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Korea's market for pop culture expands nearly 20 pct in 2018

All News 17:46 March 11, 2020

SEOUL, March 11 (Yonhap) -- The South Korean market for popular culture content including K-pop and K-drama expanded nearly 20 percent in 2018 from two years earlier on a surge in overseas sales, a government report showed Wednesday.

According to the biennial tally of the popular culture market, compiled by the Korea Creative Content Agency and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the combined revenue of the industry came to 6.42 trillion won (US$5.4 billion) in 2018, up 19.5 percent from about 5.37 trillion won registered in 2016.

This photo, provided by Big Hit Entertainment, shows BTS posing for a photo during a global news conference on its new album "Map of the Soul: 7" at COEX in Seoul on Feb. 24, 2020. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

The tally includes the content sector for K-pop as well as those for Korean drama, TV shows and other content genres.

The sharp increase in 2018 was largely thanks to the market's exports, which increased 68.9 percent to 874.2 billion won from two years earlier, the report showed.

As of the end of 2018, there were a total of 9,141 pop artists registered at local talent agencies and management companies. Of them, 43.8 percent, or 4,003, were singers and dancers, while another 37.4 percent were actors, followed by fashion models at 7.6 percent and comedians at 2.1 percent.

This photo provided by SM Entertainment on Oct. 14, 2019, shows new K-pop boy band SuperM, whose first release, "SuperM: The 1st Mini Album," debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart for the week of Oct. 19, making the septet the first K-pop band to do so following global phenomenon BTS. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

The average monthly income for a pop artist was 1.8 million won in 2018, slightly down from 1.83 million won two years earlier.

The survey is based on a poll of 3,704 local talent agencies and production companies as well as 1,242 people from the popular culture industry.


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