Europe is reportedly K-pop’s fastest growing market


A new report has shown Europe as the fastest growing market for K-pop and other Korean pop culture content – or “hallyu”.

According to non-profit organisation Korea Foundation’s annual Global Hallyu report, published in cooperation with the Soiuth Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs, there’s an estimated 13million hallyu fans in Europe as of 2022, per The Korea Times. That number is a 37 per cent increase from the year before.

In its report, the Korea Foundation suggests that Europe could be used as a springboard to grow demand for Korean pop culture in the West. “Hallyu has gained a strong foothold across Asia, so we need to develop a strategy to reach a much wider audience outside of Asia,” said the organisation.

In comparison to Europe, Asia and Oceania still make up the lion’s share of demand for Korean pop culture, accounting for over 73 per cent of all hallyu fans.

The report claims that of the estimated 178million hallyu fans around the world, nearly half (84million) are in China. Southeast Asian nations Thailand and Vietnam trail behind in second and third place with 16.8million and 13.3million respectively.

Elsewhere in the report, the Korea Foundation noted the healthy return of hallyu fan communities over the past year – growing from 1,464 in 2021 to 1,684 in 2022 – with the lifting of pandemic restrictions around the world.

In other news, BTS label HYBE has dropped its bid to acquire K-pop agency SM Entertainment following a discussion with competitor Kakao. The announcement came just days after Kakao made a large tender offer to become SM’s largest shareholder to buy up to 35 per cent of the company at ₩150,000 per share.

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