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The Korean pop phenom Psy’s breakout hit ‘Gangnam Style’ crosses 2bn views

SAN BRUNO:┬áThe Korean pop phenom Psy’s breakout hit “Gangnam Style” crosses 2 billion views, musicians dig the YouTube more than ever, ARY News has learnt.

Maybe that’s because it’s where music business has been reborn. The catchy tune with quirky dance moves make the video to record 2 billionth YouTube views.

It isn’t the first of its genre, and despite the ever-snarky world of music critique, it won’t be the last. “Gangnam Style” owes its success to hitting a zeitgeist trifecta: the popularity of the video itself, a growing international clamor for Korean pop music, and the rise of Google-owned YouTube not just as a video streaming repository, but as a free streaming music service with a seemingly unlimited number of songs

Psy’s breakout, charmingly sarcastic hit rides the tsunami of Korean pop music, or K-Pop, currently engulfing the globe — but it’s driving it, too. The “Gangnam Style” video currently adds around 2 million to 3 million views per week and then another 2 million to 3 million each weekend, said Isaac Bess, a music partner manager at YouTube, based in YouTube’s suburban San Francisco offices.

By contrast, the No. 2 most-watched YouTube video is Justin Bieber’s “Baby,” far behind at just over 1 billion views.

K-Pop “has been exploding for 20-odd years, and its export has been more and more successful,” said Bess. “‘Gangnam Style’ really kicked off a massive wave of [K-Pop video] consumption. We now see 90 percent of K-Pop is consumed outside of Korea.”

As a genre, K-Pop videos exploded in viewership on YouTube to more than 5.5 billion in 2013 from 600 million in 2010, Bess said. As K-Pop has become more popular, so has YouTube itself.



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