Girls have successfully advanced to American music market, so the Korean music industry might have come to have confidence about going to France and England. And we could be very proud of our 'soft power' thanks to this opportunity.” In addition, the power of SNS could be proved again as a major driving force that could spread K-Pop to other countries with different languages and races.
When SM singers such as Dong Bang Shin Ki, SHINee, and f(x) arrived in the airport in France on June 8, many fans gathered to welcome the singers, and they waved placards written in Korean and the national flag of Korea, and the audience at the concert all sang along the singers in the Korean language. These events possibly occurred thanks to the power of SNSD. YouTube and Facebook provided the photos and video images of the SM concert and they have received explosive responses. Around 377,000 visitors among people who visited the SM Town on Facebook rated SM Town highly on June 13, and the “SM Town Paris concert highlight video” on YouTube’s SM channel had around 3,280,000 hits in only two days.
K-Pop particularly attracted many people worldwide, and many people agreed that quality content has been produced from a well-made system that was established over a long period of time. This is why SM chairman Lee Soo Man’s introduction of the “three phases of Hallyu’s development based on CT” made to European songwriters and producers received great attention. Chairman Lee Soo Man made a comment, saying, “The first phase is importing cultural products of Hallyu, the second phase is expanding the market by joining with the local companies or local stars, and the third phase is creating a joint company with a local company and delivering the expertise of our CT to local people.
While going through those three phases, we can achieve the localization of Hallyu and we can share in the added value.” His comment intensifies the great interest of many local people in the music industry regarding the Korean music industry.
◇ "It has to be developed as a cultural phenomenon.” = Other music management companies in Korea were surprised by European fans’ favorable responses to K-Pop, and they gave SM kudos for their achievement. And people all agreed that the SM concert should not be a one-time event, but that it should be developed into a cultural trend. The representative of Cube Entertainment (to which 4 Minute and Beast belong), Hong Seong Sung, said, “We could confirm the popularity of K-Pop and the existence of European fans thanks to the SM concert.
I do not think that the great enthusiasm about K-Pop from people will be temporary. Now it is a very good time for Korean music companies to present our expertise that we have accumulated over a long time by enhancing the standard of Korean music through cooperation with other songwriters in USA and Europe. And we have to cooperate with local producers to exchange production knowledge, and more singers have to advance to other countries through big music distributors who have international networking.
If we can have qualified information from reliable music companies in the local markets, we can succeed not only in European countries, but also in South America. Asian stars can become world stars in a shorter period of time. And the government also has to support the development of Hallyu.” But some people have pointed out that the Korean music industry has to exert more effort at this time. Im Jin Mo emphasized, “This is only the initial stage that we have achieved now, thanks only to SNSD.
We have to establish a cultural trend without any resistance to our culture from the local markets through making a network with European agencies and conducting active PR and marketing activities. For this, we need more music genres apart from dance music. Music management companies have to try to present various music genres for the same idol group singers.”
Source: KBS World