An outlook on how the K-pop industry will be in 2023

The size of the domestic and foreign K-pop market is predicted to continue to expand in 2023.

The biggest changes in the K-pop market in 2022 were the generational shift from the 3rd to the 4th Gen girl groups, the revival of physical album sales, and the expansion of K-pop’s position in the global music market centered on idol groups. This trend is expected to continue in the music industry in 2023.

The 4th generation girl groups will continue to march forward

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Last year, the K-pop market saw an unprecedented boom in physical sales. While SEVENTEEN, NCT Dream, NCT 127, TWICE, Stray Kids, Lim Young Woong, led by BTS and BLACKPINK, recorded a steep growth, 4th Gen idol groups such as aespa, ENHYPEN, TOMORROW X TOGETHER, ITZY are also listed as a million-sellers in 2022.

This was interpreted as a result of the expansion of K-pop idol groups’ influence in the global market. After the pandemic period, the global music market has regained vitality. K-pop groups’ overseas activities have been active again, adding strength to the steep growth.

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As K-pop idol groups are expected to continue their rapid growth and activities in the global music market this year, the physical sales by those who have grown rapidly are expected to maintain a similar level. In particular, it is predicted that the growth will center on 4th-generation girl groups that have produced the most remarkable results in both domestic and foreign markets in 2022.

Kim Jin Woo, a senior researcher at Circle Chart, also predicted, “As global fandom continues to grow, physical album sales are expected to show a steady increase in the mid-to-long-term, especially in the girl group area.

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Overall, the general prospect is that a change in the overall flow of the girl group market will continue. Regarding this, Kim Jin Woo said, “As the fandom of girl groups increases, there is a high possibility that the range of activities of girl groups will change from catering to the public to pandering more to the fandom in the future. As a result, from a business perspective, it will become meaningless to distinguish the flow of direction between male and female idols.”

Boy group rebound and K-pop genre expansion

On the other hand, the boy group market, which has not achieved great results compared to the girl group market in 2022, bears great pressure to rebound. This is due to the regrettable absence of a “monster-level” 4th generation boy group with both public and fandom popularity, as opposed to 4th generation girl groups, who are gaining ground-breaking achievements.

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Expectations are high for the birth of a boy group that can capture both the fandom and public, leading to rising attention towards Mnet’s “Boys Planet”, which is scheduled to launch this year. “Boys Planet” is a follow-up of survival program “Girls Planet 999”, which formed Kep1er in 2022, and thus is garnering curiosity. Along with this, the popularity of boy groups in the global market, which is expected to resonate back to Korea, also holds great potential to be boy groups’ key to rebound.

Source: Hankook Ilbo

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