How the (Korean) music industry found its (musically impoverished) groove

So there’s this - a story about how Korea has transformed the creation and production of pop music into a cultural export. Reduced a three stop process, the transformation relied on three main factors:

1) Korea decided to produce pop music like it produces cars.

2) Korean record labels transformed the way music was released.

3) Korea is one of the most wired countries in the world. So early on in their development, record labels had to get good at YouTube.

It’s a lot more complicated than that, and I recommend listening to the audio of the full story, which is much more developed than the online excerpt. But in any case, on the one hand, I’m encouraged by the story of a music industry and culture that’s managed to comprehend, embrace, and maximize the potential of new media culture and commerce to invigorate the musical enterprise. It demonstrates what the American music world could have been/done if the technological nativism of the RIAA and that crowd hadn’t poisoned the well of good will between producers and consumers in the digital age.

On the other hand, if Gangman Style is representative of the product here, that’s a pretty damning indication of the aesthetic impoverishment of the system (which maybe shouldn’t be a surprise given the approach here is akin to assembly-line automobile production). Whatever else it may be making (including loads of money for someone), any system for which Gangman Style is a hit ain’t making good music.

Email this Post


  1. irishlad wrote:

    Are we talking N.Korea or South?

  2. irishlad wrote:

    it’s Gangnam

  3. NG wrote:

    Irishlad: Obviously it’s South Korea since this is a Southern Gospel Music blog.

  4. irishlad wrote:

    thank you Ng for that somewhat tongue in cheek answer :-)

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked * Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.