Idol groups, for the most part, possess absolute sovereignty over the Korean music industry. This has been proven by the rate at which songs by idol groups often reach #1 only hours (even minutes) after release, and by the duration at which these songs remain at the top, impervious to outside competitors who attempt to thwart their position.
However, what is more remarkable is that idol groups not only influence the pop market with their own music, but the international songs that they introduce to the public through TV programs or radio shows.
Last December, Karina Pasian’s song Slow Motion, which was released in 2008, rose to #1 on the music charts due to the collaborative effort of 2AM’s Jo Kwon and 2NE1’s Bom. In MBC Quiz to Change the World, Jo Kwon played a piano version, and on KBS 2TV Yoo Hee Yeol’s Sketchbook, the 2AM leader sang Slow Motion live.
Bom also promoted Slow Motion during an episode of Mnet 2NE1 TV, wherein she said, “Whenever I’m sad, I listen to this song.” Following her seemingly trivial commentary, the song skyrocketed on music charts as viewers searched for the song and took a liking to it as well. Likewise, Rihanna’s Take a Bow found its way to #1 on music charts after 2NE1 was captured rehearsing the song on camera.
A song by American singer/songwriter Jason Mraz climbed up to the top spot through an indirect promotion by CNBLUE’s Jung Yonghwa. On MBC Radio Star, the CNBLUE leader sang Jason Mraz’s Geek in the Pink, which was released in 2006, live. After the broadcasting, ‘Jason Mraz’ and ‘Geek in the Pink’ became the top searches on portal sites while the actual song swept real-time music charts for the first time in four years.
From the perspective of both parties involved, it is a win-win situation for everyone. While idol stars are able showcase versatility and vocal talent that may have otherwise gone unrecognized before, international stars experience an unexpected growth in popularity without the intention of doing so.
A Universal Music representative that is responsible for the distribution of pop songs said, “The idol sensation cannot be ignored. The reason for the expansion of pop market is owed to them.”
And it shows no signs of stopping any time soon.
S: Newsen, AKP