Globalization has brought with it an intense cultural exchange, and a phenomenon that stands out in this scenario is the growing influence of South Korean culture in the world of entertainment. According to data from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Brazil is positioned as South Korea’s second largest partner in Latin America, with a significant trade flow, reaching the mark of USD 11.7 billion. This exchange is not just limited to business, but also manifests itself in the presence of around 120 South Korean companies on Brazilian soil, with investments reaching the figure of USD 10 billion, especially in technologically advanced sectors.
In February last year, we celebrated 60 years of Korean immigration to Brazil, highlighting a community of approximately 50 thousand Koreans who chose to live in our country. However, the spread of South Korean culture transcends national borders, notably impacting several countries around the globe. Striking examples of this reach are the films “Parasite”, winner of the highest award in world cinema, and the series “Round 6”, which broke records on the streaming giant Netflix.
The uniqueness and vitality of South Korean culture are manifested in a strategic approach that combines public and private investment. This engagement allowed South Korea to export its cultural productions, winning fans in countless countries. The exceptional quality of productions, the diversity of formats and styles, visual and technological innovation, the strong presence on digital platforms, robust marketing strategies and the passionate enthusiasm of fans are crucial elements for the international success of South Korean culture.
Recently, the South Korean government announced that it will launch a new visa specifically for enthusiasts of its culture. The Hallyu visa, also called the “K-culture training visa,” will provide a magnificent attraction for fans of the local musical style, allowing non-Koreans who enroll in local performing arts academies to stay in the country for up to two years. . South Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism outlined in its business plan that the arts are considered a large part of culture for years to come.
Main trends of the Korean wave
South Korea stands out as a powerhouse generating films, series, music and other entertainment programs, exporting its creativity to several nations, including Brazil. The spread of this cultural wave is known as ‘Hallyu’ and began in the 1990s, driven by significant state investment. During the pandemic, K-dramas, previously considered niche productions, emerged as preferred choices for streaming platform subscribers.
At PlayTV, as a content curation hub, we embrace this trend by increasingly investing in Asian productions. In 2023, we broadcast the K-drama “I’m Not a Robot”, which proved to be an extraordinary success. We value the diversity of formats and genres that make up pop culture in a comprehensive way. It is clear that South Korean artistic productions have unique characteristics that explain their immense success.
We are excited to position PlayTV as a platform dedicated to the dissemination of South Korean culture, featuring K-pop music videos, K-dramas and a program exclusively focused on South Korea, led by journalist Yoo Na Kim.
*Leonardo Zalcman is the Director of Content and Digital Channels at PlayTV.