Increased International Appearances on Domestic Shows?

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While it’s more than common enough to hear about Korean groups and singers going over to Japan, one does not hear so often about Japanese singers and entertainers (or those of other countries) making showings in Korea.

There are obvious reasons for both sides of that sentence: Japan ranks second in the world in terms of music industry size/sales (Recording Industry Association of Japan and Wiki), as it seems that people tend to follow set standards rather than try to subvert them. Things are priced higher, but people still pay for them, which is great for a global music industry that has otherwise been trying to deal with online piracy and unregulated downloading.

Meanwhile, Korea’s music market is very small, in revenue value and, especially in popular music, in scope. It is also quite self-protective/protected, and I would dare to venture that those two characteristics, size and nature, feed on each other.

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So I’m kind of happily surprised that Kinki Kids’ Koichi Domoto, a Japanese male idol and duo member, is going to perform as a guest on Mnet’s weekly music show. It kind of brings to mind other guest performers like Jason Derulo and Lady Gaga (also through appearances on Mnet) appearing on Korea’s domestic media stage. Except it’s actually a more nearby neighbor, not a Western-originated entertainer but one from East Asia. And a neighbor that Korea has tried to protect itself from in the markets for a long time.

Maybe it’s not that big a deal, but it’s really interesting to me. Korean pop stars have ventured into the West but really have found the most “international” success in their pan-Asia fandoms. Perhaps they are also now willing to let others do a bit of the same in their own market, and I wonder if this will aggregate to Korea’s pop scene being stretched and stimulated a little more.

Posted on August 9, 2011, in kpop and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Wow – will he be singing in Korean or Japanese?? Has Korea been a target market for music groups from other Asian countries? I know this seems kind of silly, but part of the reason why seeing so much kpop in Thailand was strange for me was because Korea is such an insular music industry. Good post! :)

    • He’ll be singing in Japanese! I mean he probably knows a few Korean phrases that he’ll give out gratuitously, but otherwise, I’ve pretty much never heard of Japanese singers releasing songs in Korean. Korea’s not really a target market, but people from other Asian countries have the desire to /join/ Korean companies and debut through the local market (like the Chinese/Thai/American members of groups). Haha it’s insular but it’s aggressive in spreading! I think Rafael has called it a kind of cultural colonization?

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