In recent years, Korean pop music, Kpop, has been rising in popularity among teens. Recent
Kpop groups such as BTS and BlackPink have dominated music charts and created a worldwide
fan base. Their catchy songs and attractive looks have garnered a large following.
Kpop is a notorious industry. Kpop entertainment companies such as YG Entertainment and JYP Entertainment start recruiting trainees at ages as young as 8 years old. These trainees sign a contract to train for several years, during which they learn to sing, rap, and dance. Trainees typically debut between 16 and 20 years old.
As teens become obsessed with these bands, some have spent a concerning amount of time on watching their favorite Kpop groups. They often film vlogs and shows on Youtube and Vlive. Kpop fans have also spent large amounts of money on concerts and merchandise, such as light sticks and t-shirts, from their favorite groups. While most merchandise is cheap, some Kpop fans spend enormous sums to support their favorite bands.
The huge popularity of Kpop has also created an interest in Korean culture among American teens. Korean dramas and food have been increasing in popularity alongside Korean music. Many Korean BBQ restaurants have opened to take advantage of this trend. Video streaming platforms such as Netflix have also increased the number of Korean dramas available.