Remember this article I just wrote recently about the market being flooded with idol groups? Well, in a fortunate bit of timing, apparently a journalist in Korea picked up on the issue as well and he (or possibly she) revealed that people within the music industry aren’t dumb to what’s happening either.
“Girl group A receives a hot response in Japan”
“Boy group B gets cheered on by Chinese fans”
The above phrases are the titles of numerous press releases that are sent out every day by management companies of idol groups throughout South Korea.
So at least somebody cops to the ridiculousness of this shit.
The hot phrase being passed around music industry circles right now is ‘overflow’. One entertainment company worker revealed, “There are too many companies which lack professionalism. And on top of that, acting companies have sought to tap into the ‘K-Pop Boom’ with their own artists as well. The pie is limited, and there are too many people wanting a slice.”
KEEP IT REALLY REAL THEN
Seriously though, that was almost as direct as what I wrote, which is surprising.
Due to this ‘overflow’, many of the new rookies on the scene often aren’t even granted a chance. An industry worker whose company recently released a rookie girl group said, “The only way for artists to show their face is through music programs, but in the case of the popular shows their schedules are filled three months in advance,” he confessed. “Since we can’t just keep delaying all the time, there are times when we release the music without any broadcast performances.”
Right, which is why they tend to get relegated to these new music shows that keep popping up all the time but that nobody actually watches and will eventually be canceled/have already been cancelled.
It’s sort of sad, honestly.
For those idol groups who have been turned down domestically, the only way left is to try overseas. In countries such as China or Southeast Asia, where K-Pop idol groups are the hot product, the strategy is to gain foreign fans first before parlaying that into domestic success.
But even that is often met with cold responses. “We went because we were told it was a ‘performance’, but it would sometimes be a nightclub or an ‘event’-type stage set up by a local government,” confessed an industry worker.
“Although there are many popular idol groups, it is rare that they travel overseas. So as a replacement, people are looking for merely ‘Korean idol groups’ instead,” he sighed.
I’m guessing this is where idol dissatisfaction comes into play, because I can’t imagine being a teenager training all your life, and you finally get to debut, but you find that you’re in some dingy club in a foreign country where nobody knows who you are or why you’re there.
FUCK THAT I’M OUT
It does explain why so many irrelevant groups just push overseas even though they are basically destined to flop hard.
Even in established K-Pop strongholds such as Japan, the effect of ‘Hallyu’ has been overblown. “Groups such as TVXQ, KARA, and Girls’ Generation, they have a strong name-value,” said Haneda Junko, a Korean residing in Japan. “Although it is reported that all of the Japanese people are favorable towards K-Pop, even in Japan the idol market has a very limited base of hardcore fans, who seem to have transitioned towards K-Pop as a trend.”
Basically what I’ve always tried to say. There are a handful of real movers and shakers from the K-pop industry in Japan, but the rest, despite tons of hype and promotion, flop worse than J-pop/J-rock groups whose promotion involves jerking off at home while a bus plays their shit around Tokyo.
In a word, only the ‘first generation’ of K-Pop crossover acts have reached success. But why does Korea’s media outlets broadcast their success day in, day out? An industry worker explained the phenomenon: “In the case of album sales, there are specific numbers, but it’s hard to confirm the responses of foreigners,” he revealed. “The truth of the matter is, Korean entertainment companies have to use any way to publicize, even if we have to resort to that method.”
I still don’t understand this. I get what the worker is saying, but why is that an excuse for what happens to journalism? So basically, Japan only has sales news coming out every so often that they can hype, but they have no actual way to measure market penetration otherwise, so the companies need to exaggerate their accomplishments in foreign countries in lieu of just having dead space.
Well what I want to know WHY something positive HAS to be written. I know I have my theories about it and I’ve written about them before, but I want to hear a reasoning from somebody involved in the process.
I refuse to believe there’s some inherent necessity to hype shit up beyond reality.
As K-Pop grows across the world, it has signified the golden times for idol groups. But that doesn’t mean that idols are the only components of K-Pop. As similar groups pop up left and right, the Korean music world is literally gnawing away at their own skin as ‘machine-produced’ idol groups seek to cash in on the boom – if not domestically, then overseas.
Overall, dare I say, it was an actual insightful piece of journalism. Not necessarily because I agree with most of it, but more because it actually … uh … provides insight into how things actually are and doesn’t just report on fucking selcas, netizens, and fluff.
Have to say though, while the future looks stable for established K-pop groups, this only paints a bleaker picture for rookie groups, especially those from no-name companies.