The Power of K-Pop and a Lesson in American Pop Music History

South Korean recording artist PSY.

I’ve had four opportunites to travel internationally. I love experiencing other cultures. One thing that has struck me on each trip is this: no matter where in the world you go, you hear American music. Recently, I heard a very interesting podcast about this from Planet Money. They were speaking about the rising influence of Korean pop music as evidenced by the current global hit “Gangnam Style” by artist PSY. This rise in Korean pop culture influence is intentional, built from the ground up, and is only the beginning. In South Korea, they developed in 20 years what it took the USA 100 years to develop: namely, “the star maker machinery behind the popular song.”

The podcast gives a crash course in American pop music history from Stephen Foster to the jukebox and NSync. Like any export, K-pop has succeeded because it learned to manufacture, distribute, and package pop music.

Over to you: What would the ramifications be to our global economy if the USA were dethroned as the dominate exporter of pop culture?



About Jonathan Riggs

Singer, actor, songwriter, and entrepreneur. And I like vanilla bean.
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