K-Pop as trend, genre and business model

K-pop: everything you need to know about it as a music producer

K-pop keeps storming music industry with its catchy songs and unique choreography. It keeps staying in the top world’s charts and attracts more and more fans to Korean pop music and culture.


Korean pop music, with its fresh sound and unusual music approach, can be a quite appealing genre for music producers. If you feel this way and want to know more about the k-pop industry and how you can contribute to it, you are in the right place!


The global recognition.


The world has been watching k-pop changing music scene for a while. It all had started way before such groups as BTS, and Blackpink. In 2009, Wonder Girls together with J.Y.Park made it to Billboard Hot 100 with the song Nobody. That was the first Korean song ever that entered the chart even though it was for quite a short period of time.



This is when the world first recognized k-pop and its sound, only soon to realize that there is more to it. In 2012 PSY stormed Billboard with the famous Gangnam Style, and every year after that, he kept coming back to Billboard’s top positions with his other tracks. These two songs were so different that it made everyone think what k-pop is and what defines it.


It is not only about pop.


Opinions on whether k-pop is a distinct genre vary. Some might say that it is a genre because there are certain similarities in the production process. The others would say that it is just a shortened name of Korean pop music in general.

One way or another, k-pop has been influenced by many other genres, especially by hip-hop, rap, and swing. This makes it safe to say that Korean pop is not really about only pop.


Momoland and electro swing vibe of their song “Bboom Bboom”



The business approach.


With so many songs going viral, there should be a robust business model behind the k-pop industry, you might think. That is right. K-pop is usually associated with three entertainment agencies: SM Entertainment – home for such groups as EXO, Red Velvet, and NCT; YG Entertainment is famous for BiG Bang, Blackpink, and 2NE1; and JYP that works with Twice, Stray Kids and GOT7. Often Big Hit Entertainment is added to that list as well because they are the ones who introduced BTS to the world.

One of the reasons why K-pop is successful is that artists join labels at an early age, so by the time they debut in the music world, they can be considered well-developed music professionals.

Another reason why k-pop is winning listeners over because it actively uses social media as the primary tool for their music promotion. K-pop artists are incredibly active on social media. They use it not only for personal updates but also for their regular engagement with their fans.


K-pop social media marketing strategy K-Tune blog

Blackpink show appreciation to their fans on Instagram.



Korean and international producers.


K-pop is about not only singers but also about people who are behind the scenes. No k-pop song was created by a single person. Each song is a hard work of multiple songwriters and producers. That is the secret that allows the music to be of a quality k-pop is famous for.

It is also worth breaking down the myth that k-pop is made by Korean producers only. For example, many songs of EXO, Red Velvet, BoA, NCT 127, SHINee were produced by hip-hop production team The Stereotypes. They have also worked with Bruno Mars, Chris Brown, Cardi B, and won three Grammy Awards.

The practice of working together with foreign producers aims to bring fresh sounds to k-pop. That is why most of the top-rated songs were created jointly with famous overseas producers like Teddy Riley and Warren G.


Even though it might look like all the producers’ spots are reserved for world-famous producers only, this is not entirely true. Many Korean agencies collaborate with less famous but no less talented professionals. So if you decide to join the world of k-pop music production, you certainly have an excellent chance to collaborate on everyone’s next favorite k-pop song.



YouTube for musicians, YouTube as search engine

How good is YouTube for musicians?

YouTube is undoubtedly a powerful platform for musicians. YouTube videos get a billion views daily. Being the most popular video website in 91 countries and within people from 18 to 34 years old, it seems to be an excellent place for musicians to upload their music.


YouTube is not only a hub of videos that you can watch and share with your friends. These days it is more than that. Over recent years YouTube became a top video search engine, an advertising platform, and a social network. As a musician, you can make good use of all three, and here is how.


YouTube as a search engine.


Youtube usually is the first place that comes in mind if someone suggests searching for music. That makes it a potent search tool. YouTube search algorithm is getting smarter every day to ensure users find what they are looking for.

As an artist, you can use it in your favor if you invest some time in learning how the YouTube optimization works and how to make your content stand out according to YouTube rules. Once you complete this quest, your videos will get the views they deserve to get.

Let’s say you have your music ready for the world to hear it. Simply uploading it to YouTube will not bring any visible results anymore, as it is highly competitive. Make sure you have a catchy title, use correct keywords, thumbnail, call to actions and links, and get everything else in order.


YouTube as a powerful advertising tool.


Even though the Internet is full of advertising opportunities, YouTube seems to be the right place to start. In fact, 95% of the most-watched videos on YouTube in recent years were music videos. Being a part of a music-oriented platform will allow you to advertise to people who are already interested in music in general. Just this fact alone simplifies targeting and the entire youtube music video ad setting process. Many musicians widely use this tool. Check your favorites musicians on YouTube for some inspiration for what to post.

You probably think that YouTube ad spaces belong to brands advertising only, but that is not necessarily true. You can promote your new music video, video backstage, video teaser, or live performance. There are no limitations as long as you know who you would want to advertise it to.


YouTube as a community-building tool.


YouTube is an excellent opportunity to build a closer relationship with subscribers. If you are serious about growing your fanbase, then you have a chance to keep your subscribers posted with the Community Tab. You can interact with your audience with text messages, images, videos, polls, and GIFs. Many musicians widely use this tool. You can always check your favorite artists on YouTube for some inspiration of what to post.


Blackpink youtube channel community tabs - K-Tune blog


Community Tab’s updates are also suitable for promoting your music and music videos for extra exposure, sneak peeks, and feedback about your music. It is also where you can use stories and premieres to drive more attention to your music.


YouTube is a robust platform for videos and music. People often choose it over other networks for discovering new music. That makes it a fantastic place for artists to share their works. Like many other well-developed spaces, it requires some extra learning about optimization and advertising. But we firmly believe if you invest time and effort, it can benefit your music a lot.


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Fanbase growth hacks. K-Tune blog.

How to grow fanbase from casual listeners to true fans.

Fanbase is something that every musician strives to achieve. It says a lot about success, recognition, and affirmation that you are doing the right thing. It is also a source of powerful support that goes a long way in establishing your image as an artist.


An excellent example of music fan loyalty is Justin Bieber’s fanbase that is the most devoted fan base in the world according to People Magazine. Being the most loyal fandom, his fans make sure his albums and music videos stay top trended on Twitter as soon as they got released.

It is undoubtedly great to have thousands of views on YouTube, but not everyone, who lands on your page, or clicks your YouTube video, automatically joins your fanbase. It takes several steps that come before that. We call it the music fan engagement cycle. Knowing the steps of this cycle will give you more ideas on how to get fans.


The music fan engagement cycle


Think of that as friendships. First, you meet someone and communicate with them. Then you see how much you have in common, and usually, that lays a foundation for friendship. After that, you go to school and parties together, i.e., you share the experience.

A similar thing happens to your fans when they are evolving from your one-time listener to a loyal supporter. They connect, they receive, they relate, and elevate.


Here is what you need to do to make that happen.




It all starts with a connection. You need to find the right place, time, and way to connect with your listeners. This is when you create a catchy music video, engaging ad, or appealing message on social media. The goal of this stage is to get attention.

When the goal is completed, the result would be either video view, ad click, or a bunch of likes under your posts.

An excellent example here is how Coldplay connected with their fans through Instagram Stories during the Coronovirus crisis.





At this stage, you deliver your product to your customer (listener). Your product can be your music, performance, or any other content you want to share with your audience. This is when they listen, reflect, and relate to what they hear. This is the stage when your listeners usually decide to know you better, so they need to receive your message well and be wow-ed by it.

If the goal is reached, you will get YouTube subscribers, Instagram followers, new sign-ups for your email newsletter, or new follows on other platforms.


Do that one more time


At this stage, you need to make your listeners like you enough to repeat their actions. To do that, you need to continuously provide the content your listeners fell in love with in the first place. This stage is essential because of its memorizing effect.

The goal is to provide enough value so your content will get shared with the possibility to attract more attention from similar-minded people. If your listeners share content, it means they relate to your music. This means that they are one step away from the last phase of the fan cycle.




This is the last stage that converts a listener to a true fan. It is the time when your musician-listener relationship reaches a new level. At this stage, you need to show your listeners appreciation. This is usually when free giveaways and contests happen. They allow listeners to get rewards for being loyal and tuned to what is happening in your music career.

For example, Machine Gun Kelly asked his fans to design a new logo and received over 3000 suggestions back.


Machine Gun Kelly Twitter logo contest - K-Tune blog
These four stages show how to get fans and lead to ultimate fan loyalty. Loyal fans purchase your music, tickets to your concerts, merchandise, and support you in many other ways. While it takes time to build a loyal fanbase, the result is worth waiting for. Make sure to keep this cycle in mind for your next music marketing strategy!



Music marketing strategy. K-Tune blog.

Music marketing dos and don’ts and what to do when nothing works.

Your music deserves to be heard. But in the world where everyone tries hard to conquer music marketing, it might be quite a challenge. Well-promoted tracks usually get all the attention, which is why all other records can easily get lost. If you feel like that might be the case with your music, you need a clear plan and music marketing strategy. 


No music is the same, and most of the time, you will need to tailor your music marketing approach. To help you with this, we came up with the list of dos and don’ts. They will give you suggestions on where to start and how to execute your music marketing strategy the right way.

A little bit of theory first, though. Engaging with your audience is the core of marketing and applies to every industry, and music marketing is no different. Even though a lot of people listen to music, most likely, they are not your audience. Before you start promoting your song or album, you will need to do your homework and figure out who your potential listeners are and where to find them. Then, you will need to establish your online presence right where your audience is and then win them over with your ultimate music marketing plan.


DO social media music marketing.


Most likely, the first thing that comes to mind when you hear marketing is social networks. Science proved that nine out of ten social media users do music-related activities on their social media apps. That sounds like a good start.

But even though two billion people are using Facebook daily, it does not necessarily mean they are your audience, and that you have to pour all your music marketing expenses into Facebook. 

Different people like different things. That goes for music genres and various social networks. Research what social networks are the most applicable to your audience and focus your social media music marketing efforts there. This will help a lot not to overspend on promotion and connect with your audience faster.

You can also check what campaigns work for musicians that have a similar style to yours. Facebook Ad Library is an amazing tool for that. It can show you ads and posts that are promoted by your favorite musicians on Facebook and Instagram.

Facebook Ads Library as music marketing tool - K-Tune blog

Instagram and Facebook ad by The Doors as seen in Facebook Ads Library


DO Twitter research.


Social networks can be used not only for your updates. Most of them, including Twitter, are powerful search tools, where you can find everything, including publications that will readily feature your music.

Getting featured in a magazine or a newspaper can help you to get noticed. If you appear in a digital publication, you will also get links to your channel, and this is how people can access and listen to what you do. 

While many magazines charge quite a lot for an article, there is a tool you can use to get there for free. A lot of journalists post requests as a hashtag on Twitter. Check #journorequest to see if there are requests regarding music or subscribe to JournoRequests and get entertainment requests straight to your email. 


K-Tune, Music marketing and PR

Daily email newsletter from JournoRequests with a selection of Twitter requests about music and entertainment industries.



DO something about your website.


While a lot of social networks allow you to create a personalized page, having your website can significantly help you to get discovered by your audience and what is also important, by music professionals. 

Even though all you want to do is to grow your fanbase, there is always a chance to get discovered and push your music to the next level, for example, through collaboration. Your website doesn’t have to be complicated, but it should serve its purpose – display your music as well as give website visitors the chance to learn more about you.

It is also good to have at least one channel that you can fully control yourself and website is that channel – you control your data and see the insights. You can also modify the way your site looks, so if you want to sell your merch later on – you can quickly implement that. 


DO search engine optimization.


Search Engine Optimization is vital for music marketing and allows pages to stand out in the pool of similar content. The key to that is using relevant to your audience and your content keywords. Make sure you use them on your website and blog posts. They will help you to be searchable by your audience.

Pay attention to the descriptions and tags you use on YouTube as well. YouTube Optimization algorithms can contribute to the visibility of your videos when done right. 

Connect your other channels. Ideally, all the networks should work jointly for your listener to quickly jump from one channel to another.


DON’T be spammy.


Don’t send cold messages to people who you think will like your music. Instead of sharing your music, you will end up looking like spam. Most likely your messages will end up in requests or spam folder. With an increasing number of online scams, social media services update their algorithms regularly, and due to this, cold messages will not be useful as a music marketing tactic.


DON’T promote every post.


Social media keep pushing to post promotion and advertising, but it does not mean you should promote every update you post. Even though it doesn’t violate policies, it can do more harm than good. If you are boosting your ideal audience, you will end up showing all of your posts in front of the same people again and again. Instead of doing that, you can select the one visually appealing post and focus your music marketing strategy on that. 

Another good idea for your music marketing is to promote two different posts. Then you can compare the results you reach with each of them. This way, you will be able to analyze which content works best for your audience. 


DON’T treat all channels equally.


There is a chance that over time the same people will follow you on all of your social channels. If they end up seeing the same content everywhere, they most likely will unfollow you on one or more channels. Post content that people would expect on specific platforms: visuals on Instagram, news on Twitter, music insights on Reddit.


Music marketing is all about reaching people who would like your music. Even though it is a hard thing to do, you can achieve good results if you think like your listener. Think of where they are, what they like, and how they search for their music. Think of what they are reading and feature an article there. Make sure to focus on DOs, but don’t forget about DON’Ts as well!