Korean Music on U.K Radios

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Korean Music & British Radio Stations

With the popularity of Korean Music (K-Pop & K-HipHop) soaring in the UK in the past 6 years, what’s the next step for our island and Korea’s music scene? With multiple concerts happening here since the latter half of 2011, the phenomenal turn out at the South Korean  Festival London in 2015 (City Hall estimated that up to 40,000 had attended), popular boy group BTS being the first Korean Artists to make it in the Top 75 in the Official UK Album Charts, and the promise of many exciting things to come for 2017, how can this genre be publicised more to those as of yet not familiar with it?

One way, but maybe seen as too difficult to achieve, would be for K-Pop to be played on national British radio. We can already hear a huge range of world music on many radio stations in the UK, so it seems logical that Korean music could also be a viable option. We can already see that radio in the UK isn’t against exploring and examining foreign music. For example, if you search on BBC Radio 3’s World Music section, you’ll be able to find a section dedicated to Asia Pacific.

However, when looking through them, although there are some segments on Japan and China, there is nothing on Korea. Also, a lot of the emphasis is put on exploring traditional music and tales from the past, and not much spotlight is put on the present. This is expected from BBC Radio 3, as it’s not wholly aimed at the younger generation, but a lot of their material on Asia seems very rooted in looking at the past and history, not the modern tastes.

From a marketing standpoint, with over a third of the population in the UK taking a high interest in South Korean music, radio stations could gain many listeners as there is more than enough of a national interest in Korean music to warrant its air time on UK radio stations. Numerous fans have attempted, multiple times, to get popular Korean tracks played by UK radio stations (e.g. BBC Radio 1), but sadly our requests have always been ignored and/or rejected.

As many of you may agree, it's about time Korean music got some time On Air just like any other song that gets played on a daily basis.



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