I was actually excited to see the Forbes Korea Power Ranking for the year 2019 yesterday. The ranking encompasses the period of March 2018- Febuarary 2019 and it is basically a list to show who had the most influence last year. How the people at Forbes do this is by ranking narrowing down a list of 150 nominees and then ranking them in four caterogies: earnings, media exposure, broadcast, and new this year social media. Earnings basically speaks to the amount of money earn through commercials, songs, performances, prizes etc. Media exposure is self explanatory, how much did the said group/individual was covered in the 53 newspapers that is register with the Korea Press Foundation. Broadcasts spoke to apperances on variety shows, MC, and dramas. Social media is a new caterogy this year, and it encompasses followers on instagram, twitter, Vline (which I guess is a Korean thing), and facebook.
Here’s what I think, I think the list doesn’t make much sense to me. Why? I espcially do not like how they include the social media caterogy. Espcially social media that literally only “westerners” use. Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter usages are most DOMINATED by the western countries, South Korea comes nowhere CLOSE. Although apparently 69 percent of adults are on social media (Pew Research Center) the mediums (with the exception of Vline) that forbes listed in their social caterogy almost in no way shape or form represent popularity in Korea. It extremely favors the West, espcially in America where almost HALF the population have instagram/twitter. I am not surprise ONE BIT, that Blackpink somehow manages to become first, I mean Lisa just became the most follow idol in Korea on instagram. Although I am not saying that popularity elsewhere in the world shouldn’t contribute to a celebrity success, it DEFINITELY SHOULD, at the end of the day this list is influential in the Korean sphere, this list isn’t Time 100 where it seeks to see who is the most influential in the world. That’s why even though Harvard is a lot more known than Princeton outside of the US, Princeton consistenly place above Harvard in US News and World Report college rankings, who uses statistics/ranking caterogies that’s literally only influential by US. What kind of irks me off the most is the use of Youtube, heck nobody besides basically AMERICA uses Youtube to watch music or do stuff. Asian countries stream using like Melon or something, they barely use Youtube except for seeing like other videos. Don’t believe me? There’s a reason why most big youtubers are western citizens or at least people BASED in the west than the east.
It’s extremely skews towards groups that have market overseas like Blackpink. I’m not saying they are bad, I just don’t think they should be number 1. It should just unironically go to BTS who literally was in Time 100 celebrity list. If Forbes care so much about western markets, just place BTS as number 1??
I still don’t get some of the rankings though, I feel like Forbes suffered HARD from availibility logical fallicy, like they focus on these months as oppose to the whole year in regards to some rankings. Like I still find it hard to stomach why TWICE is lower than AOA’s Seoulhyun? They comeback without ChoA in 2018 was a flop, or it wasn’t NEARLY as good as Yes or Yes that was released in November of 2018. All Seoulhyun has going for her is literally CF’s (commercials). What else does she have? No dramas (just got casted) in the past year nothing else, no music in the past year. JUST CF’s and YET when it was ranking for female “advertisement” brand (in the month of January), Seoulhyun was NOWHERE TO BE FOUND. Media exposure? I don’t think so, I mean she haven’t even been doing Variety shows that much, it just puzzles me how she should be up there (as expose to let’s say ALL OF AOA). How come TWICE literally fell from being number 4 and like 3 the past two years and then now fly all the way down to 21? It’s not like they disbanded or got irrelavent, I mean Yes or Yes release in November of 2018 was VERY WELL received winning 3 shows how much have Kill This Love won? Oh right that’s 1. TWICE also just become number 1 girl group in record sales, no props to that? Ok.
The only thing I like about the list is that it seems like sometimes earnings were “scale” which is actually something I liked. I feel like this was espcially true in terms of number 9 on the Korea list, Son Heung-min. He’s literally earning Euros playing for a Tottenham Hotspurs and the World Cup 2018 just happen he probably earn A LOT. There’s NO WAY that BTS and Blackpink earns more than Son (which forbes stated. Son earns around 7 million euros. Putting things into perspective 6 million wons is like 5000 USD which is like 4000 Euros) who is literally a starter on a powerhouse European team. But I am find with rankings like that because sure Son earns more because he’s in a “top earning” profession (not to say idols aren’t but this soccer star is earning euros why top idols still only earn wons).
Overall I don’t like the list I think it suffers at points too much from “recency bias”, although the places that they are now some of them I can understand like Red Velvet. They haven’t got much music done but I GUESS they have had variety shows and Irene is rank as a top female for brand advertisements and Joy just had a drama. Even Wanna One, sure they were “big” from that Producer show, I just don’t think Kang Daniel deserves a spot all to himself. Park Na Rae Ok fine, a good comedian sure. There are just some spots I wish Forbes give an explaination for, at least give an explaination for the ones that suffer humongous dips even though they have stayed relevant and even popular like TWICE and EXO.