By Alexandra Burlacu email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Jan 17, 2013 09:41 AM EST
South Korea's KT Corp. aims to bring the country's pop industry to the world with a new music app: Genie K-Pop for Android.
Without a trace of doubt, PSY won over the Internet in 2012 with his "Gangnam Style," which went from relative anonymity to being YouTube's most watched video ever in no time. KT Corp. wants to capitalize on the huge global interest in the Korean wave, and fans of the country's pop industry can now enjoy more of it on their Android handsets.
Genie K-Pop for Android is the first global K-Pop mobile service out of South Korea. It first made its debut roughly nine months ago and the app is now available in 45 more countries across the world. According to KT, Genie is the first dedicated K-Pop app to become available to users outside of Korea.
With the new service now live in 45 countries, users can buy music directly from the app. As part of a "try before you buy" strategy, users can also enjoy a free one-minute preview of songs before making their purchase. Meanwhile, tracks labeled with an "F" are available for free playback.
In addition to popular "hot" keyword searches, users can also make use of the app's ranked chart list, which is designed to facilitate search and discovery. Moreover, the company claims to have raised royalty fees for artists to an impressive 70 percent, and feels confident that this move will "set a new trend" in the country's music industry.
As The Economist points out, artists gain a "miserly" royalty payout, but KT may be able to change this. Korea's music industry drew an estimated $407 million (430 billion won) in revenue in 2011, but artists saw a meager $0.03 (30 won) per track. If that's not "miserly" enough, that figure is further split between the label, writers, and the artist.
Genie K-Pop hopes to be able to change things through its "Moving Price System," a variable pricing mechanism that may appeal more to consumers. Basically, the price of each song's copyright holder has the freedom to define the price of each download. This way, artists get a chance to promote themselves through attractive promotions and discounts for certain periods of time. If they play their cards right, they may gain more than usual.
Users in the U.S., Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand can now download and purchase a range of K-Pop content, including music files, photos, and video clips using the app. Genie K-Pop for Android is available for free from the Google Play Store.