Research on how to best maximize profit brought by the Hallyu wave to the South Korean economy has been the main focus of the country’s Ministry of Culture and Sports. A recent report based on research done by the Korean Culture & Tourism Institute discusses how the Hallyu wave has the potential to bring in even more profit for the country through exports — including K-Pop, K-Dramas, K-food, and, in particular, BTS.
The report revealed that more than 80 million K-Pop albums were sold around the world in 2022. The number of Hallyu fans also increased to 156.6 million people, data taken in December 2021. Korea’s Culture & Tourism Institute notes that this is a 17-fold increase in fans from data taken in 2011.
While K-Dramas saw a phenomenal increase in numbers as well — following the incredible debut of “Squid Game” on Netflix — the report interestingly notes the rise K-food has seen in recent years. KTCI credits this to Hallyu’s power and influence which can raise South Korea’s image as a cultural powerhouse.
Another notable detail presented in the report was the interest western media has taken in K-Entertainment developments. The dispute between HYBE and KAKAO M over SM Entertainment‘s shares and management rights was taken as the main example, with the report adding how the news was discussed by major players like CNN and the Wall Street Journal.
To further prove how much investment and momentum the popularity of Hallyu can give to a struggling South Korean economy, the report also focused on analyzing BTS’s famous 4-day concert Permission To Dance on Stage in Las Vegas.
Last April, BTS sold out four nights at the Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. The concert was held on March, 8, 9, 15, and 16, where BTS was able to greet their US fans for the last time as a full group before they announced their hiatus from group activities. Permission To Dance on Stage was a massive commercial success, with the KTCI noting the revenue garnered and how this revenue can increase in case such a concert is held in South Korea.
The report noted that BTS raked in 131.5 billion won through the concert, with 15.3 billion coming from the sales of the group’s lightstick alone. Korean food was also another main point of revenue, with dishes like gimbap, tteokbokki, and steamed galbi costing over 60,000 won.
The concert was so beneficial to the Las Vegas city officials that Democratic Senator Catherine Masto of Nevada herself extended her gratitude to the group on Twitter.
The report further revealed that, had such a grand concert been held in South Korea, the group would’ve created 1 trillion won economic value for the country.
KTIC also adds that besides BTS, South Korea now has an “army” of popular K-Pop groups that can add to this economic value. Examples like BLACKPINK, Twice, Stray Kids, NCT, and Seventeen were taken, with the report also noting that all of these groups have “regrettably” announced plans to perform overseas.