The growing number of K-pop fans in Korea and elsewhere is generating a stronger cultural and commercial impact than ever before, as the boom led by high-profile groups such as BTS expands to a wider range of market segments.
In recent years, it is not only high school students embracing K-pop music. People in their 20s and older -- those with more purchasing power -- are fueling the exponential growth of K-pop and its associated merchandise market.
The Korea Herald met two passionate K-pop fans in their 20s: Jung Yoo-kyoung, who belongs to EXO-L; and Woo Nam-yee, who belongs to the BTS Army.
Jung Yoo-kyoung looked over her merchandise (Lee So-jeong / The Korea Herald)
Jung recently traveled to Osaka, Japan, for an EXO concert.
“It cost me between 600,000 and 700,000 won to watch the EXO Osaka concert, but I was just happy. Don’t you think that I should be happy, considering the time and money I’ve spent?”
Woo Nam-yee showed BTS' concert tickets (Lee So-jeong / The Korea Herald)
Woo even traveled to the US in September to witness part of BTS’ concert tour.
Both said their idols had had a significant influence on them. They talk more about their passion for K-pop in the following video :
(Shot and edited by Lee So-jeong / The Korea Herald)
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