A year since Gangnam Style, K-Pop keeps getting bigger

July 15, 2013

On July 15, PSY's now legendary video for "Gangnam Style" will officially turn 1 year old. The video is already the most viewed video ever on YouTube and was the first clip ever to surpass 1 billion views -- it currently stands at 1.7B and is still growing for those counting. But impact of the biggest web video phenomenon of 2012 extends beyond PSY's singular music video.

While global interest in K-Pop has been on the rise for the past few years, the data suggests views of Korean artists tripled in the year following the release of Gangnam Style. Here's a chart of monthly views on top K-Pop channels, including PSY:

In the year before "Gangnam Style", official music videos from K-Pop artists were viewed over 2.2 billion times globally. The year following, that number jumped to over 7 billion views, 3x the viewership. In 2011, less than half the viewership on top K-Pop channels was from outside the Asia-Pacific region. Now, the majority of the watching is taking place outside the region. 91% of viewing in the past year was outside Korea.

In the U.S. where, for many, K-Pop had been an unknown genre of music, video viewership of top K-Pop artists doubled the year after "Gangnam Style" hit the web.

So what were people watching?

The top 10 music videos from Korea uploaded since "Gangnam Style" represent a diverse mix. PSY tops the list with his follow-up "Gentleman", which itself now has nearly half of a billion views. Other major acts include Girls Generation and Big Bang, both of which have cultivated large international followings.

You can see the full top 10 via this playlist or watch below:

-- Kevin Allocca