The Meaning of FIFTY FIFTY – ‘Cupid’ MV Surpassing 100 Million Views

FIFTY FIFTY – ‘Cupid’ surpassed 100 million views on July 4th. The fact that the music video, which was initially released on February 23, 2023, achieved this milestone in approximately 137 days is an extraordinary success, even for established popular groups. However, considering that FIFTY FIFTY debuted as a rookie group in February 2023 and is not affiliated with a major entertainment agency but rather a smaller agency, this accomplishment is truly remarkable.

FIFTY FIFTY

FIFTY FIFTY – ‘Cupid’ surpassed 100 million views on July 4th

The remarkable success of FIFTY FIFTY signifies three significant aspects in the K-pop market:

  1. The main consumer base of K-pop is now undeniably global rather than solely centered in Korea. (The global consumer base is also diversifying across various countries, rather than being concentrated in a single location.)
  2. Different strategies are required to succeed globally. (FIFTY FIFTY’s success with a genre that may be relatively unfamiliar to Koreans, such as FIFTY FIFTY – ‘Cupid’, exemplifies this.)
  3. K-pop artists do not necessarily require substantial resources to connect with global fans. (Thanks to global platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, etc.)

FIFTY FIFTY - 'Cupid'

The changes that FIFTY FIFTY (피프티피프티) may bring to K-pop.

While some may consider FIFTY FIFTY’s success as a rare and almost miraculous occurrence, it is evident that the message conveyed by FIFTY FIFTY is being reflected in the projects of various entertainment companies. An example of this is the ongoing global girl group project ‘A2K’ (America 2 Korea) by JYP Entertainment and Republic Records.

If the existing system in K-pop involved selecting overseas idols through auditions and nurturing them in Korea, ‘A2K’ represents an attempt by JYP to export the training system abroad. (JYP is reportedly also planning ‘E2K’ (Europe to Korea) as part of this effort.)

This reminds me of a scene from my favorite manga, ‘One Piece,’ where Gold Roger’s execution scene unfolds, and his last words mark the beginning of the “Great Pirate Era.”

Great Pirate Era

Could the miraculous success of FIFTY FIFTY signify the beginning of a new era for local K-pop idols?

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