Culture is a key export, overenthusiastic fan a big risk
Just as the growth of culture drove the growth of other industries in Britain, the expansion of Korean pop content will enhance other sectors, including tourism and technology, said Julian Knight, a member of the British Parliament and chair of the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee.
Knight gave his remarks at “The 3rd Business+ Forum – The Korean Entertainment Industry” held Thursday at Lotte Hotel Seoul in central Seoul.
The forum, co-hosted by the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (Kotra) and the British Chamber of Commerce in Korea (BCCK), was held to discuss how the influence of K-pop, Korean dramas and films has been growing in recent years and how risks can be managed to ensure continued success, according to Kotra.
It was attended by experts in entertainment and policies including: Eight members of British Parliament including Knight; Lee Yong-min, a partner at Yulchon, a law firm; Son Jin, foreign attorney for the District of Columbia at Yulchon; and James Hooper, explorer and TV presenter. Lucinda Walker, executive director of the BCCK, moderated the discussion session.
“The success of Korean and British entertainment and media industries are impressive in their own way, and it’s right to recognize them all, but it’s also created other benefits for our countries,” Knight said.
“Our entertainment industries have provided positive perceptions of our two countries as welcomed destinations to work, invest, live and visit,” he said. “And the success of our music, film and television sectors support our tourism and related businesses as well as giving a boost to our heritage, culture and retail sectors.”
The global pandemic has boosted the surge of K-pop and videos. With the pandemic coming to an end, Korean entertainment will create further synergy with offline businesses, according to Lyu Jae-won, executive vice president for Trade-investment Data at Kotra.
“Platform businesses have been boosted by megadeals between distributors, such as telecommunications on the one and content providers on the other,” Lyu said.
“Furthermore, added value can be created by putting intellectual property into business, where the unique licenses of characters and stories generate profits in various fields such as beauty, fashion and games.”
The expansion was also attributed to enthusiastic fans and television audiences who are eager to spread Korean entertainment on the global stage. However, their overzealous passion could also pose a threat if not dealt with properly, said Hooper.
“The netizens, or the online commentators, can be quite brutal in their appraisal of a show,” Hooper said, referring to his experience while taking part in the JTBC talk show “Abnormal Summit” in 2014.
“They’re not always true, but once something is picked up, it becomes a rolling mass and gains momentum. It’s important we make sure that we maintain the interaction between consumers and the content but also make sure that it doesn’t deteriorate into a negative context.”
BY YOON SO-YEON [email@example.com]