South Korean Firms Cash In On K-Pop Craze In Indonesia
Apr 04, 2021

South Korean companies are getting ready to capitalise on the growing popularity of K-pop artists in Indonesia in order to tap into Southeast Asia’s largest consumer market, according to Nikkei Asia.

K-pop, a fusion of Western music styles and traditional Korean music for a mostly young audience, has taken Indonesia by storm. The number of K-pop fans in Indonesia is exploding, and the country ranks among top in the number of K-pop video views on YouTube.

As a result, South Korean culture has become wider known in Indonesia and triggered demand for South Korean-made products, according to the report.

South Korean companies, ranging from makers of large-screen TVs like Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics to cosmetic brands LG Household & Health Care and Amore Pacific, among others, are looking to take advantage and have started to use K-pop artists in their advertising campaigns and sell more products either online or through an expanded store network in the country.

Brand ambassadors from K-pop bands

Indonesian companies, too, are cashing in on K-pop. E-commerce company Tokopedia, for example, has hired South Korean boy band BTS and popular female group Blackpink as brand ambassadors, a move which helped it regain its position as the country’s most visited e-commerce platform.

A third of Indonesia’s 270 million people are between the ages of 10 and 29, making it an attractive market for South Korean entertainment agencies and consumer product manufacturers.

Deepening commercial and cultural ties

Although 90 per cent of Indonesians are Muslims, the county is proud of its diversity, as it is home to more than 300 ethnic groups. Many Indonesians become familiar with traditional dances at an early age, which may explain why K-pop’s unique choreography has caught the eye of so many. And the two countries do not have the fraught political relations that hamper cultural exchange between some in the region, like Japan and South Korea, for instance.

Indonesia and South Korea have deepened their commercial ties in recent years, having concluded an economic partnership agreement in December last year. Indonesia is South Korea’s fourth-largest trading partner in Southeast Asia, and bilateral trade is expected to increase further. It also seems that Indonesians are developing a greater affinity for South Korean culture as the two countries’ economies grow closer.