Singer Psy has recently opened a new set of doors for the possibilities and potential for K-Pop and its spread.
K-Pop's main paradigm was that they built and created singers with the goal of international markets and were able to mostly succeed with local promotion efforts. However, Psy has currently been sweeping the world with just YouTube and social media websites.
"Gangnam Style" has now exceeded 65 million views on YouTube and combined with the sequel song, "Oppa is Just My Style" the views exceed over 100 million views.
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Psy's plans to go into the American market are being enacted. He recently returned from talks with Justin Bieber and his management company and his song is now #44 of the iTunes Music Chart.
"Gangnam Style" is really showing that the way K-pop will be exported is changing from the overused format of idol groups. Psy is targeting the international markets after a natural and very organic transition. This would never have even been imaginable without the tools of YouTube and social media. He never had to go through the difficulties of figuring out how to get his songs through customs and all those kinds of distribution problems. All he had to do was post a music video and social media did the rest.
Psy's international movements are unique because he didn't enter the American market on the backs of his popularity in Asia. He went straight into it, garnering genuine popularity from American consumers, which is different from what the idol groups have been doing. America is the country with the second highest number of views of "Gangnam Style," only behind Korea. The views from Japan are only at #16, which is drastically different from the Japanese influence on idol groups from the three major management companies.
Psy's popularity is mainly focused in North America, Southeast Asia and Europe. Though the genre of dance and pop are common, his music video is witty, comical and incredibly addictive and this is the opinion of many American media outlets. Humor is how Psy was able to capture the attentions of American viewers.
Even American celebrities added to the trend. The tweets from Justin Bieber's manager, Scooter Brown, T-Pain, Robbie Williams, Josh Groban, and Katy Perry were all even better than any TV spot could possibly have done.
Korean experts are pointing out how Psy's American fame is totally different from anyone else's. One expert said, "It's incredibly rare to see that he was so successful without any sort of local promotion. It's not enough to completely change the way K-Pop reaches out to other markets but it's something that we should take note of and be proud that he made a mark on the American consciousness."
Expectations are now higher for K-Pop and its international reach and where it will go from here is now a mystery.