K-pop is a genre of South Korean popular music. Although the term includes music of a variety of stylistic origins, it is often associated with so-called K-pop idols. Idols are usually young individuals, who are known for being good-looking, fashionable, highly trained in singing and dancing, as well as having an almost perfect image. They often make their debut in boy- or girl groups, who promote their songs with music videos that feature intense choreographies. The most successful groups are often signed under South Koreas biggest agencies, were they undertake strict training before they make their debut. The K-pop entertainment company with the highest sales revenue in 2018 was SM Entertainment, who manage multiple successful idols, for example the boyband EXO.
K-pop is constantly growing
While the majority in Western countries have not heard about K-pop before PSY’s ‘Gangnam Style’ in 2012, Korean pop idols started to become famous in Asian countries in 2003. Singer BoA and boyband TVXQ became the first K-pop idols to successfully break into the Japanese market. With the support of the South Korean government, who saw the industries economic potential, the so-called Korean wave started to spread even further, and K-pop gained a global audience. Girlband Blackpink was the first K-pop band to headline the famous U.S. music festival Coachella in 2019. Nevertheless, with both nationwide and global success, the seven-member boyband BTS is the biggest active boyband in South Korea currently. In December 2018, it was estimated that the band generates around four trillion South Korean won as economic value to the country per year.