ABC News Highlights K-Pop and SM Entertainment’s Training System

abc news korean pop idols 2

On June 5, US TV network ABC ran a segment on K-pop through its news show. Titled “Korean Pop Idols Rule Asia,” the segment covered the popularity of Korean pop culture in Asia, especially K-pop.

Describing SM Entertainment‘s top group, TVXQ, as Asia’s most popular artist, reporter Joohee Cho states that this duo rakes in 50 to 100 million dollars a year. Their money and fame as K-pop idols is what young Korean children aspire to these days, and entertainment agencies like SM Entertainment are selecting and training them to be the next “global idol figures.”

Filming at SM Entertainment’s training center, the segment shows young SM trainees receiving lessons in language, instruments, and public speaking. Joohee Cho interview Mark Lee of SMRookies, introduced as a second-year trainee. Mark Lee comments on the need to be skilled not only in singing and dancing, but also the need to know how to be a good speaker and humorous.

This training to be performers from a young age, Joohee Cho argues, is what made K-pop so successful.

The segment also points out that most K-pop idols perform in groups, which is a clever marketing strategy that minimizes investment risk. Also, Joohee Cho states, “And their disciplined, synchronized moves strike the right chord with Asian fans who appreciate the beauty of collectivism.” You can watch the clip here.