Client: Dazed (2018)
NCT 127, are striking the US while the iron is hot, a heat generated by BTS, whose rise to fame and powerful fandom has sparked an industry-wide interest in K-Pop and its devoted audiences. While it has to be said that K-Pop has never legitimately failed in the USA (existing as a solid, but cyclical, niche), only BTS have won over non-K-Pop fans on a mainstream scale. The door they’ve knocked down has spurred other K-Pop companies to refocus on America, a territory they’ve historically been unable to maintain as a priority.
Previously, K-pop faced almost total ambivalence from US media giants to promote their acts, and the industry has concentrated its energies, and money, on safe Asian markets instead. The opportunity is now there, but new challenges await, not least the music and media industry’s penchant for replication over innovation – something that’s already begun, with headlines either heralding or questioning other groups, including NCT 127, as “the next BTS”.