Europe is K-pop’s fastest growing market, according to a new report.
While countries in Asia and Oceania were still the predominant market for Korean pop culture content, otherwise known as ‘hallyu’, Europe has seen a 37% increase in K-pop fans compared to the year before.
According to non-profit organisation Korea Foundation’s Global Hallyu report, which is published in cooperation with the South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Europe is home to roughly 13.2 million hallyu fans in 2022, as per The Korean Times.
The markets in Asia and Oceania account for 73.4% of all hallyu fans according to the report.
There are more than 84.3 million registered hallyu fans in China, followed by 16.8 million in Thailand and 13.3 million in Vietnam. A total of 118 countries were surveyed by 149 overseas missions for the report.
Korea Foundation suggested that hallyu’s growing popularity in Europe could be a catalyst for expanding in the west.
“Hallyu has gained a strong foothold across Asia, so we need to develop a strategy to reach a much wider audience outside of Asia. We could utilise Europe as a bridgehead for expanding the Korean wave to the west in the future,” said the organisation.
The Foundation said that the number of hallyu fans around the world reached 178 million in 2022, up from 9.26 million in 2012 when it first conducted the survey.
Leading factors in this increase include the popularity of Korean video content on global platforms, as well as the number of hallyu fan communities. The report also said that K-pop’s catchy melodies and creative choreography are just some of the reasons why fans are drawn to this form of music.