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South Korea’s top record label and music talent agency is branding the six-story building with a giant banner of its latest act, EXO, a boy band aimed at the Korean and Chinese markets. S.M. has taken over the basement with a pop-up store selling everything from bags, clothing, folders and postcards to collector’s edition CDs of Girls’ Generation, Super Junior and the company’s other groups. Some fans buy multiple copies of the same Girls’ Generation CD, which are packaged with different covers for each of the nine members. S.M. kicked off the K-pop phenomenon in the 1990s. With its boot-camp-style training for the performers and production-line approach to the music, it perfected the model for churning out acts that storm Top 40 charts and pack concert halls across Asia and beyond. An S.M. report lays out the industrial scale of the enterprise. For spots in its groups, it receives 300,000 applicants in nine countries every year. Its training facility in Gangnam is 2,550 square meters. It collaborates with 400 songwriters worldwide and samples some 12,000 songs a year. From 2010 through last year its artists played to a total audience of 2.5 million. Its YouTube page gets 1,000 views a second. One key to its success: It was the first Korean label to market “bands as brands,” says Bernie Cho, an ex-MTV executive and now president of Seoul entertainment agency DFSB Kollective.

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  • MusicBizStudent

    Ugh this is some album on Spotify that is incorrectly labeled...should have TVXQ, Girls' Generation as the actual artists...

    29 Dec 2011 Reply