04. Emerging Social Distribution: The Case of K-pop Circulation in the Global Pop Market


1. 비, “I Do”

1. Rain, “I Do”

From: It’s Raining, JYP Entertainment/Seoul Records, 2004, compact disc.

Rain: vocal, Jinyoung Park: producing.



The music video of a soft R&B ballad which made Rain an “Asian Star.” It was dubbed and remixed into a duet version by a Thai singer Panadda with translated lyrics as subtitles. The products of the sponsoring companies such as the Apple iPod and the SONY Camcorder appear in the video.

2. 寶兒, “My Name”

2. BoA, “My Name”

From: My Name SM Entertainment SM-089, 2004, compact disc.

BoA: vocal; Kenzie: music & lyrics: Lee Sooman: producing.



BoA is a female pop star both in Japan and her native Korea. She is said to be the only non-Japanese singer to have three albums selling more than one million copies in Japan. “My Name”, the title song of her 4th full-length album, established her as a border-crossing pop star across Asia, with the song sung in Japanese and Chinese as well as in Korean.

3. 싸이, “강남스타일”

3. Psy, “Gangnam Style”

From: Psy Yukkap Part 1, 2012, compact disc.

Psy: music & lyrics, vocal; Yu Kŏn-hyŏng: music.



“Gangnam style” and its music video had sensational popularity around the world as soon as it released its album. The music video has been viewed over 2.61 billion times on YouTube, and has been the most watched music video since November 2012. This music not only went viral, thereby popularizing Korean pop worldwide, but also drew tremendous attention to the Korean living style that is associated with the Gangnam area of Seoul.

In the case of Europe, this song increased the public recognition of Korea and its culture and therefore created changes in the K-pop scene.