Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis


East Asian Studies




The recent proliferation of the internet has posed many challenges, and opportunities, for music industries across the world. This paper explores the variance in the marketing strategies employed by the Japanese and Korean popular music industries, two prime examples of the differing responses to the integration of the internet into their marketing plans, and discusses the implications of these business practices. After delving into the history of the industries, this paper discusses two integral systems within Korea and Japan’s industries, the idol system and the tie-up system, and how hybridization and globalization has impacted these industries. This paper then explores three main reasons as to why these two countries’ major record companies had such differing responses to the proliferation of the internet and the globalization of their music: the need to expand to an audience beyond the domestic market, a concern for copyright violations and piracy, and the desire to achieve global influence and soft power through the export of cultural goods. Finally, I then use a case study analyzing two of Japan and South Korea’s largest recording companies’, Sony Music Entertainment Japan and SM Entertainment respectively, use of YouTube to illustrate these findings within the current global market.