Korean Wave success rides on long-term outlook

By Kim Da-hee

The success of hallyu, the Korean cultural wave, is due to shareholders' investment with a long-term perspective, journalist and author Euny Hong has written in a Wall Street Journal article.

Citing the recent hit TV series "Descendants of the Sun" and KCON fan conventions overseas, Hong called hallyu an unexpected pop-culture success spread far from Korea.

"It wasn't the obvious move," she said on Friday. "The Korean language is basically spoken and understood only on the Korean Peninsula, so how much audience could there be for South Korean pop music and dramas?"

Hong said the long view of the Korean market has boosted the wave. She said this was in contrast to the American market in which shareholders would not be prepared to wait so long before making a significant profit.

Hong used the example of KCON, the world's largest K-pop festival, quoting the chief operating officer of CJ E&M, which organizes the event.

According to Hong, Angela Killoren, chief operating officer of CJ E&M's American Outfit, said the KCONs in North America are in a break-even position although they are hugely popular. But Killoren said they are not interested in the financial result because they put a bigger emphasis on raising Korea's brand value rather than short-term gain. "We're looking at a very long -term," Killoren said.