It’s no secret that the entertainment industry in Korea has sky rocketed. Although it is not common knowledge in America, the rest of the world has fallen in love with South Korea’s K-pop (Korean pop) and their never ending supply of dramas. K-pop is a multimillion dollar industry that has captivated the youth all around the world. Charmed with their catchy songs, correlated dance moves and beauty, k-pop groups have become huge. Popular groups include bands like 2ne1, 2pm, SNSD, f(x). Huge concerts put on by the music companies are put on all around the world, SM Entertainment, one of the leading k-pop companies, just recently put on a two day concert in Tokyo and has another one planed at Madison Square Garden coming up this October. With k-pop Idols constantly feeling the threat of younger new groups, some have decided to test the waters acting in one of Korea’s most popular attraction, their dramas. Korea’s dramas are usually about 15-20 episodes that are all about the same story. They usually do not have multiple series so it is easy to keep track of all the new dramas. However, the working conditions for k-pop idols, actors and actresses have recently been under attack for its poor working condition and long hours. The k-pop stars have also been reported that they are barely paid any money for all the long hours of training and practice they put in. Unlike stars in America, the idols are seen as regular employees in the mind of the companies and since putting on k-pop performances is extremely expensive, there is not very much money left for the stars. In addition, since most k-pop groups range from 4-13 members, the money also has to be split among them. Beside the rough edges that are still being smoothed over, the k-pop and k-drama industry is growing rapidly and becoming immensely popular in Asia and Europe. Although k-pop may not be well known in the United States, at the speed that this tidal wave is coming, it is sure to hit America soon.
The Korean Wave
September 5, 2011