The rise of K-pop (Korean pop) as a new global music genre has wrought theoretical turmoil within the field of cultural studies. This article argues that the global ascendance of K-pop can primarily be attributed to the passionate support of inter-Asian audiences. However, the actual production, performance, and dissemination of K-pop contents have little to do with the Asian pop-culture system. Although the manufacture of K-pop music and its performers depends on Korean talent and management, K-pop producers tend to rely heavily on the global music industries of North America and Europe for their creative content. The global dissemination of K-pop would not have been possible without global social network service (SNS) sites such as YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter—none of which are owned or operated by Asians. This article argues that the manufacturing of creativity in non-Western music, as illustrated by the case of Hallyu, involves three stages: globalization of creativity, localization of musical contents and performers, and global dissemination of the musical contents through social media.
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