entertainment

Has Japan’s K-pop bubble burst? Weakening yen hits major Korean record label hard

66 Comments
By Philip Kendall

It wasn’t so long ago that everywhere you looked in Japan, there were ads for Korean pop groups, cosmetics and health drinks. More people than ever were snapping up Korean language textbooks and, despite territorial squabbles and a few extreme-right noise makers, Japan was positively leaping on anything prefixed by the letter ‘K’.

Recent reports, however, suggest that all is not well in the K-pop music camp in Japan, with major Korean record label and talent agency S.M. Entertainment reporting losses of more than 70% compared to the same period last year. Has the K-pop bubble finally burst in Japan?

Despite boasting sales amounting to some $44 million in the first quarter of 2012, Japan’s Livedoor News reported last week that S.M. Entertainment’s profits fell by more than 70% during the same period this year, prompting industry analysts to wonder whether it’s finally game over for Korean pop idols in Japan.

The K-pop train may not be running at quite the speed it once did, but the real cause of S.M. Entertainment’s sudden dip in financial fortunes may not be Japanese fans’ indifference to their neighbors’ music so much as the fact that their money is worth less than it used to be abroad.

“No matter how you look at it, the cheap yen is very likely the major factor here,” said the editor of a Japan-based Korean entertainment magazine. “According to Korean financial analysts, some 70% of S.M.’s profits come from overseas, with Japan making up close to 50% of that. It’s only natural that, having relied on the [previously] strong yen so much, the company should take a hit now.”

Thanks in part to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s recent ‘Abenomics‘ financial footwork, the cost of the yen has fallen significantly for the first time in years, making life a little easier for Japanese companies trading outside of their homeland, but neighboring countries are feeling the strain as a result.

An S.M. Entertainment spokesperson responded to fears that the Japanese K-pop industry was in trouble, saying that the company had indeed posted much lower profits than in previous years, but stressed that the second financial quarter is set to be far more lucrative, with big names like Girls’ Generation and boy-band SHINee both going on tour and performing at a number of venues in Japan during the summer. Even so, with the yen far cheaper than it was last year, you can be sure that S.M., and many other Korean companies that rely on their Japanese fan base, will be left fondly remembering the days when their Japanese customers’ yen was worth much more back home.

Source: Livedoor News

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- Why Japan Doesn’t Care About PSY -- Korea Sees Marked Decrease in Number of Japanese Tourists -- South Korea Hates Japan More Than North Korea & Loves America

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66 Comments
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Japan should concentrate on making JPop better and more musical, original and global.. .. and not copy Kpop...

-6 ( +11 / -17 )

SK pop? SK drama anyone?

If you want to sell something to your neighbor please be nice shall we?

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Japan should concentrate on making JPop better and more musical, original and global

I always liked Japanese music because it was someway unique, so I don't want it becomes more "global". More global = more western.

3 ( +11 / -8 )

Japan should concentrate on making JPop better and more musical, original and global.. .. and not copy Kpop...

Stop copying period... everything nowadays is in someways a copy of American pop music. Everyone looks like Lady Gaga or some wannabe rapper.

-4 ( +9 / -13 )

Once you've seen the Kara booty shake dance a few times the novelty wears off. Like all fads, they come and go. Time for Kpop to go.

13 ( +17 / -4 )

As a teenager in the late 90s I listened to K Pop, but now I couldn't tell Kara from Girls Generation if my life depended on it.

Much of the K Pop idol groups are aimed at teenagers in Korea and overseas, basically the same target demographic of J Bieber or One Direction. However in Japan the appeal of K Pop has been much broader than that due to cultural factors. I've seen people posting saying they are so over K Pop etc, but unless you are 16 I'm not sure if it was meant for you in the first place.

K Pop idol groups have been using the same formula now for too long, and probably peaked about 3-4 years ago.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Japan has enough crap music on TV, no need to import foreign crap. It'd be cool if they invited talented musicians here. How about Jazz? Some quality music. Classic, Metal, Blues, Funk, etc. All these imbeciles listen to is pop and r&b= garbage. They really need to do something.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Maybe "we hate you Japan, we hate you Japan" kind of lowered the popularity of Korean stuff.

5 ( +17 / -12 )

YES! ;D! This is good news to me, I am glad the KPOP WAVE is dieing in Japan. Japan should focus on JPOP and not promote so much KPOP. Honestly KPOP is just loopy and loopy, girl groups being all similarish and even male groups. Japanese Pop not so much their different somehow.

I used to listen to KPOP alot I mean alot but now not much, older KPOP is better these days. JPOP is more my thing these days.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

I really don't know which is worse, K-Pop or J-Pop. It's like saying, do you want to have your left ear cut off, or your right ear cut off?

3 ( +7 / -4 )

About K-pop, it's very popular in Europe so if K-pop artists want to get more money, Europe is going K-pop crazy (as evidence from seeing sold-out concerts in various places in UK, France, and Germany. That and the UK is playing K-pop music video on one music channel), I check the European music market and there is more money then Japan and US combined.

I always liked Japanese music because it was someway unique, so I don't want it becomes more "global". More global = more western.

It's not safe for J-pop to stay in Japan/Asia. I'm concerned about the J-pop music industry. The sales in J-pop has went down in Japan for the last few years:

http://www.billboard.com/biz/articles/news/global/1098866/japans-2011-physical-music-sales-drop

http://www.billboard.com/biz/articles/news/1178956/digital-music-sales-decline-in-japan-industry-looks-to-exports

I like to add that the population decline in Japan could also hurt the music industry, Japan's population decline is getting worse:

http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2013/03/28/Japans-population-decline-highlighted/UPI-11001364445270/

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/japan/9999591/Japans-population-suffers-biggest-fall-in-history.html

Japan also might killed their own music industry when they passed this law effecting music downloading last year:

http://en.rocketnews24.com/2012/11/05/a-month-after-japans-strict-new-download-law-comes-into-effect-survey-suggests-that-consumers-are-spending-less-than-ever-on-music/

As I said it's not safe for J-pop to stay in Japan. I've been monitoring the K-pop explosion and this music is getting more mainstream in Western Europe. A lot of people have asked why didn't J-pop get the same explosion like K-pop did despite the anime/manga popularity. Japan is falling behind their Korean counterpart when it comes to dramas and pop music. Also Taiwan has exported their dramas outside of Asia, I found out that several Taiwanese dramas has been broadcasted in Latin America to cash in on the K-drama popularity.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ck0fbYiW-rU

No J-dramas has been broadcasted in Latin America. Also more Taiwanese drama are coming to western streaming sites like Dramafever, Crunchyroll, Viki. For J-dramas, there is less then 10 J-dramas (2 on Dramafever, 4 on Viki, and 7 on Crunchyroll) while I can find over 150+ K-dramas. What does that tell you???

There are more K-pop concerts outside of Korea and Asia and not a lot of J-pop concerts (I'm not going to count anime cons), and a lot of J-pop have not performed outside of Japan. So that is bad news, I met former J-pop fans that said they quit J-pop because they feel that J-pop artists don't give a damn about their international fans outside of Asia. Because of the Hallyu/Korean Wave, a lot of people have asked: Is Japan losing it's cool?

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Asia-Pacific/2012/1208/Is-Japan-losing-its-cool

After reading the article, I seem to agree Japan is falling behind their Korean counterpart and Super Junior and Girls Generation/SNSD are more famous and well-known then EXILE and AKB48.

I'm not hating on J-pop, but it's unacceptable that J-pop is being kept in Japan when there are international fans outside of Asia that want to have these artists to go to their countries to perform a concert for them. Before I end my message, I want you to read this last article:

http://koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/culture/2013/07/386_138851.html

That's right, K-pop artists are going to do world tour while J-pop like AKB48, EXILE, Arashi, Morning Musume are still being kept in Japan/Asia. I never seen EXILE going down to South America when Super Junior did that. No J-pop artists has ever went down to South America (I'm not going to count J-rock). Also AKB48 has never went to Australia when Girls Generation did that. SCANDAL might have done concerts outside of Japan/Asia but they never done a world tour. I like to also add that Turkey will get it's first K-pop concert, Music Bank:

http://www.allkpop.com/article/2013/07/music-bank-to-head-to-istanbul-turkey

As far as I know, there's never been any J-pop concerts in Turkey which is very sad to hear.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

@ Michael Do - I am Korean and obviously want to see it do well, but to say Europe is going crazy for K Pop is a misrepresentation.

Yes there are videos of teenagers across Europe queuing up for tickets to concerts and signing petitions to stage concerts, but it is far, far from mainstream.

In the 90s when I was growing up in Aus, K Pop was for Koreans, Chinese and South East Asian students, with a handful of token 'white' Aussie fans who would surprise us by memorising entire songs - but they were the peculiar type, the odd bunch..

Since then K Pop has definately made a mark but it will always remain niche outside Asia and South East Asia.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Michael Do i would not go as far to say K-pop is popular in the UK, only Psy and that is about it.And then that was only one song.From little experience i have of J-pop artists ( only over the last few years) they do not need to expand overseas due to their own fan base here.Its a shame they do not go to the UK i think they would do quite well there, more than any K-pop group or artist.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

K-pop is really not that big. Its a small market in North America. Only maybe some of the Asians here listen to K-pop, and only a handful are fans. You'll rarely find a non-Asian that listens to K-pop. Gangam Style is the only exception but everyone's tired of that song already.

Japan's music market is tied with the USA as the largest music markets in the world. The Japanese music market is valued at USD$4.42 billion and the USA music market at USD$4.44 billion.

There has been talks for J-pop to go international in the past year but its doing it slowly, there's been a major shift of Japanese artists working with Western producers. There's a development going on its just not as exaggerated as K-pop. People who work in the Japanese music industry are aware of their declining economy which is why there is a slow development to go international to make their music globally competitive. Its all very hush hush, that's how Japanese companies work.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Boo hoo hoo, no more k pop. Finally if it is true I hope they move onto Korean dramas next.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

@Peter Payne That's probably part of it, too. This goes alongside with the large decrease of Japanese visitors to Korea. The thing is, K-Pop is just expressly fabricated and subsidized by the Korean government with the aim of exporting "Korean culture" to the world. Why?

Historically and culturally Korea has always been overshadowed by her two former masters, China and Japan, and has contributed nothing of significance that made them stand out globally (save perhaps for No. Korea, Kim Jong-Il, etc.) Koreans themselves know this and the insecurity of being the footstool of East Asia has been deeply embedded in their collective psyche. So, the Korean cultural ministry in an effort to offset the non-interest in their country and culture in the late '90s started (and continue) to vigorously promote the so-called "Korean wave." Note that it's mainly repackaged pop culture stuff which is no different or distinguishable from J-Pop or Western pop, both of which have a longer history and more established worldwide than anything from Korea. Note also that the Korean government pushes and funds Korean mostly K-pop culture stuff instead of anything of REAL culture such as the traditional arts and crafts. It just shows you that either they lack confidence in their own genuine cultural offerings or that simply that they don't have anything interesting or of value to present to the world.

Perhaps what is interesting is that promoters of this "Korean wave" continue to discuss how to sustain this fabricated trend even as they know it's run its course. They seem to be proud of their K-pop culture as if it were something original and of real cultural value. I guess if one doesn't have confidence in his own traditional culture (and/or perhaps feel some shame for being a divided country) or one's country has never really been popular internationally one will do anything to get attention by rehashing and repackaging pop culture and exporting that instead. More than anything, their desperate yearning to be noticed and acknowledged by the world at whatever cost speaks volumes about their way of thinking and their character. Koreans should realize that having such an inherent insecurity and inferiority complex will only work against, not in, their favor. After the initial attraction to K-pop and 'Korean wave' is gone, people are starting to see Korea and Koreans as they are, warts and all. And no amount of Vankers and online pro-Korean patriots desperately trying to present a glossy, likeable image of Korea and her people can hide that.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

LOL, Stop using the weak yen as an excuse!

Kpop was good for once, in fact I listen to it. They caught my attention even though I have a love for Jpop. The thing with kpop is that they're running out of gimmicks and ideas. Most of the music videos they release have the same pattern, that is dancing in a flash wide background. They do that over and over and I got sick and tired of it. Plus some songs they produce sounds like anime theme song. An example is KARA's Pandora. It sounded like some Bishoujo anime like Sailormoon's opening music, and people on youtube noticed that.

Kpop has gotten boring! And their decline is inevitable. Not even another one hit wonder Gangnam song is going to save them. The Japanese are probably thinking the same. Just like any wave, it must calm down. History has it. Look what happened to Macarena?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I'm Korean and haven't listened to K Pop since about 2002 or so. Coincidentally this is when I turned 20.

The K Pop most of you think of is targeted at teenagers. If you don't like it don't listen to it. Why are people using it as a thinly veiled swipe at Korea?

I don't listen to Justin Bieber or One Direction, and if anything I dislike them, but you won't see me have a go at the countries where they are from.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

I'm not a fan of K-Pop either, but it's much better than the nails-on-chalkboard noise pollution coming from "artists" like Kari-Pamyu-Pamyu.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

I"m happty that all this Kpop Jpop is dying. never liked it.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Well, I think that Girls' Generation are interesting. They adapt well to their local audience. In America, they look and act like Asian-Americans, and sing in English (naturally, they sound just like any other American girl group). While in Asia, they look and act like typical "cute" (and sometimes infantile) Asian women. In Japan they sing in Japanese, etc.

That said, they are more enthusiastically welcomed and accepted in Asia than in the West. That's not very surprising, since Western music isn't all that popular in Asia, either. In reality, Asian and Western culture are very different, and pop music is a particular cultural expression that is expressed through songs. I think that those who are interested in Asian music are those who are interested in and are well versed in Asian culture. The same could be said for those who are interested in Western music in Asia.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

Weakening of the Yen has absolutely nothing to do with the decline of popularity in K-pop in Japan since currency value depression has no effect in the domestic market in Japan.

The only fact is that Japanese are losing interest, that is all.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

K pop and J pop has never really been my thing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Genjuro

Is that what Japanese schools teach nowadays? Looks like they taught nothing of Japan's student role to its teachers China and Korea for most of its history.

I just figured out why WW2 is such a sensitive issue to East Asia. It's cuz it's the only time Japan had any power. As Japan holds over 250k artifacts from the Korean peninsula, Japan has no right to lecture anyone on culture let alone civility.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

@ Michael Do - I am Korean and obviously want to see it do well, but to say Europe is going crazy for K Pop is a misrepresentation.Yes there are videos of teenagers across Europe queuing up for tickets to concerts and signing petitions to stage concerts, but it is far, far from mainstream. Since then K Pop has definately made a mark but it will always remain niche outside Asia and South East Asia.

No I've been monitoring the K-pop phenomenon in Europe, it's getting more mainstream in UK and other part of Europe. Here let me show you:

Clubland TV has started to play K-pop on UK TV late of last year and still is playing as of now:

http://unitedkpop.com/2012/09/27/clubland-tv-launches-first-ever-kpop-show-on-british-tv/ http://unitedkpop.com/2012/10/10/exclusive-interview-we-talk-to-clubland-tv-about-their-new-k-pop-show/

So this shows K-pop has a hold in the UK.

UK has also been taking interest into not only K-pop,but Korean music in general.

http://blog.korea.net/?p=16202

Also if K-pop is not popular in the UK, why would a lot of British media report on K-pop postively:

http://unitedkpop.com/2013/07/11/rains-military-discharge-featured-on-bbc-news/

I don't see CNN or other western media reported on Rain's military discharge, only BBC was nice enough to do it.

The Guardian, another UK media has also reported about K-pop and Girls Generation has gotten a lot of attention:

http://unitedkpop.com/2013/06/19/snsd-featured-in-the-guardian-once-again/

http://unitedkpop.com/2012/11/17/the-guardian-reports-on-girls-generation-and-their-chances-of-uk-success/

http://unitedkpop.com/2011/10/02/the-guardian-points-out-snsd-kpop-leaders/

I never seen AKB48 getting an article in the UK media. Also if K-pop wasn't popular in the UK, why would the BBC and KBS teamed up to do a documentary on K-pop and that include a big K-pop concert in the UK:

http://unitedkpop.com/2012/08/03/bbc-to-co-produce-k-pop-concert-and-documentary-with-kbs/ http://www.allkpop.com/article/2012/08/kbs-and-bbc-to-co-produce-k-pop-concert-and-documentary http://kpopconcerts.com/kpop-concert/what-could-the-bbc-and-kbss-collaboration-mean-to-k-pop-in-britain/

In France, TF1 reported that K-pop phenomenon is breaking out like crazy after Gangnam Style:

http://lci.tf1.fr/culture/musique/le-20h-avant-l-heure-le-phenomene-k-pop-deferle-en-france-7839554.html

In Mexico, U-KISS has gotten a lot of attention when they did a concert:

http://www.korea.net/NewsFocus/Culture/view?articleId=109746

K-pop has already gone mainstream in Mexico since 2011, as in K-pop MVs is played on Mexican TV

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MONbOw0RKsk&feature=youtu.be

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPkRnR1m9ZY&feature=youtu.be

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDwatEcp8Uw&feature=youtu.be

Mexican radio has also played K-pop on it's radio:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1hVemAMj0I&feature=youtu.be

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qG_E06gM1Wg

Nowhere in J-pop history, I've never heard of AKB48, EXILE, Arashi, or Morning Musume music has been play on Mexican radio where K-pop has successfully ended up playing on Mexican radio.

The Hallyu wave is bigger then most people thought. I wish Japan could learn from this because I want AKB48, EXILE to become Japan's Super Junior and Girls Generation. It's not safe for J-pop to stay in Japan because of the weak yen, population decline, and the low local sales in Japan.

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

Excellent news that Kpop has all but died in Japan, and nobody listens to them.

I think that's just excellent. Now that Kpop has been exterminated in Japan, hopefully the inferiority/insecurity complexed Japanese protests against Kpop, in front of TV station's, will also not happen anymore.

If Kpop is eliminated from Japan, there will be no more anti Kpop protests, right?

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

About K-pop, I started to know it only in the 2000s, thanks to Youtube. I think K-pop girlbands and boybands seem very americanized, their songs are often catchy, but it's not like I never heard this kind of music before...American and British music has always been like that, and also my country, Italy, produced songs like that, it is called "italodance". Maybe you could know Eiffel 65, they were really popular in the late 90s...This song was a worldwide hit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68ugkg9RePc Yeah, autotune everywhere xD like you can hear in many K-pop songs. I'm not saying K-pop is bad, many artists are very, very good dancers, and the songs are catchy (I like in particular some songs from Big Bang), but to me it's like listening to eurodance or American music, only sung in Korean. In Italy K-pop isn't mainstream, except for Psy; at the moment, there's only a niche of fans who listen to Korean music thanks to internet. Also J-pop isn't mainstream, but we have got the chance to listen to Japanese music on tv watching anime for 30 years, basically... K-pop has much more potential to become global than J-pop because of its western sound, but I don't want Japanese music loses that typical vibe that I learned to love since I was a child, so I prefer it doesn't try to sound more western only to be more competitive. :)

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@hikari-e:

I'm glad to see Japan is taking the K-pop explosion seriously. But Japan needs to make more use of social media and Youtube, that's how K-pop was able to do well outside of Korea and Asia. I knew sooner or later J-pop will have to perform outside of Japan because not only the weak yen, because K-pop artists are getting more famous around the world, it might drive J-pop artists jealous that their Korean counterpart are getting more famous. But

The major problem for J-pop artists is that they keep ignoring their international fans outside of Asia (I never seen AKB48 going to Australia, or South America when K-pop has done that. EXILE never performed outside of Japan when Super Junior performed outside of Korea). I've met former J-pop fans that quit J-pop because they feel that J-pop artists don't give a damn about their international fans where Korean take their international fans seriously. I know some J-pop singers like Kana Nishino can speak English, how come she never done any English-language album for the western market. That's why J-pop concerts outside of Asia is very rare, and I never seen J-pop concerts as big as SMTown, United Cube, or Music Bank.

I don't count J-rock and visual kei on the same level as J-pop, but K-pop has does many thing that J-pop wasn't able to do. I never seen EXILE performing outside of Japan nor any of the Johnny's performing outside of Japan when their Korean counterpart are able to do this.

K-pop had done many things J-pop was not able to do, like for example, SMTown concert in LA back in 2010 made it on Billboard Boxscores chart, I never seen J-pop able to do this:

http://www.asiae.co.kr/news/view.htm?idxno=2010101516295549201

Namie Amuro might have perform at World Music Awards, but her Korean counterpart, Lee Hyori became the first asian model for Swarovski:

http://www.korea.net/NewsFocus/Daily-News/view?flag=2&articleId=493&lgroupId=A120200

K-pop singers ZE:A, Nine Muses, and Seo In Young became the first East Asian pop singers to perform in the Middle East, no J-pop has ever performed in the Middle East:

http://www.allkpop.com/article/2011/11/seo-in-young-and-nine-muses-land-on-the-front-page-of-uae-gulf-news

http://www.allkpop.com/article/2012/04/zea-successfully-holds-fan-meeting-in-dubai-showcase-in-abu-dhabi

K-pop has also done concerts in South America, beside J-rock I never seen J-pop done any big concerts in South America nor Mexico. I never seen Arashi, EXILE, or AKB48 doing concerts in those countries when there are fans down there.

Also we're seeing K-pop artists are doing world tour like Girls Generation, Infinite, DBSK, and CNBlue are doing their first world tour and for J-pop not a lot, just Perfume and Kyary Pamyu Pamyu have done world tour. I don't see AKB48 doing a world tour nor EXILE, nor Arashi performing outside of Japan. SCANDAL although has internatonal fanbases and have performed outside of Japan, they have not done a real world tour. Do you not want international fans to have J-pop concerts in their country? Do you not want EXILE to perform outside of Japan?

Japan's music may make more money, but J-pop artists are ignoring their international fans outside of Japan and Asia. K-pop although don't make a lot of money but they take international fanbases very seriously and don't ignore them. It's true that Japan's music market may surpass US, but for how long?? because Japanese CDs are expensive and Japan pass a restrictive law on music download. I like to add there are more K-pop concerts outside of Korea and outside of Asia and not a lot of J-pop concerts outside of Asia (I don't count J-rock). Although Japan may surpass US in term of music sales, South Korea's economy could overtake Japan's economy soon:

http://www.economist.com/node/21553498

http://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=173551#.UeRRCo3VB8H

What is giving Korea's economy that edge over Japan, well the Hallyu/Korean Wave is giving that

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

@Michael Do: you know...music isn't all about money. Music is about...music.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

who cares about what K-pop sounds like? The girls sure look hot !!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@Michael Do: you know...music isn't all about money. Music is about...music.

I know, that's what I like about K-pop, the artists care about their international fans, while many J-pop artists don't seen to take international fans seriously (only Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, Perfume, and many J-rock care about international fans). K-pop may not make a lot of money, but performing for their fans around the world makes me happy. When it comes to CD for K-pop and J-pop, I find K-pop CDs much cheaper where J-pop CDs are just ridiculously expensive.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

@Michael Do: you know...music isn't all about money. Music is about...music.

With a small percentage of exceptions, music hasn't been about music for well around 60 years.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

K-pop has much more potential to become global than J-pop because of its western sound, but I don't want Japanese music loses that typical vibe that I learned to love since I was a child, so I prefer it doesn't try to sound more western only to be more competitive. :)

Well here's the downside for J-pop for not going global, they could lose international fans because they feel that J-pop artists don't take notice of their international fans. I've met former J-pop fans that said they quit J-pop because they feel like they don't give a damn about their international fans and said Korean care more about their international fans. As much as I want to see more J-pop concerts outside of Japan, it's inevitable J-pop will have to be globalized, it's just not safe for J-pop to stay in Japan. If K-pop continue to get more mainstream, J-pop artists will get jealous and may not want to be kept in Japan. I doubt J-pop will change it's style but Japanese labels may push to have J-pop exported outside of Japan.

In Italy K-pop isn't mainstream, except for Psy

It hasn't reached mainstream in Italy, but I've notice that K-pop is getting more mainstream in Western Europe after Gangnam Style. So maybe there are more K-pop fans in Italy then you think. I recalled Super Junior was nominated at MTV Italy award:

http://en.korea.com/blog/enter/k-pop/super-junior-nominated-at-mtv-italy-awards-2013/

So that's something. So if Super Junior became the first K-pop to perform in Italy, it could drive many J-pop fans jealous demanding a J-pop concerts in Italy.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Michael Do You keep saying K-po is popular in the UK i can assure it is not. You give links to say it is but Clubland Tv is a small channel on Sky (satellite) and Rains discharge probably got a 30 slot on breakfast tv hardly big news(i know him as an actor more).All your links are good and well but i doubt anyone in the UK reads them to know about K-pop,Psy only got big through youtube and the social media.David Hasselhoff has probably sold more records in Germany than Psy has and is sill popular there,can you say the same about Psy now after his one record hit?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

No, they care about international money, it's different.

A lot of K-pop artists do fanmeeting, they're very passionate about their international fans unlike J-pop artists, tell me did Arashi ever met their international fans outside of Asia unlike SHINee where they met their French fans:

https://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=10150153633106020

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xibamf_110420-sbs-news-shinee-meeting-korean-connection_music#.UeRsrY3VB8E

Sorry, but I'm really sure K-pop isn't popular yet. We don't have K-pop on tv or on radio, except for Psy. It's incredible like a minor news like that about that boyband, became something important in a Korean site. Most of girls here likes Bibier (or whatever his name is) and One Direction (I don't like them =__= ).

So what, K-pop hasn't been played on UK Radio but yet it already getting popular in the UK without radio or on mainstream music channel (except Clubland TV). HMV in the UK sells K-pop CDs and no British radio (although that could change) has play K-pop yet K-pop CDs in HMV sell out like crazy in the UK:

http://koreanclassmassive.com/2012/01/14/back-to-hmv-kpop-makes-it-to-the-ground-floor/

Because K-pop CDs are selling like crazy in UK, HMV has to make 2 big sections for K-pop, and this link proves it:

http://unitedkpop.com/2012/03/27/updated-k-pop-section-at-hmv-oxford-street/

Even Time Out London back in Feb of this year acknowledged K-pop is getting more popular in the UK and no K-pop has been played on radio and only Clubland TV played K-pop MVs:

http://unitedkpop.com/2013/02/26/time-out-london-mention-kpop-as-a-hot-trend/

So you see you don't need radio to play K-pop. I have never seen J-pop getting this same type of attention like K-pop did.

Well Super Junior got nominated on MTV Italy music award, that's good news. K-pop has been talked about on Italian news several time:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cajhchFAC5k

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9erYPxsGSAU

As I said, there maybe more K-pop fans in Italy then you think, you're not looking carefully and maybe there are stores that sell K-pop CDs in Italy (I know K-pop CDs are sold in France, and Germany). I don't see a big J-pop concerts coming to Italy anytime, but a K-pop concerts probably

To get more mainstream, J-pop should change its style for sure.

No, it doesn't need to. I don't mind creativity, but J-pop should find a way to keep it style. I've seen some J-pop sounding similar to US pop and sometime K-pop already. J-rock already sound similar to US rock and heavy metal, so there is no such thing as originality.

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

@Liam Roberts: yeah, if you read his posts, it seems like K-pop is conquering the whole Europe, when it's only one song that became viral, making Psy popular. Nobody denies that Gangnam style got a huge success, but talking about a "Korean wave" in Europe isn't correct. Even if Psy is popular, tons of people know only he is Asian, they don't know his exact nationality either. I don't know if he is trying to brainwash us, when we actually live in Europe. O_o

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Despite boasting sales amounting to some $44 million in the first quarter of 2012, Japan’s Livedoor News reported last week that S.M. Entertainment’s profits fell by more than 70% during the same period this year, prompting industry analysts to wonder whether it’s finally game over for Korean pop idols in Japan.

I don't know if they are one of the largest entertainment company in Korea or not but the revenue figure, even if annualized is quite small, IMO. It accounts for less than one tenths of Avex.

Like other have already stated, the Japanese market is the second largest if not eventually will be the largest so it's common sense for their artists to appeal to the domestic audience which most importantly, use Japanese composers and Japanese lyrics unlike the Korean counterparts where there domestic market is so small that they try to cater towards the global audiences in small percentages. Hence, it's apples and oranges.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

K-pop has been talked about on Italian news several time

Lol, our media talk also about AKB48:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LtHsx1pbc6Y

http://video.repubblica.it/spettacoli-e-cultura/akb48-96-ragazzine-giapponesi-vs-lady-gaga/84678/83067

Anyway, this doesn't make them popular, even if they have their small fanbase (if you could read the comments on the first video from TG2, you would see some fans hated it because it wasn't considerated professional enough).

You are trying really hard. :/

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Michael Do One little stand in HMV on the ground floor does not mean an explosion of K-pop in the UK they do that anytime for a week then its someone else.Also HMV sales have been declining for the last few years that's why they were in administration last year and many were closed so K-pop sales can't be that good or anyone else included, the HMV your link refers to is in Oxford Street which probably has a bigger selection of Beatles records than K-pop records put together.I left the UK about 6 months ago and was there for 45 years and Psy was the only Korean artist that i know of to get in the top 40 so have i missed the rest of the so called k-pop explosion. I know more about J-pop which is not a lot,only SMAP ,EXILE, AKB48 to my wife's amusement. EXILE would give TAKETHAT a run for their money in putting on a show from what i've seen on youtube .i am not trying to put down K-pop but please do not say its getting popular in a country by just looking at links live there and see it .

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Is that what Japanese schools teach nowadays? Looks like they taught nothing of Japan's student role to its teachers China and Korea for most of its history.

@EastAsiaForeigner Well, that would apply if I went to a Japanese school or were Japanese. Sorry to disappoint your second-guessing but nope on both counts.

yeah, if you read his posts, it seems like K-pop is conquering the whole Europe, when it's only one song that became viral, making Psy popular. Nobody denies that Gangnam style got a huge success, but talking about a "Korean wave" in Europe isn't correct. Even if Psy is popular, tons of people know only he is Asian, they don't know his exact nationality either. I don't know if he is trying to brainwash us, when we actually live in Europe. O_o

@Alex80 I think you're probably used to seeing pro-Korean online propagandists who keep on trying to make Korea appear popular or loved by posting incessantly online. It's nothing new, but it's funny when they get busted for their claims.

By the way, I discovered Maison Ikkoku rather late but enjoyed the story and the music. Even have the OST on my iPod. Takahashi-sensei also wrote the popular Ranma 1/2 series which you may have already heard of. Japanese anime from the 80's were also popular in other Asian countries then and resonate with many adults who grew up with it. Interesting that's it's the same case for Italy.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

@Alex80 I think you're probably used to seeing pro-Korean online propagandists who keep on trying to make Korea appear popular or loved by posting incessantly online. It's nothing new, but it's funny when they get busted for their claims.

Well, yeah, I saw some people like that. They are right about Asia, where K-pop is really loved, but it's not popular everywhere. In Italy isn't popular, no matter what Michael Do is trying to show. It has its fanbase, but it's still limited.

By the way, I discovered Maison Ikkoku rather late but enjoyed the story and the music. Even have the OST on my iPod. Takahashi-sensei also wrote the popular Ranma 1/2 series which you may have already heard of. Japanese anime from the 80's were also popular in other Asian countries then and resonate with many adults who grew up with it. Interesting that's it's the same case for Italy.

Sadly we are off topic, indeed the mods already erased the part of my earlier post about this argument, but yeah, I know Ranma 1/2, it was really popular in Italy, also Urusei Yatsura and Inuyasha. ;)

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Never cared about K-Pop. Never much cared about the idol groups. Sometimes they are fun to watch but I prefer real musicians. Never cared much for the Korean language, just sounds harsher. I understand the attraction for K-drama since J-drama are poor in comparison. Still, I have noticed that some K-drama are seems to be based on Japanese Anime with a twist. As for Maison Ikkoku, still my favorite, it's a nice complete story. Like the Doco songs from Ranma 1/2 and Ranma 1/2 as well as Inuyasha but never cared for the endings. For music and story, KOR is good. Execpt for Inuyasha, these are all from the 1980s, same time as Touch. Maybe I like the music from this time since it was similar to music from the lete 60s and 70s in the US.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@genjuro:

then how do you explain J-pop having not the same breakout like K-pop, I mean there are more K-pop concerts outside of Asia. I never seen J-pop concerts as big as SMTown, United Cube, or Music Bank outside of Asia. Also because of social media and Youtube K-pop is able to get popular outside of Asia. it may not have gone fully mainstream but it's getting more mainstream attention in Europe. We're expecting to see more K-pop concerts in Europe very soon. As I said, it's not safe for J-pop to stay in Japan due to population decline and weak yen. Also I met people that quit J-pop because they feel like J-pop artists don't give a damn about their international fans. I never seen EXILE performing outside of Japan.

@Liam Roberts: I've been monitoring the sales at HMV via Facebook and Twitter and it has sold out a lot even before and after Gangnam Style. It's true Oxford St only has K-pop, but I do know another store that sell K-pop CDs in London. Although no other K-pop artists other then PSY have made the top 40, but it's possible SNSD and 2NE1 could also break into the European market if done at the right time. I've talked to a German K-pop fan on Youtube and I can confirmed according to this fan, K-pop is getting more mainstream in Germany (stores selling K-pop CDs, flashmob becoming more frequent, and K-pop dance parties becoming . As I said many of you are underestimating the Korean Wave.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

about this argument*

I meant topic...I guess "argument" can sound weird. Sorry, my English sucks. ^^"

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Back to the Bieber Bubble?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I don't really think that K-pop and J-pop will be that popular outside of Asia. I mean look, the only types of music that have international appeal are classical music, British music and American music.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

don't really think that K-pop and J-pop will be that popular outside of Asia. I mean look, the only types of music that have international appeal are classical music, British music and American music.

Agree. Anyway, when you say "American music", are you including also Latin American music? I think you should, it is pretty popular.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Michael Do Like i said before k-pop is not popular in the UK apart from Psy(one track wonder).You say you have been monitoring sales of K-pop in the UK, well it takes about 2000-2500 cd sales to get into the top 100(,and not that much more to the top 40)so if you say such artists are selling out everywhere they are not selling a lot to get anywhere near the top 40 and possibly 100.do not want to sound like a broken record but NOT POPULAR IN THE UK.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Kpop is doing more than fine in the rest of the world besides Japan so I don't think they are losing sleep over it.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Did my comment get deleted? I don't see it anywhere.

@ Michael Do First of all, Hyori Lee endorser of Swarovski, so what? That's nothing in comparison to winning Best Asian Artist at the World Music Awards (under the agreement of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry) and selling out 5 Dome tours (each holding 50,000 people) and selling 35 million records. Namie Amuro also endorses Coca Cola and Vidal Sassoon and has been photographed by Karl Lagerfeld for VOGUE Japan.

J-pop does not cater to international fans because they don't need to. Don't you understand that? The Japanese music market worth USD$4.42 billion rivalling the USA's USD$4.44 means Japanese artists don't have the need to go international.

The South Korean music industry, "K-pop" is worth USD$300 million. Despite all of those "K-pop is international" slogan of yours it is no match to J-pop in overall music value.

J-pop is going to go international, you just have to be patient.There was talks amongst music executives last year for J-pop to go international within the next few years. The first step is setting up international fan clubs. The next step is the J-pop artists signing record deals with multinational record labels like Universal Music , Sony Music or Warner Bros. Unlike K-pop, the way Japanese music industry is doing it takes longer, they want to create a firm long-lasting base in the world music industry by making the right connection.

K-pop is one huge fad, it has no long-term worldwide longevity. It caters to teenagers. Japanese music even J-pop has so much variety and diversity it can cater to all people in the spectrum.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

KPOP has gotten boring that's all! Even the italians are annoyed with PSY.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zX2n0tK0dvs

1 ( +5 / -4 )

pizzatime and genjuro, I'd gladly rip your stomach wide open with a chainsaw, and let your guts spill out, c v nt..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I apologize to all readers for being an idiot.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@uu583fwiafweeai, Apology accepted. Don't do it again.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

hikari-e

The South Korean music industry, "K-pop" is worth USD$300 million. Despite all of those "K-pop is international" slogan of yours it is no match to J-pop in overall music value.

Really? I just checked it out and it said "K-pop" grossed $3.4 billion in the first half of 2012. That's the first half, so the yearly figures are probably the double of that.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K-pop#Sales_and_market_value

The Korean music industry grossed nearly $3.4 billion in the first half of 2012, which amounts to a 27.8% increase from the same period last year, according to Billboard.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

It's interesting, as Japanese people are often touted as being narrow-minded musically (and, given the state of pop 'music', it's not hard to see why), however there are many musical subcultures here that have bigger followings than the same subcultures would see overseas; proving that niche markets here are still enough to keep any artist relevant.

I guess the key difference is that, within these subcultures, bands and musicians are no-doubt doing their best to be original, while keeping true to 'their sound/artist's spirit', while 'artists' like Girls Generation and KARA have middle-aged men doing their best to make them wear less in their next music video.

Audiences are not stupid; thus, they can tell when artists have real substance behind their art.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Yen is not cheap. It still worth 92 per dollar :)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Another interesting thing about the Girls' Generation is that two of the members ("Jessica" and "Tiffany") were born and raised in America, so naturally, they're totally American:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-HkQfyipzA

Their singing is pretty average, but personality wise, they're pretty cool.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dgsjd2Vx3HE

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Really? I just checked it out and it said "K-pop" grossed $3.4 billion in the first half of 2012. That's the first half, so the yearly figures are probably the double of that.

hikari-e is probably referring to this.

http://www.billboard.com/biz/articles/news/digital-and-mobile/1556590/ifpi-2013-recording-industry-in-numbers-global-revenue

$300 million in Korea is a very generous figure.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

So what has kPop got to do with Japan, Japan? Why is this news in Japan? Why does Japan care if "kpop bubble burst"? Can anyone explain?

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Thomas, are you a member of girl generation's fan club or something?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I don't like KPOP.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Really? I just checked it out and it said "K-pop" grossed $3.4 billion in the first half of 2012. That's the first half, so the yearly figures are probably the double of that.

I have no idea where those figures of K-pop grossing $3.4 billion mean or where that came from. The data I provided is from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) which is the world representative of the music industry. The USA and Japan have always been the top markets.

IFPI list the US music market retail value at USD$4.8 billion while Japan at USD$4.4 billion. South Korea is listed at $300 million.

IFPI data is the type of data music executives around the world trust.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

LOL at copy K-pop, bwahahaha... why J-pop need to copy K-pop that inspired by US pop.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Kim....what...are you trying to say?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Michael Do AKB48 had performed on Macau, SIngapore, France and America before. and did you know AKB48 have already group expansion in China and Indonesia. I agree with hikari-e AKB48 and other J-POP group doesn't have to cross borders to promote themselves. cause look they have many international fans even though they're not heavily promoting themselves and just like I mention AKB48 have already group expansion in China and indonesia. and didn't you know that in every AKB48 release single today they sell 1M+ cd in just one day. and they don't need to change anything on their music or image. local and international fans love them for what they are now. they don't need to copy western music just like K-POP artist.their uniqueness and originality is what makes them popular and what makes the fans love them. I bet if K-POP artist can sell just like AKB48 1M+ cd in just one day I doubt they will make an effort to venture internationally.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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