Singer Psy launched “Gangnam Style” 10 years ago.
When South Korean rapper Psy released Gangnam Style, 10 years ago, few anticipated the scale and speed of his success, and how he would help launch the revolution of online broadcasting.
On July 15, 2012, his delirious clip was released. Poking fun at the wealthy Gangnam district of Seoul, it hit the world in weeks, reaching one billion views on YouTube in less than six months.
His signature horse dance has given rise to a slew of parodies and emulators: on prime-time television in the United States, in an English soccer stadium and even in the White House, the American President of at the time, Barack Obama, having declared that his daughters had taught him well.
The song demonstrated to the music industry the power of influence of online platforms and social media, especially for artists from Eastern countries who do not perform in English.
Traditional marketing and advertising textbooks have been thrown out the window, said Bernie Cho, president of Seoul-based creative agency DFSB and South Korean music industry expert .
A revolutionary success
In 2012, the online streaming industry was still in its infancy, providing less than 7% of music revenue worldwide, according to the International Music Federation. Phonographic Industry (IFPI).
However, the incredible success of Gangnam Style has helped pave the way for artists all over the world, not only to publish their music, but also to earn online ad revenue and perform live.
Ten years on, streaming is the biggest revenue earner for the global music industry – 65% in 2021, according to IFPI – with content offered online through subscription services, YouTube and short video apps like TikTok.
A few months after its release, Gangnam Style had reached the record for the most viewed video on YouTube, a place which she kept for more than three years. As of June 21, it has been viewed over 4.5 billion times.
The excitement generated by Gangnam Styleand viral phenomena, like the Harlem Shake, prompted Billboard in 2013 to transform the way it does its rankings, adding streams on YouTube and other platforms to traditional record sales and radio stream numbers. /p>
Paving the way for Korean pop
Gangnam Style also shook the South Korea, overnight becoming the country's greatest cultural export and a source of national pride. Korean pop groups that had attempted to break into international markets before 2012 had had regional success in Asia but failed to break into lucrative Western markets such as the United States.
< p class="e-p">Psy proved to everyone that instead of a Korean version of a western or international pop star, what the world wanted was something something very authentic, original and unique, said Bernie Cho of the DFSB.