([identity profile] wrote on April 22nd, 2016 at 01:06 am
If I were SM I wouldn’t worry too much (lmao who am I kidding, they are not worrying. EXO = ca$h cow$) about scaring off fair-weathers in concerts because in the countries where they do actively promote, they’re already so popular and their brand is so proliferated that there are countless of other sources of revenue. There’s already a steady stream from the EXO-specific merchandise and the products that the band/members sponsor. If fans are scared off by the intensity of the concert, they can show their support through purchasing a wide variety of products. I have no doubts that, eventually, with enough spent dollars and all the hounding from the media, the obsession will break free and they’ll come over to the dark side...

For countries where there is NO promotion and very little merchandise being sold, I think SM is just letting hallyu do the dirty work for them. Through the tentacles of this phenomenon, passionate fans have already sprouted up throughout these counties. They can be the beacon of light to possibly convert and hand-hold some innocents into this black hole. But likely, these passionate fans will be the only ones they count on because they will be the ones spending the insane amounts of money for overseas things, and that’s perfectly fine. SM can just pocket this income while they wait patiently for Kpop or EXO to hit those countries and gain a stronger following there. Then, more active promotions can begin, but realistically, I don’t see EXO branching out much further than Japan and China in terms of full-out entering the market. Sure they’d like to be known internationally, but probably not at the expense of giving up market share of their dear homeland, Republic of Korea. Their new taste-test frontier is Europe, though I’m not sure when that’ll happen.

actually, i like EXO for striking an elusive and exciting middle ground between trend-following and trend-setting.
Yes, you are definitely right. Upon further inspection, I probably should have thought about my sentence a bit more and put a few more qualifiers onto it. To me, they're not trend-setting in the experimental sense (like f(x) or Shinee), as you've mentioned, but they are trend-setting in mainstream, which I think is even more trend-setting (meta-trend setting)?? Because it’s so difficult to consistently stay on top for more than once cycle in such a fickle industry, doing so is trend-setting? They have the ability to innovate the mainstream. This sounds like a total oxymoron.

Arguably, if you’re going to be literally trend-setting, EXO currently occupies the best space with the large audience and popular attention. Anything they do will catch the news and spread far earlier and faster than anything “truly” experiment. (Perhaps they are too big to fail?? That is, barring any dating scandals)

It's a fine art to balance between artistic and commercial success. And so far, they’ve done it not just from riding off the hype of the boys themselves, but through quality music and music videos that can stand and fight on their own. They're also trend-setting in how much they spend on their production. Everything is always really well done. Even though it’s always been felt that SM invested a LOT into EXO, their music videos didn’t really step up into their trend-setting high quality EXO trademark level until later on. Firstly, it was Growl with the one-take but it REALLY took off with Overdose and they’ve never looked back since. They’re the first major band to combine great music with catchy choreography PLUS a fully standalone cinematic piece. The video is no longer a medium to showcase dance and song and make sure to zoom in extra close to their faces. It’s not a throwaway. There’s thought behind the shots-- angles, composition, movement, color balance—all the elements of filmography. They’ve also certainly elevated their taste starting from Overdose. There’s a degree of maturity in their music videos now that's a breath of fresh air and non-second-hand embarrassment.

Of course, it should be mentioned that EXO also has the luxury of ALL THAT MONEY to play around with and truly go BIG where as other groups and companies would be unable to. High barrier to entry, economies of scale, all those helpful things...
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