Monday, February 09, 2009

South Korea Gives Music Industry $91 Million Bailout

South Korea Gives Music Industry $91 Million Bailout
2/5/2009 By Brock Thiessen (

If you’re sick of the Conservatives and their arts-cutting ways, you may want to consider making the move to South Korea, a country whose government cares enough about its music industry to give it a $91-million bailout.

South Korea’s Culture, Sports and Tourism Ministry this week unveiled the new rescue plan, saying the government aims to “globalize” the country’s pop music and help the industry bounce back from music piracy. Ministers hope the five-year plan will double the country’s annual music sales, both online and in the shops, and make music a $1.2 billion industry in South Korea by 2013, the ministry said in a statement [via Agence France-Presse].

As part of the bailout package, the ministry will fund the construction of several new concert halls, a K-pop hall of fame, a Korean version of the U.S. Billboard charts and an annual music awards ceremony. The ministry will also help financially support 35,000 noraebangs (karaoke bars without alcohol) by providing them with new music equipment.

"It's crucial to protect songwriters from online piracy in order to globalize K-pop music," a ministry official told AFP. "It's difficult to expect a songwriter to produce good contents when his products are being easily stolen."

Now, when is the last time you heard a politician in Canada give two hoots about helping out Canadian music, not to mention keeping our artists above the poverty line? (And no, election time doesn’t count.)

Commentary: Interesting description of noraebangs. If you have visited one which did not serve alcohol please let me know.

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