First released in media on Wednesday via the Korea Times, Korea Foundation(KF) reveals that the K-pop phenomenon continues on strong. Based on the GlobalHallyu Data 2013, the largest survey about K-pop, fans of the genre haveamounted to 9.3 MM fans all over the world. The total number of fan clubs areestimated close to 1000.
These numbers reflect nearly a 40% increase from last year's numbers whereinthere were close to 7MM fans globally, with approximately 800 fan clubs. Theincrease in 2014 is testament to the new waves of fans being brought in by thesuper 'rookies' such as EXO and B.A.P, and possibly the conversion of formerlypassive audiences to hardcore fans.
According to the Korea Times report, the Global Hallyu Data 2013, "compiledwith the cooperation of the embassies and consulates of 98 countries, surveyedthe numbers of fans and fanclubs by continents as well as related data includingthe fan club websites and country-specific analysis."
Korea Foundation President Yu Hyeon Seok claims "It is the latest and largestsurvey on the global scene. It is meaningful that the data not only provides thecurrent trend for Hallyu, but includes detailed and comprehensive information onthe phenomenon."
The data also revealed areas of the most growth in K-pop. While Asia andOceania (Australia and New Zealand) continued to dominate the distributionaccounting for 6.8MM, K-pop is growing fastest in Africa and the Middle East.Since 2012, the number of fans have increased three-fold to 60,000 and fan clubsdoubled in number from 36 to 76. Within this fastest growing region, Tunisia,Egypt, Morocco and Israel are countries of interest.
The Korea Foundation further found it interesting that, "Fan clubs mostlyfocus on K-pop. Some of them are really active enough to organize K-pop coverdance competitions on their own, But, what is noteworthy is that there aresocial clubs that study other parts of Korean culture, like food and touring."This hints at the fact that the Hallyu phenomenon is now also spilling intoother parts of Korean culture other than entertainment.
With the growth of K-pop likely continuing on to 2014, it will be interestingto see upcoming trends that will shape the size of the Hallyu wave. Will superrookies usher more fans in? What will be 2014's K-pop viral phenomenon?