'China becoming future Hollywood' (2007/06/07)
Lee Soo-man, 54, founder and producer of SM Entertainment, expects that China will emerge as the world's largest entertainment market in years to come.
The former singer and show host, who helped turn Korea's pop music industry into big business, made the prediction in his lecture on the future of Asian entertainment to about 50 Harvard MBA students who visited the company's headquarters in Seoul on Tuesday.
Lee emphasized that the biggest star always comes from the biggest market, and thus the Asian market will become the most important source of the world's top entertainers, as it includes China, which is what he believes to be a "future Hollywood".
"Our advanced know-how in star management will contribute much to bringing huge benefits to Northeast Asia then, combined with Japanese capital and Chinese human resources", said Lee.
Next month, the head producer behind such big stars as Boa, TVXQ, Kang Ta and Super Junior will become the new president of SMAC, a joint company of SM, Japanese Avex and Chinese Chengtian Entertainment, which he announced to be the essence of his company's innovative spirit. "Korean pop culture's popularity in Asia is moving into a new phase, the third stage of the Korean Wave", Lee said.
He noted that the first stage was initiated and led by Korean cultural content and artists born in Korea, such as now disbanded boy band H.O.T., and the singer Boa. The second one came, he said, when local agencies turned their eyes to neighboring markets -- China and Japan -- to make their talent and content big in Korea and elsewhere in Asia with the help of Super Junior's Chinese member Han kyung and Jang Ri-in, the 18-year-old Chinese girl who won the Best New Solo Artist Award at the MKMF Music Video Festival.
"The second stage was important only as a transition to prepare the third one. In the third stage, Korea, Japan and China will exert control over global entertainment market through their cooperation", Lee said. In that case, "made by Korea", should be more important than "made in Korea", he continued.
The lecture was part of a Harvard MBA student annual field trip to Korea titled "HBS Korea Trip", through which potential future global business leaders meet with the country's leading political and business figures. The week-long trip ends today.
Also attending Tuesday's lecture were celebrities under the company's management, including Boa, Kang Ta, Lee Yeon-hee and Han Kyung.
Introducing Boa to the students, Lee jokingly called the star, who is fluent in both English and Japanese, "the most expensive interpreter", which triggered laughter in the audience. After the lecture, the students had fun together with the stars on the stage, taking photos together.
"It was impressive and very useful too", said Michael Cohen, a student from Boston, who used to work for Sony USA as an intern.
"The lecture was wonderful for business purposes because how to appeal to your audience is really understanding what their need is supposed to", said Marie-Jose Bahnam, a female student from Lebanon.
By Lee Yong-sung
Source : www.koreaherald.co.kr... ( Anglais Coréen )