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South Korea to Build Its Own K-Pop Metaverse, Planning to Become the 5th Largest Metaverse Market by 2026

K-pop has become the major driving force behind the South Korean economy.

South Korea has lately taken the world by storm with its music and culture. Unless you are living under a rock, there is no way you have not come across K-pop music or K-dramas in recent times. And the phenomenon is not just limited to Asian countries. It is slowly making a huge impact even in the western world as well. Ever since the popular Korean singer Psy has gone viral with his electrifying “Gangnam Style” in 2012, the world is taking notice of Korean music, films, and television programs. The cherry on top has to be Parasite, the highly acclaimed Korean movie directed by Bong Joon-Ho that went on to win the Academy Awards for the Best Film. However, what made Korea a household name all over the world is BTS—the incredible boy band that made people of all ages fall in love with their music and style.

As the world cannot have enough of Korean magic, the Korean authorities are not giving up any chance to leverage the sudden popularity. The Korean government has made it a point to turn all the love and attention into economic progress, and BTS has been a strong force to drive the national economy. In truth, it is the only thing after Samsung that has garnered so much advantage for the Korean economy. The turnover is so massive, the country actually relies on it as its primary source of gross national income. This blend of culture and economy is driving the country to explore new avenues, the most interesting of which is going to be the metaverse.

Keeping up with the trend, the South Korean government is planning to expand a K-pop metaverse. In September 2021, the South Korean Ministry of Science and ICT announced that the country is going to invest a staggering $7.5 billion into emerging digital technologies by 2025. Furthermore, 9% of this investment will go towards building metaverse-related technologies, and K-pop is going to play a significant role in this effort.

According to the reports from the South Korean Ministry of Science and ICT, the country is planning to develop approximately 220 metaverse firms by 2026. More than 40,000 industry experts are reportedly ready to support the project. For example, the leading Korean conglomerate Naver Group plans to launch a $100 million fund in the K-pop multiverse. Another Korean investment giant KB Investments, in collaboration with US venture capitalist Strong Venture, has also invested $3 million in Stan World, a widely popular K-pop metaverse platform operator. It operates a platform dedicated to the fandom of Asian musicians, including BTS and BlackPink. The totality of the effort, as planned by the Korean government, will place South Korea as the 5th largest metaverse market in the world.

South Korea also plans to build an online Korean language platform in the metaverse for foreigners to help kick-off various metaverse projects in tourism, health, and of course, art and culture. It will also run a K-Metaverse Academy to help foreign metaverse startups to enter the Korean market and collaborate with local content creators.

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