Once again, the language barrier is being overcome due to technology, but what does this mean?
Thanks to technology, many things that used to take quite some time, such as writing a letter or buying something from another country, are now just a click away. This also applies to the consumption of entertainment, because when these media did not exist, advertising a movie, series and even video game, was an arduous and almost impossible task. For this reason, local consumption, although not very profitable, was common.
However, in recent years digitization and connection to the internet have allowed transnational consumption. In addition, because of the pandemic, many people began to acquire memberships on digital platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Spotify, among others. But what makes this new consumption so special and what does South Korea have to do with it? To answer that question, we need to remember the famous “Hallyu” wave, which basically tells us about the huge impact that Korean culture is having in the west.
The entertainment market now is much more varied, and the language is no longer a barrier to approaching a song, a series and even a video game.
Many may have the conception that the word “entertainment” only applies to K-pop groups, however, the industry is much more varied. What’s more, many of the agencies considered the most powerful for their annual profits, not only have K-pop groups, but they also have actors, presenters, athletes and even models.
On the one hand, we have one of the companies that has won the attention of many not only for being the home of great artists such as NU’EST, BTS, SEVENTEEN, TXT, ENHYPEN, among others; it’s Hybe Corporation, and the reason for this is because of the massive acquisition it has had in these last months. Not only did it merge with other small agencies (Pledis entertainment, Source Music, KOZ entertainment), but it also created new subsidiaries, such as BELIFT Inc.. (Associated with CJ ENM) and HYBE Labels Japan. But that’s not all, they recently acquired several platforms such as Naver and the well-known Webtoon application. It could be said that they cover almost all areas of entertainment, from the education industry (HYBE Edu) to the video game industry (SuperB Corp).
On the other hand, we cannot forget the cinematic success of “Parasites” and the recent worldwide impact of the series “Squid Game”. All these small steps allowed Korean culture to have an unprecedented exposure. Today, they are not only known by the big tech companies, but also by the cultural recognition that is gradually gaining more strength; so much so that Korea’s financial analysis began to count specific K-pop groups as part of its GDP (gross domestic product).
The industries continue to grow, and it is very uncertain what can happen. However, one thing is certain, South Korea has become a master in selling experiences, and this is why people are beginning to pay all their attention to the content that this country releases. A series is not simply a story or a product. It is shocking to see that although they create products for global consumption, they do not forget to be faithful to their culture and traditions, things that we can see in food and even indirect advertisements that come out in some scenes.
One positive aspect of the growth of this industry is the job opportunities it is beginning to offer. Little by little the market is expanding.
Have you thought about this industry as a consumer or as a potential worker?
Written by: Sara Varon
Edited by: Laura Fino