YouTube celebrates 7th anniversary with K-pop
By Kwon Mee-yoo
As YouTube celebrated its seventh anniversary, K-pop singers from TVXQ to Kara performed and rocked Silicon Valley.
YouTube, which is now Google/YouTube, and Korean broadcaster MBC co-hosted Monday the “MBC Korean Music Wave in Google” at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, Calif., to celebrate the anniversary of the world’s largest video sharing service. Google took over YouTube five years ago.
More than 20,000 K-pop fans formed a queue almost 1 kilometer long to enter the theater and sing along to the songs of Girls’ Generation, Wonder Girls, Super Junior, B2ST, MBLAQ, f(x) and Sistar.
Alex Carloss, head of entertainment at YouTube, said K-pop has now become a “phenomenon” but was surprised that the 22,000-seat theater sold out within an hour.
Some 6,000 Google and YouTube employees and their families also enjoyed the concert. Google originally planned to hold the concert at a smaller venue at its headquarters, but moved to the bigger Shoreline Amphitheatre due to requests from local K-pop fans.
The concert was streamed live through YouTube Presents (www.youtube.com/user/YouTubePresents), an exclusive channel for concerts of singers such as Jason Mraz and Taylor Swift. “MBC Korean Music Wave in Google” was the first K-pop event to be streamed through the channel.
More than 190,000 comments were posted during the three-hour streaming, sharing thoughts on K-pop and the concert. Google estimated millions of viewers across the globe watched the concert through YouTube.
YouTube is one of the major contributions to K-pop’s worldwide popularity. K-pop fans throughout the world watch videos of their favorite singers online and video clips of three major entertainment agencies ― SM Entertainment, JYP Entertainment and YG Entertainment ― recorded over 2.3 billion hits last year. Girls’ Generation’s “Gee” is the most popular clip, viewed more than 75 million times.
Facebook also introduced a page dedicated to K-pop titled “KPOP on Facebook” (www.facebook.com/kpopmusic). The page will convey news and other content on K-pop in Korean and English.
The page posted photos of SM Town Live World Tour 2012 in Los Angeles on Sunday. “Our artists already communicate with international fans on Facebook and Facebook plays an important role in the global K-pop community,” an SM official said.
Meanwhile, music magazine Rolling Stone picked 10 K-pop groups most likely to succeed in America, last Friday.
The list included 2NE1, Girls’ Generation, Big Bang, Wonder Girls, After School, B2ST, Ailee, Sistar, SHINee and Miss A. The magazine described K-Pop as “a mixture of trendy Western music and high-energy Japanese pop” and predicted its success in the American music scene “if correctly targeted at children and teenagers.”