For the past 2-3 years, it has been all about the idols and K-pop.
Music charts were filled with idols and music programs featured at least 9 idol groups. Idols were sent overseas and promoted in different countries. Idols were taking over foreign country music charts as K-Pop idols became the focus of K-Pop and Asian music. Before we knew it, Korea’s music industry turned into all K-Pop.
However, the music scene changed a bit this year in 2012. There are still many idols debuting and many going off to overseas. However, now it is a bit harder to be successful just by releasing an album. There is now much more competition than ever before.
It seemed that while idols were looking away, a different genre of music and singers appeared. Busker Busker and Psy began to take the world by storm. Naul and Epik High have also started to gain popularity again.
Is this a crisis for the idols or a change for the music industry to change?
There have been over 50 new idol groups that have debuted just this year. Many of the rookie idol groups dreams have gotten bigger as well. They have all chosen Big Bang and 2NE1 as their role models and hope to win the ‘Best Rookie Award’ of the year.
However, no ‘next generation’ Big Bang or Girls’ Generation has been created yet. There have been os many idols coming out that the competition has gotten harder.
On the Gaon chart, only 2 rookie groups made it in the top 200 for download hits, EXID and Spica.
The top idol stars that have been around for awhile are still ranking high on the charts such as T-ARA, Big Bang 2NE1, SISTAR and others.
However, even amongst the top idol stars, the most downloaded song this year was not an idol, but Busker Busker. This summer, when most of the idol groups debuted or came out with new albums, rapper Psy maintained the number 1 spot.
It seems that for the last half of this year, people are gearing more towards music that you listen to rather than music that we see through visual performances.
It is not to say that idols are not doing well these days. Idols are continuing to be the focus of the Korean music industry and are successful through concerts, tours, promotions and other events. There are great top star idols that are famous around the world as well.