Even when non-anglo genres get popular, they’re often still viewed through a western lens: for example, success in the US is often seen as the key signal of the success of K-Pop artists like BTS and Blackpink.

Actually though, it’s as interesting (and in the long term, perhaps even more significant) when these genres take off in non-anglo markets: Latin America, Africa and the Middle East, for example. It’s also interesting to see streaming services connecting those dots with collaborations. For example, Spotify pairing Kuwaiti-Saudi artist Bader AlShuaibi and Korean-US artist AleXa for a K-Pop track called ‘Is It On’, which is coming out this week as part of Spotify’s emerging artists ‘Radar’ initiative.

The National reported that K-Pop listening has grown by 140% year-on-year on Spotify in the Middle East, spurring the company to match the two artists and fund the production and promotion costs for the track – while leaving the copyright in the hands of their rightsholders.

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