[News] Update on Korea’s Music Globalization



Earlier this week, I revealed that Korea’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism was about to launch a mission to globalize Korean music. A meeting was hosted by several government officials on February 4th at one of SM Entertainment’s branches, where Minister Yoo laid out his plans for promoting and spreading Korean music across the borders. He appointed DBSK, Wonder Girls, Rain, Big Bang, and SNSD as ambassadors, although not all members were present at the meeting.

One of the main goals on the minister’s agenda is to establish a qualified, creditable Korean music chart, like USA’s Billboards, Great Britain’s UK, and Japan’s Oricon charts. Minister Yoo and his team of experts will also develop and reconfigure award fields and criteria, methods of in-depth judging and reviews, and figure out how to operate the new Kpop chart to launch something like “Korea’s Grammy Awards” as well. Of course Korea already has many awards for singers and musicians, but it seems like he REALLY wants to be able to compete with America and what not. And how is this going to help ‘spread the word’ past China, exactly?

Over the next 5 years, up to 127,500,000,000 Won out of the treasury will be committed to the project. That’s over 92 million dollars! Call me crazy, but I think they can find far better uses for that money than showing the world how great Korean music is (which IS awesome, don’t get me wrong). This just goes to show how serious they are. Forget globalization, they’re making war on all the other music industries of the world. Part of the money (about 7 million USD) are already being used to remodel the MoonHwa Contest Hall and the Olympic Hall in Seoul; the revamped buildings will be ready to use (ie for concerts) by December of this year. All because the stadiums aren’t flashy and fancy enough as of now.

That’s not all. As some of you may know, 2-year military service in Korea is compulsory. Many bands have been broken up or forced to delay activities due to the required military service (think Shinhwa), although some artists such as Kim Jong Kook have made successful comebacks even after disappearing from the entertainment scene for two years. Minister Yoo is thinking of allowing artists to delay their service indefinitely or even skip out completely. The minister’s point is that he needs the young stars while they’re still young and talented, to be able to take on busy schedules, unhindered by age. Understandably many Korean citizen have protested his proposal, claiming that making exceptions can lead to big problems, and that as idols they should be setting good examples by doing their duty to their country. All the more reason to become a celebrity, I guess.

Sorry fans, no word as of yet on any activities outside of Korea. It seems like they’re concentrating on improving the industry from the inside out, which makes sense if you look at it from the long-term point of view. But so much money! Darn you LSM and JYP for giving the government such crazy ideas! Is Korea’s recession proof or something? Last time I checked, they weren’t doing so hot. I agree that it is important to be aware of other cultures, and I applaud Korea’s attempts to claim their place in the ever competitive, forever changing music industry. The world should know Korea’s got great music and unique culture. And seeing the lack of qualms about spending so much money on this project, it’s probably not all about profits either. But honestly, I have a feeling they’re going way overboard with this whole globalization thing.

Source: ALLKPOP + xietinloveshero

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