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NCT Takes SM Entertainment's Hallyu Strategy To The Next Level

By Samantha Marie Lifson | February 29, 2016 09:56 AM EST

For some, the term "cultural technology" only became a topic of conversation when SM Entertainment announced their latest boy group project "Neo Cultural Technology," or NTC.

When Lee Soo Man, founder of SM Entertainment, announced NCT as a group with "unlimited" members and numerous subunits to perform in different regions around the world many voiced their apprehensions to this new debut and promotion style.

However, the use of "cultural technology" has been a core strategy for the entertainment agency since it first was established in 1995. As Lee explained at a presentation announcing the new group, cultural technology has always been the most relevant aspect of their artist development system. It is through cultural technology that artists are taken in and trained in a very formulaic way to become the artists fans know and love today.

So where does NCT fall into play?

According to a report by Korea Herald, Lee has embraced a three stage theory for the Hallyu (Korean Wave) movement. The first stage focused on exporting Hallyu cultural products during the first stage (for example, sending artists oversees for performances). The second stage involved expanding Hallyu influence by working with local companies and artists outside of Korea. Finally, SM Entertainment hopes to create many join ventures with local companies to transfer their system of cultural technology to local markets all over the world. NCT is the method SM Entertainment hopes to accomplish these goals through.

The group, which SM more properly describes as a brand, will have members in different groups performing the same songs in countries all over the world. These songs, most importantly, will be localized to the country; meaning that they will blend well with the music sounds of the area they are promoting in.

Despite previous troubles with foreign artists in their label (Super Junior's Hangeng and EXO's Kris, Luhan, and Tao for example), SM hopes to move forward and expand Hallyu's influence through these different groups all over the world. The inclusion of foreign artists in their label has always been a central point to their business strategy and will continue to be so.

NCT are scheduled to debut during the first half of the year with their Seoul and Tokyo units first. Later on, their Chinese units as well as ones in Southeast Asia and Latin America will also be debuted.

NCT, however, is not to be seem on equal standing with other musical artists from the area they will promote in. Rather, SM Entertainment hopes that they will be understood as products of the Korean Wave and cultural technology. Their selling point, according to SM Entertainment's public relations head Jung Sang Hee, "is that they were created through the SM system meaning that they will appeal to fans who like existing SM artists."

What are your thoughts on NCT?

Tagged :  SM Entertainment, nct

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