Home Arts & Leisure K-pop leads to K-drama leads to webtoons

K-pop leads to K-drama leads to webtoons

Twitter names the Top 20 most-mentioned Korean dramas, webtoons, movies

K-POP serves as a “gateway drug” into K-drama. That was one of the big data insights from Twitter’s #BeyondKpop: Globalization of K-Culture from Music to Drama, Webtoon, Movie and Beyond report, and Top 20 most Tweeted K-content.

The results of data aggregation were conducted by Twitter and the company VAIV through big data text mining techniques that analyzed global English Tweets from July 2018 to June 2021.

The most-mentioned K-dramas show clear connection to K-pop. For many K-pop fans, K-dramas were the next type of K-content they tried after K-pop, and the most popular K-dramas reflect this preference. The top four most-mentioned K-dramas around the world were: 1.) Kingdom , 2.) Itaewon Class (based on the original webtoon), 3.) True Beauty, and, 4.) Vincenzo. True Beauty and Vincenzo both feature K-pop stars, with Cha Eun-woo (a member of the male K-pop group ASTRO) appearing in True Beauty, and Ok Taec-yeon (a member of the male K-pop group 2PM) starring in Vincenzo.

Twitter’s analysis of the word cloud for Tweets mentioning Itaewon Class confirmed that many Tweets about the show mentioned its soundtrack’s song “Sweet Night” by V, a member of the male K-pop group BTS. The word cloud also connected Itaewon Class to 11 other dramas during the first half of 2021. This shows that interest in Itaewon Class led fans to other K-dramas, making Itaewon Class a critical influence for K-content and new fans getting more interested.

With K-pop reaching all-time highs, and the popularity of K-dramas surging accordingly, original webtoons are also seeing increased interest, especially for webtoons that have been turned into K-dramas.

Many of the most-mentioned webtoons have been turned into K-dramas. True Beauty, which ranked third in the most-mentioned K-dramas on Twitter, ranked first in the most-mentioned K-webtoons on Twitter. Sweet Home, which was turned into a Netflix original series, ranked second in the most mentioned K-webtoons. Itaewon Class, which ranked fourth, was later turned into a K-drama, while Navillera (sixth) not only was later turned into a K-drama, but also benefited from BTS member V recommending the drama on a fan cafe.

Just three film directors accounted for nine of the top 20 K-movies that are most-mentioned on Twitter.

Parasite, directed by Bong Joon-ho, was the most-mentioned K-movie on Twitter, but Bong’s other movies, Snowpiercer, Okja, Mother, and The Host, were all among the top 20. Directors Park Chan-wook and Yeon Sang-ho also accounted for two K-movies apiece, with Oldboy and Thirst, and Peninsula and Train to Busan, respectively.

Twitter’s analysis of Tweets related to Bong Joon-ho showed keywords related to Parasite (which won four Academy Awards in 2020), Mother, and Snowpiercer respectively, as well as works by other prominent directors Park Chan-wook and Lee Chang-dong. Twitter’s analysis shows that interest in Bong Joon-ho helped to drive interest in K-movies broadly.

“Twitter has proven that K-pop — along with many other fandoms — thrive due to the characteristics of Twitter: live, public, and conversational,” said Yeon-jeong Kim, head of Twitter’s Global K-pop and K-content partnerships.

“People are consuming K-content through various channels, but in the end, the conversations are being held on Twitter. K-content has limitless potential as the fandom culture that started with K-pop has taken an interest in other forms of Korean content, which has led to the spread of the culture. Twitter will dedicate itself in the fullest to supporting the globalization of K-content and the fandom it empowers.”