Majors Invest In Asia To Find Next 'Gangnam Style' Hit

Major labels are seeking to invest in places like Asia and South America to find a new range of alternative pop stars who can follow in the footsteps of Psy and "Gangnam Style".

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Korean rapper Psy is predicted to inspire a wave of hits from Asia and South America, after his viral hit "Gangnam Style" has reached over 700 million views on YouTube, not including the thousands of remixes and parodies of his video.

Labels and producers are now expected to invest in a wave of alternative pop, according to a report by music industry body IFPI.

The report says that record labels will increase investment in pop acts from places like Japan, China, Korea and South America in a bid to find the next Psy, Rihanna or Lady Gaga.

"I don't think Psy will be a one-off. The production values and the creativity coming out of Korea are remarkable," said Max Hole from Universal (via NME). "The focus of the recorded music industry for the last 40 years has been on the ten main music markets US, the UK, Germany, France etc. The next 30 years the focus is going to move to the emerging markets [like Asia and South America], and that's very exciting for us."

It it a savvy business move from the Western labels, or will they find it hard to emulate Psy's success? Let us know what you think in the comments.

83 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Vauxite
    Do they realise this song gained insane internet popularity because the video was just so abstract and hilarious in comparison to the pop videos of the westen world, rather than because it's musical qualities?
    plindqui
    The video was ridiculous and the horse dance has become amazingly popular. But the song does have an insanely catchy melody to it, so those three things together have kinda made it the perfect storm of a pop song
    ismeri
    As an avid listener of k-pop and j-pop there is nothing truly sonically unique about it.
    K!!LsWiTcH
    the song itself is so derivative of modern techno pop its ridiculous. the video is what made this song.
    davyyy
    too right man. this is 100% a novelty song, and while they are fun for a week, you don't see people talking about the lingering artistry and musicality of "i'm too sexy", "macarena", "barbie girl", or "cotton eyed joe". this song will be no different, and if the majors are seriously attempting this, then they might as well declare bankruptcy now.
    ne14t
    I watched this on YouTube long after it went viral just to see what people were talking about and at first I was like "WTF is this????" and then about a minute and a half in the catch beat and melody had me slightly hooked, I mean it has all the right elements to be an awesome song; however so did Mambo #5 by Lou Bega and that shit was a one hit wonder.
    Smegal
    No... No they do not... These are the same people that could see evidence leading to one conclusion then dismiss it and declare their archaic presumption is the only true conclusion...
    baumaxx1
    STOP FORCING IT! Seriously, they need to make music for music's sake, not for money.
    kaosxrocker
    But as long as there's money in it, there will be people there to take advantage of that.
    tukk04
    So basically the majors are doing the same thing they always did, spend crazy amounts of money in an attempt to find copies of the current big thing.
    Nero Galon
    It won't work. The reason why Psy's worked was because we hadn't seen it before. If there's someone similar then it will be hated more. We've had enough.
    iommi600
    "I dont think Psy will be a one-off. The production values and the creativity coming out of Korea are remarkable," The song is actually no different from most of the pop music we see in the US, the video is what made the whole thing... Op-op-op-op
    iammclovin
    There are actually some really talented acts out there in Korea. I've been listening to Korean pop for over a year now. I thought it would be a silly phase of mine but it's stuck with me.
    BjarnedeGraaf
    Gangnam style was funny. I don't see anything top that off, unless they do something completely different again. Gangnam Style was random, funny and original, everything that tries to beat it now is just following along on PSY's success formula, and won't be original. as I said: I don't see anything top that off, unless they come up with a totally different concept.
    Vinson
    What BjarnedeGraafsaid! It's popular because you can't take it serious! It's funny and hokey, and you have no idea what he is saying 80% of the time. He is a terrible dancer, out of shape, and acts like he's Brad Pitt in the video (sure he is a cool dude). People will quickly get tired of songs they can't understand/ sing-a-long with etc. It's good because it's funny. It's funny because it's the only one.
    Z0S07657
    I wish that money invested into finding this 'next star' could go to something like cancer research instead.
    shreddymcshred
    Gangnam style is popular because of the video, the dance, and the novelty of seeing an Asian do something other than math. The song is nothing special, but for the aforementioned reasons, I like it.
    Cheesepuff
    Sigh This is the problem witht he industry. Nothings original. They look for something successful and emulate it. I just hope they invest in Asian music in general and not just the soulless pop acts.
    tyler_j
    Yes, Asia is apparently the only place in the world that manufactures pop music that's very catchy. Well done, article.
    MattyPS
    Isn't there already a lot of k-pop? It's just not spread worldwide.
    iammclovin
    There's tons of it, and it's all very addictive. Probably because I can't understand them.
    derpdragon
    Can they least invest into the hot girl bands from Korea? If I'm going to be listening to this crap for the rest of my life, at least give me something to look at unlike all the fore mentioned in the article.
    johncobra1
    Has anyone else noticed the similarities between Gangnam Style and I'm Sexy and I Know It by LMFAO? They seem to have the exact same structure.
    whywefight
    Yes. Did you also notice the similarities between that LMFAO song and every other LMFAO song ever?
    DexterF
    -identify exploitable hype -exploit hype It's that simple. Why do I work a regular job? Oh yeah, I have qualms.
    thes50
    The problem is Gangnam Style is likely to be a one-off.
    iammclovin
    His song Right Now from 2010 is pretty much just like this one, equally ridiculous video, very catchy song.
    mitchrosko
    This is exactly why popular music is in the crapper. They take one song or genre, merchandise it, slap it on a plastic lunch box and squeeze every cent out of it until there's nothing left.
    xplosive59
    This is what the music industry has done wrong since the beginning, look at bands like Wild Cherry who after their release of "Play That Funky Music" were told to write the same song over and over again by the label they were on, they did so and were criticized for it. ... What I am saying is that if they find another Korean artist who has a stupid video and a catchy song people are just going to ignore it saying "this is just a Gangnam Style rip-off". Invest in J-Pop instead.
    Novationband
    How about they invest in the struggling music scene in their own backyard instead of scouring Asia for the next one hit wonder? There are so many great bands out there being left in the dirt because record labels are more interested in making a quick buck than helping hardworking musicians with actual talent succeed...
    ibanez124
    I couldn't have said this better myself. I hope the labels fail miserably.
    Camron62\m/
    majors are retarded. i hope there's metal that dominates most parts of Asia.
    6-String_Madman
    Metal is thriving in almost every part of Asia. But of course, it maintains an anti-mainstream image and never asks for popular support.
    Flying Afros
    metal's actually not very big in Asia, at least the parts I visited (Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, etc). However I did run into some metal heads in Bangkok. I played some Baroness for them, and they sold me a bunch of shitty weed for like, $3.
    danizzlesnizzle
    Actually metal is pretty big in Japan. Metal bands frequently chart in the top 30. Then again, Japanese metal is a little different. There's rarely screaming/growling or whatever you want to call it. However, the music itself is very metal, and very intense.
    ragnarr023
    Stop listening to this crap and listen to some proper music that actually takes skill to make.
    FuruiShin
    Nah, Kpop it's always there somewhere. Like whole asian music in general. It's your choice to listen or not. Gangnam style is just a perfect example of using music to do real business. In fact pop was always about being commecial and wide availability. Korean people mastered that :].
    AARWave
    Thank god it will be forgotten (but not forgiven) within a year or two. I have to admit that it is a perfect 21st century pop song: Catchy, no real instruments used, stupid video, stupid dance and will stay in your head until you rip it off. However I don't (have to) like or respect it or any other pop artist so I don't have to give it any other credit than the above. Sad thing is that you don't have to have any skill or apparently even look good, you just have to be funny and catchy so many talented rock and metal (or whatever music made with real instruments) artists are never noticed.
    iammclovin
    I've been listening to K-Pop for over a year and there are tons of Korean acts who I thought would be the one's to gain worldwide popularity before PSY. Congrats to the fella though
    badfish_lewis
    These days you have a better chance of getting signed if you make a complete ass of yourself, let other people write your music, have no real talent, don't play an instrument and so on rather than having a legitimate talent.
    shumpitostick
    GANGHAM STYLE GANGHAM STYLE GANGHAM STYLE GANGHAM STYLE GANGHAM STYLE GANGHAM STYLE GANGHAM STYLE GANGHAM STYLE GANGHAM STYLE GANGHAM STYLE GANGHAM STYLE GANGHAM STYLE GANGHAM STYLE GANGHAM STYLE GANGHAM STYLE GANGHAM STYLE
    ne14t
    Its all over the page yet you still spell 'Gangnam' wrong, way to fail man...
    ironman316
    What is Gangham?
    Biggilton
    The Crips and Bloods have peace on one christmas day, and in a joyous celebration get together, share presents, and eat gangham. One year it was overcooked. That's how the L.A. Riots really started.
    ToxXicSixString
    Off topic. But something happened like this in WWI on chirstmas the German and American troop stop fighting and exchanged cigarettes. Next day orders where givin to get back into the trenches and start killing again. Way off topic I know, but your post made me think of that.
    TenTonHammer
    Cool story, except the United States were never involved in WWI.
    shreddguitarist
    Are you retarted? In 1917 the americans joined the war because germany bombed them and they stayed in it til the end. Dumbass american.
    facebagel
    Is gangnam style even worth a correct spelling? Instead of creating something legitimate well keep making jokes and scratching our heads while asking why Rihanna and Lady Gaga are famous. Bravo my fellow 90s kids, you've fallen into their money trap.
    howyjr
    There's definitely a hint of "Who Let the Dogs Out?" about this song
    Eliyahu
    Have they not figured out that the most successful stars are the ones they're not looking for that surprise everyone?
    MrDo0m
    Sorry, it's a gimmick. Nothing against Gangnam Style, and I'm not saying they are untalented, but gimmicks are short-lived.
    MrDo0m
    And hey, there's still plenty of actually good shit to be found in Asia.
    Nameless742
    I think I'd have to bang my head against the wall for 2 days before I could kill enough braincells to understand the appeal of Gangnam Style. Sorry.
    rebreh
    This may sound strange but a lot of genres begin with novelty hits. Look back at some of the early rock and roll hits that broke big and they were cheesy as heck. For a more recent example, "Rapper's delight" was the first big rap song. So maybe they will find a more artistic group or what have you
    Spyke00
    Sadly the novelty of this has worn off due to the mainstream media all around the world milking it for all its worth. Psy was, successful in his own country as an artist long before Gangnam Style. I personally hope just for the sake of seeing other artists doing well, that more Korean pop artists manage to breakthrough into the Western world of music. Good luck to them and even if there's a next Gangnam Style around the corner we can only hope it doesn't get force fed down our throats to the point it stops being "funny" or "classy" one bit at all.