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Korean Wave 3.0 looks beyond K-pop Updated: 2014-01-06 19:53:10 KST

  Korean Wave 3.0 looks beyond K-pop
2013 was another huge year for the Korean Wave as Psy's "Gentleman" attracted over 600-million views online, while Girls' Generation won "Video of the Year" at the YouTube Music Awards.

Despite the sluggish global economy, Korea's content industry is forecast to post 5.1-billion U.S. dollars in exports for 2013, up nearly 11 percent on-year.
But it wasn't K-pop leading the charge.
According to the Korea Creative Content Agency, overseas sales by local game companies accounted for over half of the nation's content exports last year.
Animation and character licenses came in second at 9 percent, followed by music and TV programming.

In order for the Korean Wave to stay relevant and grow in 2014, experts say the industry will need to diversify.
Korean films and musicals are being considered as the next big thing due to their surging popularity at home and abroad.

"K-pop and Korean dramas were central to the start of the Korean Wave. Now we expect games, animations and other next generation contents to further diversify the Korean Wave."

The need for fresh changes comes as global audiences may be feeling fatigue from the army of K-pop idols.
A survey by the Korea Foundation for International Culture Exchanges showed about 60 percent of international respondents said the Korean Wave would begin to lose steam within the next five years, while 18 percent of those polled believed it had already run its course.

Critics say the government should do more to promote cultural diversification rather than playing it safe with past successes.

"Britain and France are actively supporting creators and cultural content producers in terms of policies or capital, however, the Korean government is not playing a leading role. There is a need for support of policies that do not interfere."

Korea has a tremendous amount to offer the world including fashion, food, literature, and so much more.
And as the Korean Wave evolves with the next-generation of fans, it too will embrace other cultures and peoples.

Paul Yi, Arirang News
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