An over-the-top, satirical music video, “Gangnam Style,” that lampoons South Korea’s obsession with wealth and material success, is big, big, big in Silicon Valley.
How big? The video just hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Social 50.
Google’s video subsidiary is no stranger to the popularity of Korean pop music, or K-pop—in 2010, YouTube served up 2.3 billion views of K-pop videos. Google Korea hosted a Hangout, or video chat, earlier this week to teach Psy’s distinctive “Gangnam Style” dance moves, and we note that YouTube business-development executive Eric Mauskopf just returned from a trip to Seoul.
There’s even one Silicon Valley company, Viki, that tells us it’s actively working on helping K-pop stars make money abroad. (They don’t make much money at home, because of the popularity of subscription music services.) Viki users, who add subtitles to videos, have translated “Gangnam Style” into 17 languages.
Perhaps the subversive message of “Gangnam Style” resonates with Silicon Valley, whose inhabitants are at once obsessed with getting rich and reflexively allergic to obvious trappings of wealth.
Twitter did not respond to our request to stage a “Gangnam Style” flash mob in its cafeteria.
Here’s the video:
- ‘Gangnam Style,’ A Korean Pop Sensation, Is Big In Silicon Valley Right Now (GOOG) (businessinsider.com)
- S. Korea’s Gangnam Style tops 200m YouTube views (straitstimes.com)
- Gangnam Style: South Korean rapper PSY’s social commentary (thestar.com)
- “Gangnam Style” Fever Has Reached The Shores of Silicon Valley (bub.blicio.us)
- Gangnam Style by Psy (magnetised.wordpress.com)
- Here’s the skinny on Psy and his Oppan Gangnam Style (theunspunblog.com)
- [PSY] ‘Gangnam Style’ Nominated for Best Video at 2012 MTV’s EMA Awards (koreanupdates.com)