Leading entertainment announced the lineup and ticket information for the France rendition of the world’s No.1 K-POP chart show MCOUNTDOWN. On October 15, the show will bring 10 artists on the stage of the Paris La Défense Arena.
The lineup featuring both well-established global acts and up-and-coming artists is as follows (in alphabetical order):
- EL7Z UP
- NCT DREAM
- SHOWNU X HYUNGWON (MONSTA X)
Since 2004, MCOUNTDOWN has been spearheading the Korean music show trends with its pioneering performances, and this year, it will be extending from its usual chart show format to <MCOUNTDOWN IN FRANCE> for a special K-POP night for European fans. Having recently wrapped up KCON LA 2023, the world’s No.1 K-culture convention, CJ ENM will continue its endeavor of spreading K-culture and connecting fans together through K-POP, this time in Europe.
Tickets for MCOUNTDOWN IN FRANCE will be available for purchase starting September 19, 1PM CET. More information will follow in the coming weeks on Mnet and MCOUNTDOWN’s official social media channels. Stay tuned for details to come.
*MCOUNTDOWN IN FRANCE can tickets can be found here:
Leading entertainment company CJ ENM’s <My Lovely Liar> has become the No.1 most popular show across 141 regions in the Americas, Europe and Asia, on various global platforms.
<My Lovely Liar> (directed by Nam Seong-woo/written by Seo Jung-eun/planned by Studio Dragon/produced by Big Ocean ENM) is a romantic comedy series that depicts “Liar Hunter” Mok Sol-hee (Kim So-hyun), who possesses an extraordinary ability to hear lies, and genius songwriter Kim Do-ha (Hwang Min-hyun), who holds a secret.
The show has garnered explosive response within two weeks of airing on various global platforms: U.S. based global OTT platform “Rakuten Viki,” Japan’s largest local service “U-Next,” PCWW’s pan-regional “Viu,” and Taiwanese OTTs friDay Video, iQIYI, Hami Video, and ELTA TV. On Rakuten Viki, the show ranked No.1 in 136 countries, including Europe, the Americas, and Oceania, while on Viu, the series took the lead in Hong Kong, Indonesia, and Malaysia. It also topped the chart on Japan’s U-NEXT and Taiwan’s friDay Video, thus attaining the No.1 position in a total of 141 regions.
Sebastian Kim, Director of International Content Sales Team, CJ ENM, explained the series’ global popularity, stating "tvN’s well-renowned strength in romantic comedy series and the global popularity of Kim So-hyun and Hwang Min-hyun have created an explosive synergy, drawing attention from viewers worldwide."
<My Lovely Liar> airs every Monday and Tuesday at 8:50 PM KST on CJ ENM’s No. 1 K-content channel, tvN and is available on various platforms worldwide.
K-Content Enters Its Golden Age on the Global Stage
K-Content is not only acclaimed for its excellence but also highly recognized for propelling annual growth in related Korean industries such as food, tourism, and beauty. As K-Content gathers expectations to play a crucial role in Korea's future industries, let's find out more about the economic ripple effects and prospects of K-Content from the pop columnist Kim Tae-hoon and adjunct professor Kim Hui-gyeong from the Korea National University of Arts.
Comprehensive Gift Package to Lead the Korean Economy: K-Content
K-Content has become a game changer in the Korean economy. Spanning dramas, movies, music, and webtoons, it has significantly influenced various sectors simultaneously, creating a ripple effect that surprised the world. According to the “2021 Content Industry Survey” released by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, K-Content exports reached a staggering USD 12.45 billion, which equates to approximately 14.3 trillion won at the annual average exchange rate. This figure far surpasses the exports of Korea's representative home appliances, which stood at 8.6 billion won as of 2021.
Exporting K-Content has considerable implications, extending beyond mere sales figures to significantly improving national brand recognition and generating substantial ripple effects. French cultural critic Guy Sorman identifies the U.S., France, Germany, Japan, and Korea as the five nations that have successfully exported both goods and culture. Through these countries, standing at the intersection of global economy and culture, we can witness the simultaneous ripple effects achieved by exporting goods and culture.
According to a report by the Export-Import Bank of Korea titled "The Economic Effect of K-Content Exports," it is estimated that for every USD 100 million in K-Content exports, a ripple effect five times that amount—totaling USD 510 million—is generated. Furthermore, a USD 100 million increase in K-Content exports is projected to trigger 2,982 new jobs. The growth of K-Content is also driving economic gains for workers in related fields.
K-Beauty and K-Food Skyrocket Alongside K-Content Exports
K-Beauty and K-Food are sectors that have been most significantly impacted by the surge in K-Content exports. Products showcased in K-Content are gaining traction abroad. This is largely due to the heightened interest in the fashion, beauty, and food associated with the stars of the content, which naturally drives consumer curiosity.
"Ram-Don— a noodle recipe cooking Jjapagetti and Neoguri noodles together—featured in the film Parasite" is a prime example of K-Food within K-Content. The movie's depiction of characters enjoying ramyeon has ignited a global craze for K-Ramyeon.
Meanwhile, "Hot Chicken Flavor Ramen," the dish enjoyed by BTS's V in the entertainment show Jinny's Kitchen, was also warmly received by local Mexican diners and called the "Fire Noodles." Given the Mexican population's affinity for spicy food, Korea's fiery flavors found a natural audience. As you can see, K-Content also serves as a bridge that connects people worldwide and facilitates them to enjoy the content and food like a festival.
KCON: A New Stage for Showcasing Korean Products
K-Content is also used as a window for promoting the products of domestic SMEs abroad. CJ ENM is one of the companies that is actively utilizing this opportunity. Through its KCON, the world's largest K-Culture festival, it showcases a diverse range of Korean products, spanning beauty, fashion, and food. At "KCON JAPAN 2023," held this May, CJ ENM leveraged the record-breaking attendance of 123,000 people to facilitate an export consultation meeting for SMEs, ultimately securing export contracts worth $5.5 million. CJ ENM's consistent investment in the event, despite KCON's uncertain profitability, has proven fruitful, validating their unwavering confidence in the value of K-Content.
K-EnterTourment Soars with the Surge in K-Content Popularity
As the global influence of K-Content intensifies, the concept of "EnterTourment," such as the "BTS Tour" and the "BLACKPINK Tour," is experiencing a meteoric rise. This June, the 10th-anniversary "BTS Festa" drew a crowd of 400,000, with foreign fans making up over 120,000 attendees.
Notably, these fans extended their stay in Korea for about a month, enriching their experience with BTS-related events nationwide, including visits to locations frequented by the members. The lengthier the stay of these global fans, the greater the economic multiplier effect.
For instance, a BTS concert in Seoul in 2019 attracted 130,000 audiences. At the time, the number of foreign audiences was about 23,000, but as they visited Korea with their friends and families, the total number of visitors swelled to 187,000, generating an estimated economic impact approaching 1 trillion won.
Initially, EnterTourment referred to an integrated travel approach combining performances, tourism, shopping, food, and cultural experiences. However, the advent of K-Pop has led many international fans to list Korea as a must-visit destination, further enriching "K-EnterTourment" as a multifaceted and vibrant tourism product.
This trend is also evident in the American drama XO, Kitty, which was released on Netflix this May. Set against the backdrop of Korea, the drama follows Kitty, the protagonist from the U.S., as she attends an international school in Korea. The drama showcases famous Korean landmarks and traditional food through its storyline and even delves into Korean history. In its first week, XO, Kitty climbed to the second spot in the English TV Show category, reaffirming the enduring global interest and influence of Korean culture.
The Need for Extensive Efforts to Sustain K-Content Growth
The current surge in K-Content is not only revitalizing the content industry but is also generating ripple effects across various sectors, significantly enhancing Korea's national image in the process. Therefore, it is imperative now to channel efforts into steering this burgeoning industry towards sustainability. While the K-Content sector has largely grown through private initiatives, an extensive strategy involving governmental participation is crucial for its consistent evolution.
With the OTT industry witnessing exponential growth, competition has intensified, and production costs are soaring to meet audience expectations, making it challenging even for global content powerhouses to assure continual investment. As other countries are currently formulating various self-rescue measures to address the escalating production costs, the need for direct government policy support in Korea is more urgent than ever. These supports can come in the form of tax incentives for investment costs or the provision of dedicated filming locations to overcome current challenges.
Despite these difficult production conditions, content producers must maintain a steady stream of investment and support for creators for K-Content to evolve into a sustainable future industry. Furthermore, it's crucial to instill a culture of responsible content consumption among consumers, especially in light of the recent "noonooTV incident," a major illegal streaming platform in Korea. For K-Content to achieve sustainable growth, extensive efforts, attention, and support are required from all stakeholders, including content producers, viewers, and the government.
As K-Content has positioned itself as a new growth engine for Korea, it is expected to create new history this year. In the meantime, CJ ENM is encouraging the challenges of numerous creators and forging a new culture in the content industry. CJ ENM will continue to support the new chapter of K-Content by focusing on securing its competitiveness and sustainability.
※<BEHIND TALK> was produced based on CJ ENM YouTube channel's "Con Ssul Ting."
Leading entertainment company CJ ENM announced that it will bring its world’s No.1 K-POP chart show MCOUNTDOWN to France this October, connecting global fans with some of their favorite artists. <MCOUNTDOWN IN FRANCE> will be held on October 15th at the Paris La Défense Arena, a cultural landmark in Paris and also the largest concert venue in Europe with a capacity of approximately 40,000.
MCOUNTDOWN has been spearheading the Korean music show trends with its high-quality, pioneering performances since its launch in 2004. Extending from its usual chart show format, <MCOUNTDOWN IN FRANCE> will present a wide range of special programming with original content specially crafted for European fans. It will also establish a scene of festivities where fans can enjoy K-culture and K-POP to their fullest.
CJ ENM also aims to continue its legacy of K-culture experience with <MCOUNTDOWN IN FRANCE>, following the footsteps of its flagship events including world’s No.1 K-Culture festival KCON and world’s No.1 K-POP awards MAMA AWARDS.
Joon-beom Sim, Head of Music Entertainment, CJ ENM said “We are delighted to showcase our signature music show MCOUNTDOWN in France. We will dedicate our best efforts to spread K-POP through an unrivaled stage setup and also make this show a festival where global fans can unite through music.”
More information will follow in the coming weeks on Mnet and MCOUNTDOWN’s official social media channels. Stay tuned for details on the artist lineup, tickets, and live streaming.
World’s No.1 K-culture festival KCON LA 2023 presented by Samsung Galaxy, successfully wrapped up in Downtown Los Angeles this weekend at the Los Angeles Convention Center and Crypto.com Arena with around 140,000 fans in attendance. Also, 5.9M viewers from 176 regions have tuned in for the event livestream. For the 11th year, since launching in 2012, KCON celebrated Korean pop culture and entertainment at the largest event of its kind in the world.
The Ultimate K-culture Convention Experience
Created by leading entertainment company CJ ENM, KCON is the ultimate destination for everything K-culture. The 2023 installment upgraded its experiential content and space design, offering an enhanced KCON experience and encapsulating the true meaning of its theme, “Be a KCONer.”
This weekend, K-culture fans all over the world were able to visit 278 convention floor booths and participate in 153 convention programs. These included KCON STAGE, PANEL&WORKSHOP, Dance All Day, KCON SQUARE and much more. The SHOWCASE: NICE TO MEET U also brought on stage up-and-coming K-POP acts 8TURN, CRAXY, JUST B, LIMELIGHT, RIIZE, VERIVERY, and XG.
Additionally, KCONers could experience firsthand a variety of Korean brands.
This year’s title sponsor Samsung Galaxy operated a zone where attendees could try out their latest products Galaxy Z Flip5 and Galaxy Z Fold5, and showcased content created in collaboration with K-POP stars. Korea’s No.1 Health & Beauty store Olive Young held a booth centered around K-lifestyle, while CJ Live Studio featured CJ-affiliate programs such as Tous Les Jour, Olive Young, CJ-Unesco girls’ education campaign alongside artist sessions.
Also, “Jinny’s Kitchen” that aired on CJ ENM’s K-content channel tvN and is available on Amazon Prime Video, operated a booth designed to replicate the actual restaurant and offered attendees the chance to become a member of the show crew. Nah Yung Suk, the producer of “Jinny’s Kitchen,” also took the time to visit the booth, engaging with fans and sharing the growing love for K-variety shows around the world.
Just like previous years, KCON LA 2023 partnered with ‘Korea Foundation for Cooperation of Large&Small Business, Rural Affairs’ to bring 50 small businesses spanning beauty, consumer goods and food under the name “K-COLLECTION,” laying the foundation for brands to be introduced in the U.S. market.
KCON’s Unprecedented 3-Day SHOW that Brought 21 K-POP Acts
For the first time ever KCON hosted three full nights of SHOW. Night one featured performances from CRAVITY, IVE, NMIXX, SHOWNU & HYUNGWON (MONSTA X), TAEMIN, TAEYONG, and WayV. Night two showcased ATEEZ, INI, Kep1er, RAIN, XG, xikers, and ZEROBASEONE. Lastly, night three included EVERGLOW, (G)I-DLE, ITZY, JO1, Lapillus, Stray Kids, and THE BOYZ.
KCON LA 2023 also brought back the fan favorite DREAM STAGE where fans auditioned in dance contests at the DANCE ALL DAY area at the convention to win a chance to perform with ITZY, IVE and ZEROBASEONE at the SHOW.
New this year, KCON partnered with iHeartRadio’s KIIS FM to bring the first-ever “K-POP VILLAGE” to the convention center, free to the general public. On Saturday, KIIS-FM welcomed performing artists including NOTD, Tkay, Benson Boone, and LEO. Special appearances were made by ATEEZ, Kep1er, XG, and xikers.
Joon-beom Sim, Head of Music Entertainment, CJ ENM said “It was refreshing to see the audience of such diversity enjoying K-culture with friends and family. We will continue to create more opportunities so that more people around the world get to experience K-POP and K-culture through KCON.”
KCON LA is an annual multi-day event in Downtown Los Angeles consisting of three full days of convention activities including workshops, panels, and more, followed by musical performances from top K-pop artists each night. More information on the event can be found at www.kconusa.com.
Leading entertainment company CJ ENM announced the day-by-day schedule details for the 'SHOWCASE: NICE TO MEET U' stage taking place at the convention portion of KCON LA 2023 this August 18-20. The showcase made its debut at KCON JAPAN 2023 and will return for this summer’s event in Los Angeles.
Seven up-and-coming artists will be performing at KCON LA 2023's 'SHOWCASE: NICE TO MEET U' at the end of every festival day at the Los Angeles Convention Center, before the SHOW. This showcase will take place on the convention's main stage, KCON STAGE.
The schedule is as follows:
- DAY 1: LIMELIGHT, 8TURN
- DAY 2: CRAXY, VERIVERY
- DAY 3: JUST B, RIIZE, XG
This new, signature program launched at this year's KCON JAPAN 2023 in May. Artists eager to meet their global fans and expand their global presence take to the stage to perform for KCON attendees. The stage consists of performances specially prepared for KCON including rearranged songs, special covers as well as talk sessions and various segments where artists interact with the audience. The showcase will also be livestreamed globally, on the YouTube channels KCON official and Mnet K-POP.
KCON LA is an annual multi-day event in Downtown Los Angeles consisting of three full days of convention activities including K-culture content, panels, and more, followed by musical performances from top K-POP artists each night. More information on the event can be found at www.kconusa.com
The first Working Holiday Variety Show with men from Busan, Busan Boys: Sydney Bound(hereinafter Busan Boys) They can finally disclose everything... from making stories that feel like Mission Impossible every day to behind-the-scenes anecdotes. Let’s meet the behind-the-scenes of the Busan Boys production revealed by the three “Producers” Ryu Ho-jin, Yoon In-hoe, and Lee Seung-hwan.
A Making Talk of Busan Boys: Sydney Bound
Q. When did the chemistry between the “Producers” begin?
Producer Ryu Ho-jin: Producer Yoon In-hoe and I first met through Hometown Flex to Unexpected Business and on Busan Boys this time. It’s already been four years since we’ve been together. There are rumors at work that we always hang out together.
Producer Yoon In-hoe: Producer Seung-hwan has worked with us for two years, from Unexpected Business 2 to Busan Boys.
Q. How did you come up with the idea of Busan Boys?
Producer Ryu Ho-jin: Busan Boys is under the concept of Busan people gathering for a working holiday together. Working on the program Hometown Flex, we saw that guests who have never met before become quickly acquainted if they’re from the same hometown. And from this, I thought rapid chemistry would form if we gathered people from the same hometown.
The program was planned to show the chemistry of those who were born and raised in the same hometown with many memories to share as they return to their youth through a working holiday reserved for young people. Producer Ryu Ho-jin has traveled across the eight provinces of Korea since he was a rookie producer. Is there a particular reason behind the frequent appearance of “regions” in his works?
Producer Ryu Ho-jin: Since I was young, I happened to work on many programs that dealt with different regions. It is very unlikely to come up with ideas for an audition program when you are working on programs dealing with districts. So, I think my ideas started branching out from genres I'm familiar with and affectionate for. I’ve always been a fan of producer Sin Won-ho’s dramas. And in his work, when characters with regional traits say a line, the same line sounds a lot more entertaining. I think a lot about how I can enhance the charms (of the cast).
The birth of “Busans” on a working holiday
Q. Why did you cast the four members out of so many celebrities from Busan?
Producer Yoon In-hoe: Heo Sung-tae from the global hit Squid Game is the hottest actor from Busan. And I personally think Lee Si-eon is the funniest out of all the actors from Busan. Ahn Bo-hyun has an incredible physique that suits the working holiday concept. And with Joon-bin, it started from me being a fan of his. And coincidentally, I was wearing a KwakTube merch T-shirt, so I could appeal to him that I was his fan.
Finding Jobs in Sydney
Q. How did you cast the workplaces?
Producer Ryu Ho-jin: We did preliminary research in various directions before departure. We met people who provide professional consultation on working holidays, snuck into communities and posted stuff on online communities and open chat rooms, and even looked through Vlogs of people on working holidays. And doing so, we discovered there was a wide range of occupations. What took us by surprise was that a lot of men were working at slaughterhouses or construction sites. And there’s the saying that Koreans laid 50% of Sydney’s paving.
Q. Was there a job you wanted to try for yourself?
Producer Yoon In-hoe: Since I have a lot of experience in part-timing, I’m confident in pretty much everything. But work on the construction sites seemed to be well paid. I returned confused about whether I was on a field survey for the shoot or emigration. (Laughs)
Producer: Ryu Ho-jin: I was interested in Pâtissiers. Australians are awake and active early in the morning, so cafes open from 5 am, and people get off work at 5 pm. This routine will fit well with me because I’m an early bird.
Producer Lee Seung-hwan: I’m a night owl and find it hard to wake up in the morning, so I think I’ll be a nuisance to the cafe. And working on the farm or construction sites requires a lot of physical strength, so it’s only right not to go on a working holiday... (Laughs)
Q. Was there a nerve-racking moment in Australia where you thought you might be unable to shoot?
Producer Ryu Ho-jin: Oh, there are too many... Because we had cast actual businesses, the business owners were hugely burdened with the recruit and the shoot, so we faced many difficulties.
Producer Yoon In-hoe: In fact, the “Labor Apprentice” job suddenly vanished during the casting.
Producer Ryu Ho-jin: It’s usually a job in high demand, but there happened to be a festival on the day of our arrival... We had a hard time because we had to shoot, but there wasn’t work to do.
Producer Yoon In-hoe: This is something that even our cast doesn’t know about, but our greatest crisis was with accommodation. We had booked accommodation for the cast during the field survey, but it was double-booked when we checked after returning to Korea. So we had to go to our Plan B accommodation, but we were in trouble again because it was only available from the day our cast was scheduled to arrive.
Producer Ryu Ho-jin: 10 am is the usual checkout time for accommodations, but we had to start filming from 1 pm. This meant we had to install 100 rigged cameras in three hours.
Producer Yoon In-hoe: We waited eagerly in front of the accommodation for the previous guest to checkout, and once they came out, 30 of us rushed in to complete the preparations for the shoot. It gives me a headache to think about it again.
Q. How was the shoot at the workplace?
Producer Ryu Ho-jin: The cleaning job was the most difficult site to shoot for the staff. Usually, it’s easy to film the process of making something on a show. But cleaning is about removing what existed, so showing the results is challenging.
Producer Yoon In-hoe: Lee Si-eon had a hard time cleaning, but there was a limit to how much footage we could show. So, he would’ve found it quite unfair.
Producer Lee Seung-hwan: While it was challenging to set up for the cleaning and cafe shoot, we had to fight against the heat and insects throughout the shoot at the farm. Bo-hyun and Joon-bin, who mainly worked on the farm, would’ve been more physically challenged because the farm was so vast and hot.
Producer Yoon In-hoe: Our first goal was to avoid causing any inconvenience because we were there to work for real, not to get a taste of the job. So everyone did much more labor than what was broadcasted and had tried really hard.
Producer Ryu Ho-jin: Bae Jung-nam joined the working holiday on the fifth day and stood out from the moment he appeared. He instantly turned the other four into Seoulites with his authentic Busan dialect.
Producer Yoon In-hoe: At first, he was passionate, asking for two jobs and saying he’d go on a night shift as well... But his energy couldn’t live up to his ambition, so he was exhausted after the first day of work and had a hard time.
Q. Do you have any behind stories about each other since you’ve worked together for a long time? We heard that producer Ryu Ho-jin paid much attention to vehicle management throughout the shoot.
Producer Ryu Ho-jin: I was a vehicle maniac throughout the shoot. We need vehicles to move between filming locations such as workplaces, headquarters, and accommodation. And we call this “Vehicle Management.” There weren’t enough cars, so I couldn’t help but pay attention to the management of the vehicles.
Producer Yoon In-hoe: We could only hire a few cars because the alleys were very narrow. And it was uncomfortable to dispatch many cars simultaneously. We didn’t have just one vehicle operating in a given route. Instead, the vehicles were operating in rotation.
Producer Ryu Ho-jin: I tend to be quite obsessive. At first, I thought about connecting the vehicles smoothly, but at some point, I wanted to locate vehicle No.4.s Eventually, I created a vehicle locating system and shared it in real time.
Producer Yoon In-hoe: Our main screenwriter and I went to the farm, and on our way back, it was lunchtime. So, we were eating in K-Town, and the moment our driver updated his status, Ho-jin contacted me and asked, “Why is vehicle No.4 in K-Town?”
Producer Lee Seung-hwan: Ho-jin even had a monitoring system that tapped everything.
Producer Yoon In-hoe: Unlike other programs, our filming locations were far apart, and therefore, we couldn’t monitor each other. Instead, we interconnected through a voice chat program, so we could listen to all the cast’s audio by accessing the channel.
Producer Ryu Ho-jin: I listened to everything but wasn’t hugely interested in the content (because I was preoccupied with the vehicles). (Laughs)
Work Hard and Play Hard
Q. When was your happiest moment while filming Busan Boys?
Producer Yoon In-hoe: We have a group chat with the cast. We’re still communicating in it and more actively after the shoot, and I love it. They had a hard time at work, but the rough memories disappeared, and only the happy memories seemed to have remained. It was a good experience for the cast, and delivering their stories, the staff were also content.
Producer Ryu Ho-jin: The cast members missed that period a lot, and they looked like children. That was actually the first aim of the intention behind planning this program. And the most rewarding part for the staff is that our cast feels that way. In the end, the greatest delight of making a program is filming what you have planned.
Producer Yoon In-hoe: Viewers, who have been watching all along, will feel as if they’ve made friends from Gyeongsang-do. Please continue to stay tuned to the Busan Boys, working and playing hard until the end.
The three producers on today’s show are preparing a new season for Unexpected Business. Those of you who have been waiting for Unexpected Business, please wait a little longer. We ask for your love and support for Unexpected Business 3, scheduled to return soon!
※BEHIND TALK was produced based on CJ ENM YouTube channel's More and More Fun.
※All photos and images used in this content have been provided by Mnet.
Leading entertainment company CJ ENM announced today the details for this month’s KCON LA 2023 convention in Los Angeles. This year’s event, taking place August 18th to 20th, will feature fan favorite programming from past years as well as new SHOWCASE and more. The three day convention will have panels, workshops and more opportunities for fans to interact with artists, as well as other fans and participants. The SHOW featuring K-POP artists will follow each night after the full convention day.
This year’s installment has upgraded its experiential content and space design, offering an enhanced KCON experience. KCON LA 2023’s theme ‘Be A KCONer’ encapsulates the spirit of a KCONer who connects with others and starts a new trend. The convention is designed to channel this spirit and allows KCONers to fully immerse into K-culture content.
Some of the convention programs set for this year’s event are as follows:
- KCON SQUARE - This is where the journey of the K-culture experience begins and ends. Featuring various photo zones and an interactive digital wall that shows fan messages to artists, it is also the place where you can pick up your KCON ID CARD.
- KPOP - Here, fans can take pictures with AR filters that project their favorite artists, as well as send a fan letter that will be randomly picked and read at the artist’s MEET & GREET.
- K-STORY - Visitors can choose an emotion of their choice and receive a K-DRAMA or K-REALITY SHOW quote printed on a receipt that reflects that sentiment.
- LIFESTYLE - A place where KCONers can take a break and charge their digital devices - the lounge can be accessed with the ticket they received from the sponsor booth.
- PANEL & WORKSHOP - As always, KCON will bring artists, influencers, creators and many more to be part of diverse interactive programs spanning K-POP, K-culture, and much more.
- KCON STAGE - This is the main stage where the visitors can watch their favorite K-POP stars up close, and participate in various programs and livestreaming together.
- DANCE ALL DAY - A perennial classic, KCON will host a wide range of K-POP dance programs including DREAM STAGE, DANCE WORKSHOP and RANDOM PLAY DANCE inviting KCONers to bust some dance moves. Also this year KCON will debut a new dance game featuring artists on the convention floor called ‘Shall We K-POP Dance?’
- CJ LIVE STUDIO - The CJ LIVE STUDIO will feature K-POP DICE Game & K-POP Playlist Talk where artists and LA celebrities interact with the audience on/offline. The talk show will be livestreamed on the YouTube KCON official channel.
- SHOWCASE: NICE TO MEET U - This SHOWCASE will feature up-and-coming artists in the world of K-POP. They will be able to perform and meet fans.
- KCONers’ Choice - Will bring special artist content selected by fans.
Also, KCON LA 2023 will bring back DREAM STAGE where ITZY, IVE and ZEROBASEONE will perform along with fans at the SHOW happening at Crypto.com Arena. The participants will be selected through an audition at the DANCE ALL DAY area.
KCON LA is an annual multi-day event in Downtown Los Angeles consisting of three full days of convention activities including workshops, panels, and more, followed by musical performances from top K-pop artists each night. The event will take place from August 18th to 20th at the Los Angeles Convention Center and Crypto.com Arena. More information on the event can be found at www.kconusa.com
BTS, at the center of an unparalleled global syndrome, and BLACKPINK, standing tall as the headliner at America's largest music festival, Coachella, were just the beginning. Following their lead, fourth-generation girl groups like IVE, NewJeans, and LE SSERAFIM are achieving consecutive global hits, propelling K-POP into an unprecedented golden era. Let's take a deeper look into the core of the K-POP system and its globalization with pop columnist Kim Tae-hoon and music critic Kim Young-dae.
K-POP's Journey to the Top of Global Stages
What journey did K-POP undergo to achieve success on the global stage? Let's go back to its beginnings to understand the unique system behind K-POP's global success. In the early 1980s, K-POP was a music genre mainly enjoyed by fans in Korea. However, following the 1988 Seoul Olympics, a new awareness of globalization emerged in Korea, leading to a shift in perception towards music. Before this shift, we focused on incorporating contemporary characteristics into the music. However, as we began to interact more with foreigners and our Korean broadcasts reached international audiences, we started to realize the potential consumers of our content.
Moreover, the importance of visual elements on television grew, emphasizing the need for a system to continuously develop artists according to the latest trends. In this rapidly changing social atmosphere, artists targeting younger audiences served as the basis of the first generation of K-POP idol culture. Based on the time of their debut and activities, they are generally divided into the first to fourth generations.
The first-generation idols are represented by H.O.T., Fin.K.L, Sechs Kies, g.o.d and more. Among the first generation, S.E.S. and BoA were pioneers in attempting to expand overseas. BoA, in particular, underwent extensive training to become a perfect J-POP singer, mastering not only the language but also the tone and manners of Japanese. The localization strategy, which included not only learning the language but also the tone and manners of Japanese, helped her succeed overseas.
The second generation of idols, represented by Girls' Generation, 2NE1, Wonder Girls, and 2PM, became extremely popular in the U.S., Japan, and Southeast Asia, laying the foundation for the globalization of K-pop. In 2012, Psy's mega-hit "Gangnam Style" exploded globally through YouTube, sparking the Hallyu craze and solidifying K-POP's presence in the global music market.
▲BLACKPINK performs on stage as the headliner at the 2023 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in the U.S.
(Photo source: BLACKPINK Facebook)
The third-generation idol groups such as BTS and BLACKPINK took the global market by storm, achieving million-seller status and swiftly entering the “Billboard Hot 100.” They have remained as the top global artists, and following them, the fourth-generation idols with a strong focus on girl groups like NewJeans, IVE, and LE SERAFFIM are making their mark.
K-POP's success can be attributed to its ability to carve out a distinct niche by differentiating itself from the existing music market. For example, K-POP took its elements like choreography, dance, and performance and elevated them into a new genre of art. In addition, the ability to forge a deep connection with fans through the captivating worldview portrayed in the performances of artists is established as K-POP's unparalleled charm.
Three Key Strategies of CJ ENM: A Path to Becoming a Global Music Industry Leader
K-POP has evolved from merely a music genre to a full-fledged industry. With its global expansion, the significance of robust systems and infrastructure has grown substantially. Embracing this trend, CJ ENM is strategically working towards expanding and globalizing the music ecosystem through its innovative "MCS" strategy—an IP ecosystem expansion system.
MCS Core Strategy ①: K-POP Management System Encompassing Planning to Debut
Currently, K-POP agencies are focusing on creating a virtuous cycle. This entails establishing a robust system that identifies potential talents, nurtures them, and facilitates their debut. The system oversees the entire journey from planning to debut, turning the trainees into valuable intellectual properties (IPs) once they make their debut.
In the past, agencies looked for artists who were already polished and skilled. However, the approach has shifted, and now they actively recruit and train using their specialized systems. Consequently, the training period is bound to increase, and the long training period is considered one factor contributing to the success of K-POP stars. After an extended training period within a well-organized system, they gain numerous competitive advantages upon their debut.
Recently, there have been attempts in the U.S. to adopt a recruiting and training system similar to K-POP; however, how they maintain teamwork is considered unsuitable for American culture. This is due to the idol system's cultural aspects, such as living together, seniority, and hierarchical relationships between leaders and members, which requires individual sacrifices for the benefit of the group. However, such a culture does not align well with the reality of American culture.
Some content companies have adopted K-POP management systems, and CJ ENM's survival shows are a notable example. Previously, the process of discovering and nurturing idols remained disclosed, but survival shows have changed the game.
An excellent illustration is Boys Planet, which has garnered recognition for its immersive experience, revealing the complete journey of an idol's birth and growth while allowing fans to participate in the selection process. As a result, highly engaged audiences who took part in the audition process naturally became fans, establishing a fan base from their debut. The survival shows have evolved into a system actively involving consumers or fans in the entire process from inception to debut.
MCS Core Strategy ②: Fan Platforms, Online and Offline Playgrounds for K-POP Fans
The traditional process of creating a hit song involved reaching a large, unspecified audience through mass media channels such as radio and television. Today's K-POP, on the other hand, is characterized by producers focusing on specific consumers, encouraging active involvement, and continuously providing customized content tailored to their preferences. As a response, fan platforms have emerged to fulfill the need for a space where deeply engaged K-POP fans can actively participate in various activities. The websites and online communities of the past have evolved into a platform in line with the new media era.
Fan platforms, serving as playgrounds for fans, are frequently developed and promoted by content companies themselves. Notable examples include HYBE's "Weavers" and SM Entertainment's "Bubble." Additionally, CJ ENM has established a global K-pop and POP culture platform called "Mnet Plus." Recently, Boys Planet utilized Mnet Plus to implement a system that enables fans from around the world to participate in voting. This online platform allowed global fans to participate in real-time voting, resulting in a staggering 8.17 million votes cast from 184 countries during the final voting for Boys Planet.
On the other hand, KCON serves as a representative physical fan platform. Overseas fans rarely have chances to meet and interact with fellow fans. KCON provides an opportunity to bring together K-POP fans from all over the world. Many people become aware of their status as K-POP fans and elevate their level of engagement from regular fans to highly involved enthusiasts through these events.
From its humble beginnings with a few thousand to tens of thousands of attendees, KCON has grown into a massive event that now attracts over 100,000 visitors. The recent KCON JAPAN achieved a record-breaking audience of 120,000 visitors, and the upcoming KCON LA in August is anticipated to draw even more enthusiastic fans.
MCS Core Strategy ③: Expanding the Artist Management System Even Further
Conventional artist management focused solely on managing the artists, but nowadays, its meaning has expanded significantly. With the broadening scope of artist management, the role of Artists and Repertoire (A&R) has become increasingly critical. Artists now receive more comprehensive training, including singing, dancing, acting, and learning foreign languages. They also study the history and culture of target countries to better connect with international audiences and enhance their global appeal. These diverse and extensive trainings are attempted to prolong the popularity of artists.
In fact, this extensive management system empowers artists to navigate their careers independently, not solely reliant on individual hits. Moreover, it also enhances the overall quality of the music itself. The introduction of A&R teams and experimental and systematic production methods like songwriting camps (a system of collective creation) in K-POP has bridged the gap between British and American pop and Japanese pop, establishing K-POP as a truly contemporary form of popular music.
Evolving K-POP: From Overseas Stars to Exporting the K-POP System
CJ ENM is currently implementing MCS strategies with a strong focus on targeting the U.S. and Japanese markets. Notably, in the Japanese market, groups like INI and JO1, discovered through local auditions, have already demonstrated promising results. As K-POP localization strategies advance, the focus shifts from individual stars to exporting its system.
The ultimate objective for K-POP production companies is to create fully localized artists tailored to specific regions. However, achieving this goal demands extensive expertise and significant investment. Furthermore, they must demonstrate K-POP's competitiveness in the local market.
Initially, BoA, S.E.S., Rain, and Wonder Girls achieved tangible results by directly entering the local market. Secondly, some of the most prominent examples of localization strategies include incorporating foreign members. However, the ultimate goal of the K-POP system is to create local groups that resonate with and are loved by the local audience. These aspects are anticipated to play a significant role in shaping the future of the K-POP industry.
For the successful localization of K-POP, Korean companies must take the lead in building strong relationships with local companies and establish effective collaboration systems. Korean companies should seize the initiative in overseas markets, leveraging their original technology in the platform industry, which sets them apart from American counterparts.
To successfully settle in the global market, it is crucial for K-POP to be equipped with humanistic considerations, understanding that different values apply in various eras and regions, while also going beyond establishing local fan bases and finding ways to integrate K-POP within their culture.
The global success of K-POP is not solely attributed to individual talent but also systematic artist management and advanced production techniques. Now is the moment to contemplate how to leverage and enhance the existing systems developed over the years for the localization of K-POP. Anticipating the diverse expressions of K-POP achieved through unique strategies and systems, we are eager to witness its continued evolution.
Leading entertainment company CJ ENM released details on the special stages prepared for the SHOW portion of the world’s No.1 K-culture festival KCON LA 2023. All of the special stages will be a surprise for fans attending each night, ranging from exclusive collaborations to cover stages. Fan favorite special stages in the past have included the “Dream Stage” where artists performed on the same stage with their fans, collaborations between artists, and exclusive cover stages. KCON revealed the following special stages with more to be revealed:
- On Friday (Day 1) the SHOW will feature NCT U (TAEYONG X TEN) and NMIXX in special stages.
- On Saturday (Day 2) the special stages will present Kep1er, XG and xikers.
- On Sunday (Day 3) there will be special stages from JO1 and THE BOYZ, where THE BOYZ will premiere their subunit’s performance.
In addition to the special stages, KCON is introducing “Hi My First”, a special series where artists perform their earlier songs for the first time in a while, especially for KCONers. This series will feature ATEEZ on Saturday (Day 2) and Stray Kids on Sunday (Day 3).
Each night of KCON LA 2023 will be hosted by a “Special MC.” These MCs are WONYOUNG from IVE for Friday (Day 1), RAIN for Saturday (Day 2), and Bang Chan from Stray Kids for Sunday (Day 3).
KCON has also released additional SHOW tickets for this year’s event in Los Angeles due to high demand. Tickets can be purchased at AXS.COM/KCON2023.
More information on the event can be found at www.kconusa.com.