By Aaron Wherry - Monday, May 6, 2013 - 0 Comments
Speaking with Radio-Canada—near the end of the video here—Veterans Affairs Minister Steven Blaney demonstrates how to explain the importance of
World War II Canada’s military history to kids these days.
“We talk about Gangnam Style. There’d be no Gangnam Style if there hadn’t been sacrifices on the part of Canadians [and] members of the United Nations who united behind a resolution to repel communism.”
Perhaps this will form the basis of a chapter in the study of Canadian history that the Heritage Committee is preparing.
Update 12:18pm. Though the occasion was to mark the Battle of the Atlantic, it seems possibly (likely?) that Mr. Blaney wasn’t referring to World War II. Maybe he was referring to the Korean War. Absent the full context of the comment, it is open to interpretation.
Update 1:51pm. Mr. Blaney’s press secretary tweets.
Thanks to the sacrifices of Cdn
#Vets, S.Korea is now economically strong & democratic. Clearly it’s also a cultural superpower
By Youkyung Lee And Ryan Nakashima, The Associated Press - Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 7:42 AM - 0 Comments
SEOUL, South Korea – As “Gangnam Style” gallops toward 1 billion views on YouTube, the first Asian pop artist to capture a massive global audience has gotten richer click by click. So too has his agent and his grandmother. But the money from music sales isn’t flowing in from the rapper’s homeland South Korea or elsewhere in Asia.
With one song, 34-year-old Park Jae-sang — better known as PSY — is set to become a millionaire from YouTube ads and iTunes downloads, underlining a shift in how money is being made in the music business. An even bigger dollop of cash will come from TV commercials.
From just those sources, PSY and his camp will rake in at least $7.9 million this year, according to an analysis by The Associated Press of publicly available information and industry estimates. But for online music sales in South Korea, he’ll earn less than $60,000.
Here’s how it works.
“Gangnam Style” with its catchy tune and much imitated horse-riding dance is the most-watched video on YouTube ever.
The viral video has clocked more than 880 million YouTube views since its July release, beating Justin Bieber’s “Baby,” which racked up more than 808 million views since February 2010. PSY’s official channel on YouTube, which curates his songs and videos of his concerts, has nearly 1.3 billion views.
TubeMogul, a video ad buying platform, estimates that PSY and his agent YG Entertainment have raked in about $870,000 as their share of the revenue from ads that appear with YouTube videos. The Google Inc.-owned video service keeps approximately half.
PSY and YG Entertainment also earn money from views of videos that parody his songs.
Google detects videos that use copyrighted content. Artists can have the video removed or allow it to stay online and share ad revenue with YouTube. In the last week of September when “Gangnam Style” had around 300 million views, more than 33,000 videos were identified by the content identification system as using “Gangnam Style.”
But since YouTube can be accessed from all over the world, wouldn’t Asia be responsible for a significant chunk of the $870,000? The countries with the second and third-highest views of the video are Thailand and South Korea.
“Ads rates vary depending on which country the video is played. Developed countries have higher ad rates and developing countries lower,” said Brian Suh, head of YouTube Partnership in Seoul.
And the country with the most views of “Gangnam Style?” The United States.
LEGAL DOWNLOADS, CDs
“Gangnam Style” has been downloaded 2.7 million times in the U.S. and has been the No. 1 or No. 2 seller for most weeks since its debut, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
The song sells for $1.29 on Apple’s iTunes Store, the market leader in song downloads. Apple generally keeps about 30 per cent of all sales, so the PSY camp could be due more than $2.4 million.
How much PSY keeps and how much goes to his managers, staff and record label is unclear. South Korean industry insiders said PSY likely gets 70 per cent and YG Entertainment 30 per cent for U.S. downloads.
But earnings from downloads in PSY’s homeland are far from an embarrassment of riches.
South Koreans pay less than $10 a month for a subscription to a music service that allows them to download hundreds of songs or have unlimited access to a music streaming service. That makes the cost of a downloaded song about 10 cents on average. The average price for streaming a song is 0.2 cent.
PSY’s cut for downloads is 14 per cent. That falls to 7.5 per cent for streamed songs. Yes, 7.5 per cent of 0.2 cent. And that’s before PSY’s “Gangnam Style” co-composer take his share. The biggest cut goes to his agent and online retailers.
According to South Korea’s national Gaon Chart, “Gangnam Style” was downloaded more than 3.6 million times and streamed around 40 million times as of November. That adds up to a little more than $61,000.
It’s likely the fast fading music CD industry generated even smaller revenue. PSY’s 9 per cent cut from sales of 102,000 CDs in South Korea would earn him $50,000 or more, according to an estimate by Kim Dong-hyun, a senior manager at Korea Music Copyright Association.
As for many other parts of Asia, illegal downloads and pirated CDS are so pervasive that only a small minority are willing to pay up for the legal versions.
PSY has been jetting around the world, performing on shows such as “The X-Factor Australia” and NBC’s “Today Show,” but such programs usually cover travel costs and not much else, said Gary Bongiovanni, editor-in-chief of concert trade magazine Pollstar.
It is television commercials that are the big money spinner for the most successful of South Korea’s K-pop stars. PSY has been popping up in TV commercials in South Korea for top brands such as Samsung Electronics and mobile carrier LG Uplus.
Chung Yu-seok, an analyst at Kyobo Securities, estimates PSY’s commercial deals would amount to 5 billion won ($4.6 million) this year.
The money is cool. The products not so much. PSY is now the face of a new Samsung refrigerator and a major noodle company.
A fact little known outside South Korea is that PSY’s father, uncle and grandmother own a combined 30 per cent of DI Corp., a company which makes equipment that semiconductor companies use to make computer chips.
It’s a stretch to plausibly explain how the success of “Gangnam Style” will boost DI’s profits but that doesn’t matter to the South Korean stock market. Perhaps inspired by the pure power of pop, DI shares surged eightfold from July after PSY’s hit reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 1 on the U.K. singles chart.
It was time to cash in for PSY’s grandmother, who sold 5,378 shares for about $65,000.
The share price has fallen since then but is still about double what it was before the release of “Gangnam Style.”
PSY’s agent YG Entertainment has also done well. Its share price is up about 30 per cent since mid-July. The value of CEO Yang Hyun-suk’s stake has swelled to about $200 million, making him the richest man in South Korea’s entertainment industry.
The question now hanging over PSY is whether he will replicate the blockbuster success of “Gangnam Style” or end up remembered as a one-hit wonder.
“When this slows down, what comes next for PSY?” said Nielsen analytics vice-president David Bakula. “Is it the evolution of a new musical style, something audiences are going to be craving en masse, or is it something that’s just a passing fancy?”
Analysts say “Gangnam Style” alone will not be enough to propel PSY into the ranks of musicians such as Adele and may not even be enough to make him the top-grossing K-pop star. That will depend largely on his upcoming album, which PSY said will be released in March.
Ryan Nakashima contributed to this report from Los Angeles.
Youkyung Lee can be reached via Twitter: www.twitter.com/YKLeeAP
By Tamsin McMahon - Wednesday, October 31, 2012 at 5:31 PM - 0 Comments
Stock market analysts have been buzzing lately about “Gangnam Style” internet sensation Psy’s ability to send the share prices of some Korean companies soaring.
DI Corp., which makes equipment for the semi-conductor industry and is chaired by Psy’s father, Park Won Ho, has seen its stock price soar 500 per cent since the video featuring the 34-year-old singer’s bizarrely popular horse-riding dance became a huge hit on Youtube in July. (The video now stands at more than 600 million views.) The stock of YG Entertainment, Psy’s manager, nearly doubled between July and October.
But the real financial genius may be Psy’s marketing prowess. The singer is the spokesmodel for at least a dozen different Korean companies, from hawking Internet TVs for a subsidiary of LG, to dancing in front of refrigerators for Samsung. A year contract to have the singer promote a company’s brand reportedly tops $600,000.
Psy landed a contract with Nongshim, one of Korea’s largest ramen noodle companies, after uploading a video of himself to Youtube eating the company’s Shin Ramyun noodles and begging to be their spokesperson.
Sales of Hite-Jinro, one of Korea’s biggest beverage companies, spiked after Psy downed a bottle of the company’s soju, a popular Korean drink, during a concert in Seoul that was broadcast internationally. The singer is now reportedly in talks to become a spokesperson for them. It was conspicuous timing. Psy was previously a spokesperson for Oriental Brewery, Hite-Jinro’s chief competitor, until the company dropped his contract last November.
But there are signs the Gangnam Style financial bubble might be coming to an end. Shares in DI Corp have plunged nearly 40 per cent in the past two weeks. According to the Korea Times this month, investors who poured their money into DI Corp. shares since the summer have now started posting on Psy’s personal blog, demanding he do something to reverse the company’s falling stock price. “My father put all of his retirement grant into DI and now he is drinking soju in the living room, crying,” one wrote. “Psy, please help. One word from you will do.”
By Emma Teitel - Tuesday, October 2, 2012 at 10:53 AM - 0 Comments
Despite the riches seen in the viral video, South Korea has a spending problem
Park Jae-Sang, a.k.a. Psy (short for Psycho), the moderately plump 34-year-old rapper behind the massive international hit Gangnam Style, is not your average South Korean pop star. Not only because he “isn’t very good-looking,” says 24-year-old Canadian-Korean pop fan Leslie Yun, but because “he’s the antithesis of what is popular in Korean pop music right now.” Unlike the perfectly coiffed boy and girl groups topping Korea’s charts, Psy is a master of satire. The subject at the heart of Gangnam Style—which has over 274 million views—is mass consumption in the nouveau riche Seoul neighbourhood of Gangnam where Psy grew up. The average South Korean has five credit cards; by 2010, Korean household debt had reached a staggering 155 per cent of disposable income—higher even than the U.S. just before the subprime crisis. In the music video, Psy does his famous horse dance (which he’s been doing at sports events and award shows ever since) and mocks the phony opulence of his old neighbourhood, replacing confetti with bits of garbage and partying in a parking garage. “Korean culture has always been about saving face,” says Yun, “especially in Gangnam.” Whether a man and his invisible horse will change that, remains to be seen.