YouTube has played a significant role in the spread of K-Pop music far beyond its homeland of South Korea, from Psy’s ‘Gangnam Style’ to the recent global success of BTS – and plenty of artists in between. Now a group of K-Pop music companies are teaming up for a new venture, Music and Creative Partners Asia (MCPA), to push things on.
Mystic Entertainment, Big Hit Entertainment, Starempire, SM Entertainment, FNC Entertainment, YG Entertainment and JYP Entertainment aren’t hiding the inspiration for MCPA either, describing it in their announcement as “The Korean version of Vevo”.
They explain: “MCPA will serve as a representative window for determining and negotiating music video distribution and related policies for YouTube and other global digital service platforms, and will also provide new platform services for distributing music video contents. In addition, it plans to discuss various business expansion plans including not only music video but also a broadcasting platform for the production and supply of new contents using related IP.”
The sight of music companies trying to exert more control over video distribution clearly does have a forerunner in Vevo: “In the United States, VEVO is influential and highly valued as a strong competitor to MTV,” notes the press release for MCPA, swerving Vevo’s bumpy last couple of years as it axed plans for a subscription service, saw its CEO depart, and grappled with the implications of YouTube launching its own official artist channels, and then revamping its YouTube Music service.
Still, the nature of the Korean music industry means that this group of companies do have significant clout, especially collectively, whether it’s refining their strategy for YouTube or exploring new distribution opportunities on other platforms like Facebook, Apple Music and Spotify. BTS’ success in the past year shows that there could be a global appetite for K-Pop – including in exciting markets like Latin America – so MCPA has plenty of potential to explore.