Commentary

'Billboard Korea' Launches First Print Edition as K-Pop Industry Grows

Billboard Koreanext month will debut its first print edition as the K-pop music industry emerges as a global force with the popularity of bands, such as BTS and Blackpink.

The bimonthly will include a mix of industry news and analysis, interviews, full chart reports and original photography. It also will look at the music scene’s connection to Korean fashion, movies, beauty, events and television, Billboard reported.

The South Korean music industry’s revenue jumped 18% last year, outpacing the 9.7% gains for the global market, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry.

The country was ranked as the No. 6 market for music, behind the United States, Japan, United Kingdom, Germany and France.

South Korea also bucked a global trend of declining revenue for music packaged in a physical format, like vinyl or compact discs. While physical revenue declined 10% globally, it surged 29% in South Korea.

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Music streaming giant Spotify hasn’t started service in the country, but it does distribute South Korean music globally through its platform.

Boy band BTS was the second-most streamed group on Spotify behind Imagine Dragons last year. The band also had two of the top three best-selling albums worldwide after the original soundtrack for “The Greatest Showman,” which was ranked No. 1.

Those trends bode well for readership of Billboard Korea.

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