K-pop an abbreviation of Korean popKorean is a musical genre originating in South Korea that is characterized by a wide variety of audiovisual elements. Although it comprises all genres of "popular music" within South Korea, the term is more often used in a narrower sense to describe a modern form of South Korean pop music covering mostly dance-pop, pop ballad, electronic, rock, hip-hop, R&B, etc.
In 1992, modern K-pop was ushered in with the formation of Seo Taiji & Boys, whose successful experimentation with different music styles had sparked a paradigm shift in the music industry of South Korea. As a result, the integration of foreign musical elements has now become a common practice in the K-pop industry.
By tapping into social networking services and the video sharing platform YouTube, the K-pop industry's ability to secure a sizeable overseas audience has facilitated a noticeable rise in the global proliferation of the genre. Since the mid-2000s, the K-pop music market has experienced double digit growth rates. In the first half of 2012, it grossed nearly US$3.4 billion, and was recognized by Time magazine as "South Korea's Greatest Export".
First gaining popularity in East Asia back in the late 1990s, K-pop entered the Japanese music market towards the turn of the 21st century. In the late 2000s, it grew from a musical genre into a subculture among teenagers and young adults of East and Southeast Asia
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