Although K-Pop has been a popular genre to the Asian audience since the late 1990’s, it really didn’t have such heavy influence on western audiences until the last few years. With the emergence of social media channels, K-Pop’s popularity skyrocketed as music videos were easily found through YouTube, and fans were able to spread the word via Twitter and Facebook. Working as the Social Media Manager for Billboard’s K-Pop Masters concert last year, I saw first hand how engaging K-Pop fans were via social media. Within less than a month, we were able to start from nothing, to generating millions of impressions via social media and become a trending topic on Twitter. I believe that it’s because of social media, that K-Pop is now recognized by mainstream artists like Will.I.Am and Ludacris. Yay for K-Pop!
First, let me say this: Dubstep has been around for a LONG time. Way before the birth of social media. According to data released by YouTube last September, searches for Dubstep have dated back to as early as 2009, and have grown tremendously since then. Fans uploading YouTube videos of their own Dubsteb remixes, while dancing and beatboxing to them have propelled its popularity in social media. The top 10 viral videos alone containing Dubstep from 2011 have racked up to over 40 million total views, showing the level of interest for the genre in new media. I believe that the rapid growth of social media usage has helped Dubstep receive mainstream attention since, as notable artists including Britney Spears and Rihanna have included Dubstep tracks on their music in the last year.
I put this one last just because it is the most obvious. It is clear that new media has offered a huge outlet for independent artists to receive notable attention in mainstream media. Indie artists are now given a platform to showcase and promote their work to a potentially limitless audience. Take an artist like Gotye for example. Digital endorsements from Ashton Kutcher and Lily Allen have greatly helped propel Gotye’s career to the mainstream. With covers of his songs generating over 90 million views via social media alone and dominating the music charts, this shows how much power indie artists hold with the explosion of social media.
What other music genres do you think were propelled by social media? Comment below!