Leading the charge of the K-pop takeover are none other than global sensations BTS and BLACKPINK, who have propelled K-pop into the limelight of the intellectual property world.
According to the Bank of Korea’s recent report on “2023’s First-Half Intellectual Property Trade Balance (Preliminary),” South Korea logged a staggering $330 million trade surplus in intellectual property in the first half of this year alone. This figure secures its spot as the second-largest surplus ever since the latter half of 2019.
Now, let’s break it down. Intellectual property can be divided into industrial rights and copyright. And the real MVP here is the scale of the copyright surplus. In just the first half of this year, the country has raked in an unprecedented $1.52 billion surplus in copyright alone. And $340 million of that came from cultural and artistic copyrights—most of which was generated by music and video rights.
This impressive record is all thanks to the chart-topping BTS and the electrifying BLACKPINK. With their music and videos captivating audiences worldwide, the country has been enjoying a copyright trade surplus for seven consecutive half-year periods since the first half of 2020.
BTS is still slaying even as they’re hitting the military hiatus. The septet’s solo activities continue to generate a massive global impact. Each of the seven members has stormed the Billboard Hot 100, wowed audiences at prestigious festivals like Lollapalooza, and made high-profile appearances on renowned international TV shows. To crank up the anticipation, the group recently announced their contract renewal with Big Hit Music, teasing fans with the promise of a “second act” slated for 2025.
As for BLACKPINK, they have just wrapped up their gargantuan world tour, aptly named “Born Pink,” and it was a roaring success. Despite all the rumors surrounding their renewal of contract with YG Entertainment, the girl group has managed to shake it off, impressively performing 66 shows in 34 cities worldwide, attracting roughly 1.8 million fans.