Korea = K-pop: Survey shows unwavering reach of Korea’s cultural content

Posted on : 2024-04-03 17:18 KST Modified on : 2024-04-03 17:18 KST
“Parasite” and “Squid Game” remained at the top of global fans’ rankings of their favorite Korean content
BTS on the cover of Rolling Stone. (courtesy of Big Hit Music)
BTS on the cover of Rolling Stone. (courtesy of Big Hit Music)

When non-Koreans hear the name “Korea,” the first thing they think of is K-pop, a new survey has found. Respondents chose “Squid Game” and “Parasite” as their favorite Korean entertainment products, a trend that has continued now for several years running.

Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Korea Foundation for International Cultural Exchange released the results of the 2024 Overseas Hallyu Survey on Tuesday.

According to the survey, the thing that people most associate with Korea remains K-pop (17.2%), just as in the previous six surveys. Other frequently mentioned items were Korean food (13.2%), television dramas (7.0%), tech products and brands (6.3%) and cosmetic products (5.2%).

Respondents’ favorite Korean television program was “Squid Game,” holding the No. 1 spot for the third year in a row. “The Glory” came in second at 3.4%, with “King the Land” in third at 2.6%. “Squid Game” was especially popular in Europe (23.7%) and the Americas (8.3%), while “The Glory” held strong in the Asia-Pacific (5.4%).

In terms of Korean films, “Parasite” (7.9%) and “Train to Busan” (6.0%) came in first and second, the fifth year they’ve done so. “Parasite” was a crowd-pleaser in Europe (10.7%) and the Americas (12.6%) while “Train to Busan” continues to be adored in the Asia-Pacific (8.2%).

The most popular Hallyu star and actor for 11 consecutive years now is Lee Min-ho (6.4%). As for music groups and singers, BTS (29.1%) came in first (for the sixth year in a row) and Black Pink (13.1%) came in second (for the fifth year). Meanwhile, Jungkook from BTS (2.7%) and Lisa from Black Pink (1.4%) placed fourth and seventh, respectively, in a testament to their successful solo careers.

The survey was carried out online from Nov. 10 to Nov. 30 last year, involving 25,000 people from 26 countries who have interacted with Korean cultural content.

By Suh Jung-min, staff reporter

Please direct questions or comments to [english@hani.co.kr]

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