Gangnam Style isn't a one-off - Major music industry report says future pop sensations will be YouTube-driven globalised acts from Asia and South America

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

 

The Korean phenomenon which had the world dancing Gangnam Style might once have been dismissed as a novelty hit.

But a permanent shift in investment means that the British charts will increasingly be filled with foreign language hits from Asia and South America, record executives have claimed.

A viral sensation, which notched up more than 700 million YouTube views, Gangnam Style gave Seoul rapper Psy the first ever UK number one by a Korean artist.

The South Korean government has announced that Psy’s hit had brought in $13.4 million to the country’s audio sector and promised a drive to export further examples of the country’s burgeoning “K-Pop” industry.

Girl group 2NE1 and boyband Super Junior will be unleashed upon British music fans whilst Psy said he would record a follow-up song in English.

However record companies are also investing in pop acts from Japan, China and South America after identifying these territories as the most likely source of the next Lady Gaga, as piracy continues to decimate record sales in music’s traditional strongholds.

Instead of auditioning for The X Factor, British teenagers who want to be global stars will have to move to Seoul and compete for places in K-Pop bands, which are created by management companies who impose a stringent singing and dancing training regime on young performers. 

According to Investing in Music, a report published by music industry trade body IFPI, record companies still invested $4.5 billion (£2.8 billion) in discovering new artists last year, despite declining revenues caused by falling album sales and online piracy.

In the UK, home-grown artists accounted for just 53 per cent of an albums market, which itself shrunk by 5.6 per cent. In South Korea however, the recorded music market grew by 6 per cent, becoming the world’s 11th largest market, up from number 33, with local acts squeezing Western stars out of the country’s charts.

Executives said investment in new stars would switch from the US and European countries, where the industry currently makes 80 per cent of its revenues, into new markets such as Korea, China, India, Brazil and Russia.

Max Hole, Chief Operating Officer of Universal Music Group, said: “I don’t think Psy will be a one-off. The production values and the creativity coming out of Korea are remarkable.

“There’s a group called Girls’ Generation who are huge in Japan and Korea and they are doing an English-language record for Interscope (Lady GaGa’s label). It won’t be long before you see a Chinese or Japanese act doing well.”

Mr Hole added: “The focus of the recorded music industry for the last 40 years has been on the ten main music markets – US, the UK, Germany, France etc. The next 30 years the focus is going to move to the emerging markets and that’s very exciting for us.”

The global web demand for Gangnam Style short-circuited the traditional reluctance of radio stations to play a foreign-language hit. Future music stars will not be obliged to sing in English.

“The explosion of mobile devices and smart phones means for the first time we can communicate with millions of consumers in parts of the world where we’ve never been able to go before,” said Mr Hole. “The investment will be in all genres and languages, from local music in China to Portugal and Colombia.  We’re seeing small revenues for the first time from Vietnam, Cambodia, Africa and Peru.”

The South Korean explosion began in 2007 after the government introduced comprehensive measures to tackle digital piracy, encouraging record companies to invest in the country’s colourful K-Pop acts.

K-Pop bands are now expanding to include non-Korean members, such as Miss-A, a girl group which includes two Chinese members. But K-Pop’s success has sparked a pop “trade war” with Japan, which fears that Korea will undermine the dominance of its own J-Pop genre.

Psy is a product of YG Entertainment, one of three large Korean talent agencies responsible for putting together K-Pop acts and marketing them via fashion endorsements and television appearances.

Brazil is tipped to become the next musical powerhouse. Michel Teló scored a number one across Europe with “Ai Se Eu Te Pego!”, a song used to accompany football goal celebrations, which Simon Cowell’s Syco company has bought the rights to.

Arts and Entertainment
Blackman: Landscape of children’s literature does not reflect the cultural diversity of young people
booksMalorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Arts and Entertainment
'Eminem's recovery from substance abuse has made him a more potent performer, with physical charisma and energy he never had before'
musicReview: Wembley Stadium ***
Arts and Entertainment
‘Dawn of Planet of the Apes’ also looks set for success in the Chinese market

film
News
Arts and Entertainment
The successful ITV drama Broadchurch starring David Tenant and Olivia Coleman came to an end tonight

tv
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Chocolat author Joanne Harris has spoken about the financial struggles most authors face

books
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from How To Train Your Dragon 2

Review: Imaginative storytelling returns with vigour

film
Arts and Entertainment
Josh Hutcherson, Donald Sutherland and Jena Malone in Mockinjay: Part 1

film
Arts and Entertainment

film
Arts and Entertainment
Characters in the new series are based on real people, say its creators, unlike Arya and Clegane the Dog in ‘Game of Thrones’
tv
Arts and Entertainment
A waxwork of Jane Austen has been unveiled at The Jane Austen Centre in Bath

books
Arts and Entertainment
Britney Spears has been caught singing without Auto-Tune

music
Arts and Entertainment
Unless films such as Guardians of the Galaxy, pictured, can buck the trend, this summer could be the first in 13 years that not a single Hollywood blockbuster takes $300m

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Miley Cyrus has her magic LSD brain stolen in this crazy video produced with The Flaming Lips

music
Arts and Entertainment
Gay icons: Sesame Street's Bert (right) and Ernie

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Singer Robin Thicke and actress Paula Patton

music
Arts and Entertainment
The new film will be shot in the same studios as the Harry Potter films

books
Arts and Entertainment
Duncan Bannatyne left school at 15 and was still penniless at 29

Bannatyne leaves Dragon's Den

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The French economist Thomas Piketty wrote that global inequality has worsened

books
Arts and Entertainment
David Tennant and Benedict Cumberbatch

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Affleck plays a despondent Nick Dunne in David Fincher's 'Gone Girl'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Pete Doherty (L) and Carl Barât look at the scene as people begin to be crushed

music
Arts and Entertainment

tv
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Super Mario crushes the Messi dream as Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

    Super Mario crushes the Messi dream

    Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
    Saharan remains may be evidence of the first race war, 13,000 years ago

    The first race war, 13,000 years ago?

    Saharan remains may be evidence of oldest large-scale armed conflict
    Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

    Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

    Researchers hope eye tests can spot ‘biomarkers’ of the disease
    Sex, controversy and schoolgirl schtick

    Meet Japan's AKB48

    Pop, sex and schoolgirl schtick make for controversial success
    Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

    How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

    A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
    The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

    The evolution of Andy Serkis

    First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
    You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

    You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

    Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
    Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

    Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

    Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
    Children's books are too white, says Laureate

    Children's books are too white, says Laureate

    Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
    Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

    Blackest is the new black

    Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
    Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

    Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

    The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
    Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

    Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

    From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
    Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

    Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

    Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
    Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

    Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

    When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor