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Creator and Artist Stories

Pororo the Penguin and the other Korean pop sensations

By Brian Suh

Head of YouTube Partnerships, YouTube Korea

In Korea, we’ve seen our pop culture get big in Asia over the last decade, and through YouTube we’re seeing this expand even further around the globe.

Tickets for the recent SM Town concert in Paris featuring hit Korean groups Girls Generation, TVXQ, and SHINee sold out in 15 minutes. Female pop group 2NE1’s new video “I AM THE BEST” got 5+ million views in one week, and their audience is spread out widely over six continents. The six-episode spin-off of Korean TV sitcom “Playful Kiss” has now seen 21+ million views, with channel comments in a half-dozen languages. And when we worked with TV show MBC Star Audition last fall to find the next K-Pop star, Canadian Shayne Orok, who had never been to Korea before the contest, ended up as one of the remaining three finalists.

On top of that, the Korean animation studio Iconix Entertainment opened the PororoTV channel on YouTube this week for its iconic children’s show "Pororo the Penguin." This computer-generated show about Pororo and his friends is already televised in 110 countries, but now you can watch it whenever you want on YouTube. Iconix has put up the first two seasons of the show, and the full 52 episodes of Season 1 are available in English.

Pororo is so famous in Korea that he is called “President Pororo.” Hopefully he can also take the role as “Ambassador Pororo” in spreading Korean animation around the world.