Global fans pick their favorite K-pop stars in KTO survey

(Clockwise from top left) BTS, Big Bang, EXO, Shinhwa, Super Junior and IU (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) 

Last July 22, Bulletin Entertainment revealed the results of the social media analysis on Korean singers and actors in a comprehensive research on Hallyu, or Korean Wave, done by the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO).  

In the same report, KTO released the results of an online survey done from August to September 2019 among 12,663 foreign fans the Philippines, China, Hong Kong, India,  Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, UAE, Vietnam, US, Canada, France, Germany, Russia, UK, Spain, Australia and Mexico.

Asked to name their most favorite K-pop star, BTS emerged as the top choice with 36.1 percent followed by EXO, 10.4 percent; Super Junior, 8.2 percent; Big Bang, 5.6 percent; Shinhwa, 3 percent; IU, 2.7 percent; Girls’ Generation, 2.5 percent; TWICE, 2.5 percent; TVXQ, 2.5 percent; and SHINee, 2.4 percent. 

BTS got the highest preference in Europe with 50 percent followed by Americas (43.4 percent), Oceania and others (40.2 percent) and Asia and the Middle East (34.1 percent). 

When the respondents were asked to name three K-pop stars they prefer, BTS also ranked first with 49.5 percent followed by EXO, 25 percent; Super Junior, 20.5 percent; IU, 16.1 percent; Big Bang, 15.3 percent; BLACKPINK, 14.7 percent; TWICE, 13.5 percent; Mamamoo, 11.2 percent; SHINee, 9.8 percent; and Girls’ Generation, 9.8 percent. 

2017 was the No. 1 choice among the respondents about the year they became first interested in K-pop with 15.9 percent followed by 2016 and 2015. 

YouTube was the top choice with 30.6 percent among the ways that the respondents first learned about their favorite K-pop star followed by TV (20.4 percent) through entertainment programs and dramas; through friends, family and acquaintances (16.2 percent); social media (10.3 percent) including Twitter and Instagram; internet search (4.4 percent), music sites (2 percent) like Spotify and Apple Music; and newspapers and magazines (1.5 percent). 

In addition, YouTube also ranked first among channels used to access content on their favorite K-pop star with 37.6 percent followed by social media, 37.5 percent; TV, 13.6 percent; online K-pop community, 4.6 percent; and music sites, 4.4 percent.

Asked if they were members of K-pop fan clubs, 52.3 said “yes” while 47.7 percent said “no.” 

Asked why they prefer K-pop stars, 18.4 percent said because of the singer’s performance was excellent followed by the song, 14.1 percent; and singer’s looks and style, 11.1 percent. 

A total of 47.7 percent said they visited Korea with their friends/lovers followed by family/relatives, 33.7 percent; visited alone, 22.5 percent; and with a colleague, 5.2 percent. In addition, 89.9 percent said they would visit Korea again. 

Besides K-pop, 82.7 percent said they are interested in Korean food based on multiple responses followed by Korean dramas, 79.1 percent; Korean entertainment TV programs, 65.4 percent; Korean language, 63.8 percent; Korean cosmetics, 63.7 percent; traditional culture, 54; Korean fashion, 53.5 percent; and Korean movies, 52.8 percent.