This paper studies the connection between the emergence and market making activities of the large Korean entertainment houses and the global level success of "K-pop," an increasingly popular type of Korean popular music. We review a set of conventional explanations, respectively pointing to cultural factors, government support, and technological development as core factors that led to the global success of K-pop. We find all three explanations unsatisfactory and, alternatively, building on studies of market intermediaries, argue that the roles of three large entertainment houses - SM Entertainment, YG Entertainment, and JYP Entertainment - have been the most crucial in the development and success of K-pop. Through combining data from Korean music charts, newspaper articles, and revenue data, we trace the increasingly systematic musical production strategies of the entertainment houses and the macro-consequences of their organizational activities.
- Globalization of music
- Media groups
- Popular music industry
- Producer driven production
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Political Science and International Relations