With the Hallyu wave growing faster than ever, one of the main driving forces behind the wave is looking to step things up with their upcoming milestone. KBS’s “Music Bank” will be celebrating their 600th episode this month, and their focus is on none other than the international audience.
In an interview with Yonhap News, PD Kim Sang Ho revealed, “By this July, ‘Music Bank’ will be airing live in 70 different broadcast stations around the world. We also have plans for a monthly magazine catering specifically to international fans as well.”
KBS already established their international channel, “KBS World,” last year, and currently broadcasts to 54 different stations all over the world, not only including Asia, but Europe and the Middle
PD Kim stated, “To Koreans, ‘Music Bank’ might not be all that different to MBC’s ‘Show! Music Core‘ or SBS’s ‘Inkigayo,’ but overseas, the status of ‘Music Bank’ is not comparable to the rest. We hear often from agency representatives that go on business trips overseas that there are even special gatherings at homes on days ‘Music Bank’ airs on KBS World.”
He continued, “There’s also a growing interest in learning the Korean language through our programs, so after hearing such things, we’ve decided to expand from 54 stations to 76 by this July.”
The program also plans to use social networking services more actively to bring their content closer to the international audience. Since November of last year, Music Bank’s Twitter account (@KBSMusicBank), has been uploading exclusive photos, interviews, and videos.
Not only that, but they’ll actually show tweets from international fans on “Music Bank” itself, showing the diversity in their audience.
The PD explained, “Honestly, when we first began our Twitter account, it wasn’t a huge hit because we didn’t manage it properly. Once we started uploading backstage photos of TVXQ and the like, we definitely grew and became more active. Over half of our followers are international fans.”
He took notice of the popularity of other SNS like Facebook as well: “Twitter is popular in Korea, but in the Middle East and Europe, Facebook is also just as, if not more, popular. We’ll be setting up a Facebook account soon and will be connecting it to our YouTube account to better communicate with international viewers.”
On plans for their monthly magazine, he revealed, “This July, we’ll begin running a monthly magazine in Japan first featuring BTS photos and stories, and what goes on backstage. After a month or two, we’ll begin releasing it in Korea, and if the reaction is positive, we’ll add on with other nations as well.”
After going live for the first time on June 16, 1998, “Music Bank” will be celebrating their 600th episode on April 22nd.
Their 600th special episode will be done under the concept of ‘Music Bank Kids – Dreams Come True‘ and feature idol stars singing old hits of their seniors.
PD Kwon Jae Young explained, “There are a lot of kids that grow up watching ‘Music Bank’ and dreaming of becoming singers. The current idols of today looked up to the first generation idols, and that will be the focus of our 600th episode. They’ll be re-arranging songs of the past into their something their own.”
About 5-7 idol teams will be covering hits from H.O.T., Sechs Kies, Fin.K.L., Shinhwa, and others.
To conclude, the PD was asked of his opinion on what he thought the success of the show lied in.
PD Kwon replied, “The ‘Music Bank’ K-Chart and the 15 year old+ rating. Our rating shows that we’re not catering to too young of an audience. We feature content that the whole family can still enjoy together. Although we’re focused mainly on idol singers, our goal is to produce a music program that a diversity of viewers can still enjoy.”
Source: Yonhap News via Naver