Insights

Twitter insights: #BeyondKpop from Music to Drama, Webtoon, and Movies

By YeonJeong Kim
Friday, 22 October 2021

#SquidGame, the Korean series, is making record history, generating about 29M Tweets globally since it premiered on Netflix on September 17. Before the #SquidGame phenomenon, we saw other K-content including movies, drama series, and webtoons (comics, manhwa) talked about a lot on Twitter on a global scale. 

Speaking at the 2021 Seoul International Music Fair(MU:CON 2021), Twitter introduced big data insights with the theme of ‘#BeyondKpop: Globalization of K-Culture from Music to Drama, Webtoon, Movie and beyond’, and Top 20 most Tweeted K-content. Twitter has been at the center of global conversations about K-pop music scenes, and this new announcement reflects our effect on the global spread of various K-content like Korean popular dramas, webtoons, and movies as well as K-pop music. You can watch the full presentation at ‘#BeyondKpop : Globalization of K-Culture from Music to Drama, Webtoon, Movie and beyond'.

Here is my summary of the announcement at MU:CON 2021. 

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The results of data aggregation were conducted by Twitter and VAIV company through big data text mining techniques that analyzed global English Tweets from July 2018 to June 2021.

Most-mentioned K-dramas show a clear connection to K-pop

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Top 20 Most-Mentioned K-Dramas on Twitter in the World (July 2018 ~ June 2021)

  1. Kingdom (2019, Netflix original)
  2. Itaewon Class (2020, JTBC)
  3. True Beauty (2020, tvN)
  4. Vincenzo (2021, tvN)
  5. Sky Castle (2018, JTBC)
  6. Hotel Del Luna (2019, tvN)
  7. Start-Up (2020, tvN)
  8. Hospital Playlist (2020, tvN)
  9. Goblin (2016, tvN)
  10. The Penthouse (2020, SBS)
  11. Vagabond (2019, SBS)
  12. Sweet Home (2020, Netflix original)
  13. Crash Landing on You (2019, tvN)
  14. Voice (2017, OCN)
  15. Love Alarm (2019, Netflix original)
  16. It’s Okay to Not Be Okay (2020, tvN)
  17. Kairos (2020, MBC)
  18. Arthdal Chronicles (2019, tvN)
  19. Extracurricular (2020, Netflix original)
  20. Forest of Secrets/Stranger (2017, tvN)

For many K-pop fans, K-dramas were the next type of K-content they tried after falling in love with K-pop, and the most popular K-dramas reflect this preference.

The top four most-mentioned K-dramas around the world were ranked as follows: Kingdom at number one, Itaewon Class (based on the original webtoon) at number two, True Beauty at number three, and Vincenzo at number four. True Beauty and Vincenzo both include roles for K-pop stars, with Cha Eun-woo (a member of the male K-pop group ASTRO) appearing in True Beauty, and Ok Taec-yeon (a member of the male K-pop group 2PM) starring in Vincenzo.

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Twitter’s analysis of the word cloud for Tweets mentioning Itaewon Class confirmed that many Tweets about Itaewon Class mentioned the OST song “Sweet Night” by V, a member of the male K-pop group BTS. The word cloud also connected Itaewon Class to 11 other dramas during the first half of 2021. This shows that interest in Itaewon Class led fans to other K-dramas, making Itaewon Class a critical influence for K-content and new fans getting more interested.

Most-mentioned webtoons boosted interest in webtoons with related K-dramas

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Top 20 Most-Mentioned K-Webtoons on Twitter in the World (July 2018 ~ June 2021)

  1. True Beauty (2018, Naver Webtoon)
  2. Sweet Home (2017, Naver Webtoon)
  3. Tower of God (2010, Naver Webtoon)
  4. Itaewon Class (2017, Kakao Webtoon)
  5. Noblesse (2007, Naver Webtoon)
  6. Navillera (2016, Kakao Webtoon)
  7. Romance 101 (2018, Naver Webtoon)
  8. Omniscient reader (2020, Naver Webtoon)
  9. Eleceed (2018, Naver Webtoon)
  10. Dice (2013, Naver Webtoon)
  11. Along with the gods (2010, Naver Webtoon)
  12. Weak hero (2018, Naver Webtoon)
  13. I Love Yoo (2017, Naver Webtoon)
  14. Wind breaker (2013, Naver Webtoon)
  15. Annarasumanara (2010, Naver Webtoon)
  16. Unholy blood (2020, Naver Webtoon)
  17. Sole leveling (2016, Naver Webtoon)
  18. Random chat (2017, Naver Webtoon)
  19. Kubera (2010, Naver Webtoon)
  20. Gosu (2015, Naver Webtoon)

With K-pop music reaching all-time highs, and the popularity of K-dramas surging accordingly, original K-webtoons are also seeing increased interest, especially for webtoons that have been turned into K-dramas.

Many of the most-mentioned webtoons have been turned into K-dramas. True Beauty, which ranked third in the most-mentioned K-dramas on Twitter, ranked first in the most-mentioned K-webtoons on Twitter. Sweet Home, which was turned into a Netflix original series, ranked second in the most mentioned K-webtoons. Itaewon Class, which ranked fourth, was later turned into a K-drama, while Navillera (sixth) not only was later turned into a K-drama, but also benefited from BTS member V recommending the drama on a fan cafe.

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Most-mentioned movies show the impact of Korea’s biggest directors

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Top 20 Most-Mentioned K-Movies on Twitter in the World (July 2018 ~ June 2021)

  1. Parasite (2019)
  2. Minari (2020)
  3. Snowpiercer (2013)
  4. Oldboy (2003)
  5. Space sweepers (2020)
  6. Swing kids (2018)
  7. Okja (2017)
  8. Train to Busan: Peninsula (2020)
  9. Train to Busan (2016)
  10. Mother (2009)
  11. The Call (2020)
  12. Along with the gods (2017)
  13. Exit (2019)
  14. Forgotten (2017)
  15. Voice of silence (2020)
  16. Thirst (2009)
  17. Samjin Company English Class (2020)
  18. Little forest (2018)
  19. Burning (2018)
  20. The Host (2006)

Just three film directors accounted for nine of the top 20 K-movies that are most-mentioned on Twitter.

Parasite, directed by Bong Joon-ho, was the most-mentioned K-movie on Twitter, but Bong’s other movies, Snowpiercer, Okja, Mother, and The Host, all were among the top 20. Directors Park Chan-wook and Yeon Sang-ho also accounted for two K-movies apiece, with Oldboy and Thirst, and Peninsula and Train to Busan, respectively.

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Twitter’s analysis of Tweets related to Bong Joon-ho showed keywords related to Parasite (which won four Academy Awards in 2020), Mother, and Snowpiercer respectively, as well as works by other prominent directors Park Chan-wook and Lee Chang-dong. Twitter’s analysis shows that interest in Bong Joon-ho helped to drive interest in K-movies broadly.

The conversation around K-content will continue to expand

Twitter has proven that K-pop - along with many other fandoms - thrive due to the characteristics of Twitter: live, public, and conversational. People are consuming K-content through various channels, but in the end, the conversations are being held on Twitter.

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As Squid Game is trending worldwide, there are already many fans of the show on Twitter, and new movies, dramas, and webtoons are ready to meet global fans in the second half of this year. 

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We will continue to do our best to help you enjoy content around the world on Twitter. Enjoy your favorite content and talk about it on Twitter!

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@52111801

YeonJeong Kim

‎@TheNolja‎

Head of Global Kpop Partnerships

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