The above news that the South Korean government has injected US$91m to bolster the country’s music industry and “globalise” it is cause for pause.
Firstly, has any other government anywhere given their country’s music industry a bailout of this magnitude? Where is the ROI- Return On Investment- and which is expected to be reached by 2013?
Yes, K-Pop is now incredibly popular- but only in the quite tiny Asian marketplace. Plus, will these extra funds mean us being subjected to more Wonder Girls and boy and girl bands made up of cutesy 12 to 24 Hello Kitty-type members.
It’s all more the merrier when it comes to K-Pop- er, Korean Pop- and which is simple, mindless and repetitious pop ditties held together one hugely annoying chorus. K-Pop makes the songs of Katy Perry seem almost Dylanesque.
Yes, Wonder Girls had a huge hit with their song “Nobody” when sung in Korean, but when their management tried to break the group in the States, they were, well, nobody. Same with Korean Superstar Rain’s assault on America. It was more of a slight drizzle.
But, I still keep wondering why such a vast sum of money is being injected into an industry where few can see any real rewards despite some government minister talking about opening up more karaoke bars, having the Korean equivalent of the Billboard charts and the Grammy Awards- all of which doesn’t make any sense with the plans to “globalise” its local music industry.
Am I, are many of us, missing something? Kim Chee, perhaps?