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I've always wondered how K-pop became more popular than J-pop. As a fan of both, I first started listening to both K-pop and J-pop back in 1997.

 

But I felt during the late 90s and for much of the 2000s, J-pop was the dominant choice for Asian music. It was incredibly hard to find anything K-pop or K-drama related in the west, so few people knew about the genre.

 

But by late 2009, the shift from J-pop to K-pop took place, as the Hallyu Wave was in full swing. I feel some reasons are:

  • Lack of accessibilty of J-pop in the west
  • K-pop is more Westernized, while J-pop sticks to its roots
  • K-pop went global while J-pop didn't care, nor try
  • K-pop has awesome choreography in their music videos

 

I did a video on this below to go more in-depth and breakdown how K-pop overtook J-pop:

 

 

I'm wondering what's your guys' and gals' take on how K-pop became more popular than J-pop. Why do you think this happened?

 

I'd love to get a discussion on this, as I think many K-pop fans were originally J-pop fans.

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I think you've hit some key points.

 

I was a J-pop fan in the early 2000's (aging myself here). I was really into anime, listened to the theme songs which lead to everything J-pop. Looking back though, there were a few "types" of groups that were really popular at the time: super cutesy girl groups with nasally voices, super feminine boy groups and hardcore J-rock. The target audience was a bit limited. 

In terms of dancing, the only act I liked was BoA, and then I found out she was Korean so I started exploring and didn't look back. I still listen to some songs just for old times' sake.

K-pop is much more accessible, while J-pop is still catching up in the digital sphere. The last time I check (which was a long time ago), physical CD's was their main selling point. Japanese albums are expensive too, like double, sometimes triple the cost of a Korean album. J-pop is on youtube and all the digital platforms now but K-pop's already so popular it's gonna be hard to catch up. Plus, there is a bigger variety of music available to cater to everyone.

 

With acts like Soshi and Kara, it seems Japan is hooked on K-pop too. You see a ton of K-pop artists debuting in Japan but hardly any vise versa.  

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My dad asks me this question all the time considering that I'm a big fan of kpop. I told him it's still around but as you guys mentioned above the target audience is limited.

 

As for myself I got into the band VAMPS although they sung in english they were a J-rock band.

 

My dad had actually mentioned a band he liked when he was in high school in the 90's called Speed. I liked them and they weren't the typical cutesy group either. All the points you above mentioned were true. Kpop has actually tried to come over in to the West more as well, take BTS as example and artists like GD. Even Rain has had a certain aspect of stardom here when he was in Ninja Assassin. 

 

Jpop has a lot of work cut out for it if it did want a global audience. 

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Honestly I think it's accessibility. In Jpop there were some bands and groups I got interested in due to anime and OSTs. I wanted to listen to their discography but it was always a pain to find stuff easily. Due to copyright restrictions and stuff most groups only put a portion of the song on youtube, or it's quite difficult to search through itunes to find at times. Also I personally don't like purchasing music without listening to it first. With kpop it's just so much easier to find things quickly and officially, through YouTube and music streaming services Also korean music labels seem to be more lenient with stuff not being taken down.

 

It's interesting to see how many kpop groups gain traction in japan, but not the other way around. I'm guessing there's a lot of unmet demographics with their local music.

 

I'm not sure how the jpop environment is now though, I was a casual fan during the early 2010s. But yeah you're right I was into Jpop first, but ended up losing interest and gained interest in Kpop instead.

 

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Interesting topic, its not just kpop but Kdrama seems to have passed by jdrama.  Its increasingly difficult to find subbed Jdrama.  I can't think of one site that isn't a J drama site first with kdrama/cdrama on the side, its usually Kdrama or Cdrama first then mostly raw Jdrama.  J drama shows if subbed take ages to be completed so I am guessing they have less people on the subbing teams.

 

When did the phenomenon of goose fathers start in Korea?  All those kids sent out to english speaking countries must have accelerated the spread of Kpop and kdrama.

 

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I mean you hit all the points. Jpop is FUBU, so they don't care if we like it or not. Kpop reaches out to us, gives us english speaking idols, songs in english, invites us on to their streaming platforms and gives us english subtitles, and caters to the international audience very well. Korea wants our attention, so they have it! Japan doesn't care either way, so they do what they want and keep to themselves.

 

Edit: I will add to this that I was a big jpop fan in the 2000s as well, until SNSD released Gee, and then it was Kpop from then on out! Jpop acts haven't really had impressive choreography lately, and groups like AKB48 aren't relatable to me because they just have too many members and they change them too often, I can't get to know them well enough to stan.

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Honestly I was never aware of either one LoL:tongue:

I just remembered in a casual conversation that someone commented that K-Pop superceded J-Pop. Because apparently J-Pop dominated before. I only remembered the popularity of K-artist Rain with Super Junior - this was around the time they had their hit "Sorry Sorry" which was played excessively back then. Even so I wasn't into K-Pop. It wasn't until Psy with Gangnam Style that propel the Hallyu Wave globally. And before I knew it, I was immersed into the whole K-Pop thing. 

I admit I got into it by watching K-Dramas first, the music came after. But really it was the hot actors from the dramas that sucked me in:D While K-Pop does a fine job of spreading their culture via tourism/music/dramas etc ironically they themselves are not open to receiving or accepting diversity. 

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The reason why J-pop isn't dominating is because they are more into electronic and mostly rock anime music. They excel in that compared to Korean electronic and rock songs.

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On 11/8/2017 at 10:24 PM, jangta00 said:

I've always wondered how K-pop became more popular than J-pop. As a fan of both, I first started listening to both K-pop and J-pop back in 1997.

 

But I felt during the late 90s and for much of the 2000s, J-pop was the dominant choice for Asian music. It was incredibly hard to find anything K-pop or K-drama related in the west, so few people knew about the genre.

 

But by late 2009, the shift from J-pop to K-pop took place, as the Hallyu Wave was in full swing. I feel some reasons are:

  • Lack of accessibilty of J-pop in the west
  • K-pop is more Westernized, while J-pop sticks to its roots
  • K-pop went global while J-pop didn't care, nor try
  • K-pop has awesome choreography in their music videos

I majored in cultural anthropology... so I don't think this is correct. I've been tracking this for quite a while now. I think the correct reason is the licensing rights are hairier with Japan than Korea.

Both Korea and Japan since about the 1980's have been trying to break into the US, both teaching their idols to sing in English with English version of the songs. They also worked with each other--Japanese introduced some of the K-rock.

The major difference despite both of them trying to break through is that the licensing rights and how subtitles are handled for Japanese pop music and dramas is very different. And because of that, it hurt Japan in the long run. Japanese attitude is that only Japanese companies should do the subtitling for dramas. They want to control the rights like how they do cars, which, BTW, an American taught them. But intellectual property in this day and age doesn't quite work like that. With slower subtitling on dramas, there is less exposure to Japanese dramas, the subtitling which used to be at the same speed is slower, so less J-pop is being endeared to international audiences.

I don't think it has anything to do with the choreography, the ability to care, or Japan not adding Western roots--they are pretty equal across the board. It's the attitude towards licensing that makes the difference. If Japan wants to catch up, they need to be a bit more flexible with the licensing of their dramas. But I think also Japan, unlike Korea is also keenly aware of the backlash that globalization takes on a country--Korea is facing a lot of this right now and it's not always good, whereas Japan has been through it once before, seen the backlash and now are proceeding more carefully.

I don't think Korea, as a Korean should close its doors to globalization, but I do think they do need to breathe once in a while and take a better assessment of the situation. Korea is hurting a whole lot in the dizzying spin to "catch" up with the rest of the world, and the cost is high. Concentrated thoughtful growth might be better in the long run with mitigating laws passed before the problems arise.

K-pop certainly has contributed to it.

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The thing is that Korea is actively promoting K-pop, and Japan doesn't care who listens to their music. Koreans want to conquer the world with their culture, and the Japanese care only about themselves. This is the whole secret, I think.:rolleyes:

 

 

 

But I think that China will soon compare with Korea and will also be so popular. They also try to actively promote their culture. While people are watching Chinese dramas more, but then maybe C-pop will listen.

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i think it has something to do with the culture.

Japan exists in a vacuum and does not reach out to the international market. 

Korea is the exact opposite. 

 

Here is a good video with a really good and intelligent explanation 

 

 

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