The Stream

Why has the world fallen in love with K-pop?

The Stream examines the growing popularity of Korean music and its global cultural impact.

Known for intensely choreographed music videos with striking visuals, K-pop has become a worldwide cultural phenomenon with the help of social media fandoms and music sharing platforms.

The genre has been around for at least two decades, but is now making huge strides in the West and other regions beyond East Asia. The boy band BTS made history this year by becoming the first K-pop act with two number one albums on the Billboard 200 chart, which ranks the most popular albums of the week in the US.

K-pop and South Korean dramas are a major part of the cultural wave known as “Hallyu” that is inspiring people around the world to learn the Korean language, follow K-beauty trends and travel to Korea.

How is K-pop shaping the image of Korean culture abroad? In this episode, we’ll discuss the rise of K-pop, its role as South Korea’s top cultural export, and its impact around the world.

What do you think? Record a video comment or leave your thoughts below.

On this episode of The Stream, we speak with:

Danny Kim @dkdktv92

Michelle Cho
Professor, East Asian Studies, University of Toronto

Bora Kim @immabbent
Creator, EXP Edition

Read more:

How K-pop conquered the West – Rolling Stone
Here’s what other nations can learn from Korea’s pop music industry – World Economic Forum