Think about this, for a minute.
One hit single, from a boy band, is worth more than US$1.4 billion to the South Korean economy.
According to a government study, K-pop sensation BTS’s US-chart-topping single “Dynamite” could generate billions in economic activity for South Korea and thousands of new jobs, The Global Times reported.
The trailblazing septet cemented their prominence in the world’s biggest music market last week, when the all-English track debuted at No.1 in the Billboard Hot 100.
The feat had previously eluded rapper Psy, whose “Gangnam Style” was a global megahit but peaked at No.2 in the US for seven weeks in the fall of 2012, Global Times reported.
The study by South Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and a government tourism institute projected that the track would generate 1.7 trillion won (US$1.43 billion) of economic activity and nearly 8,000 new jobs.
As well as direct sales of more than 400 billion won, it would lead to nearly 600 billion won of cosmetics sales and almost 180 billion won in food and drinks, the study found.
The estimates were drawn from analyzing the sales of the BTS’s label Big Hit Entertainment, along with statistics from South Korea’s Customs, the central Bank of Korea and Google Trends data, Global Times reported.
It excluded foreign tourism in the face of tight travel restrictions imposed by Seoul to deal with the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“If we include the projected tourism revenue down the road… we expect the economic impact to be stronger,” the ministry said.
K-pop – along with K-drama soap operas — has been one of South Korea’s most successful cultural exports and is a key component of the “Korean Wave” that has swept Asia and beyond over the last two decades.