Gracenote and YG Entertainment are teaming up to help audiences around the world discover more K-pop, the two companies announced on Wednesday.
YG Plus, the investment leg of the No. 3 Korean entertainment label YG Entertainment, is working with Gracenote, a Nielsen company, to make Korean music more accessible through different streaming services around the globe. The aim is to make K-pop more searchable and discoverable by standardizing the metadata of Korean songs by applying industry-standard descriptors such as genre, mood, era, origin, tempo and artist language. Gracenote’s learning technology will extract key attributes of songs to help make better recommendations for listeners seeking out new K-pop.
The standardization of information will help K-pop music be better integrated into streaming platforms and to become more viable in the playlist-based business model.
Gracenote also announced that it will be working with YG Plus’ local South Korean partner, Naver Music, to “deliver next-generation digital music experiences focused on advanced search, discovery, and personalization,” according to a press release. The company has been involved in the Korean market for 10 years, working with electronics makers like Samsung and LG, but this is the first time the company has teamed up with a local streaming platform like Naver Music.
The project, which will affect streaming services including Spotify and Apple Music, will begin with YG Plus-related music, including the likes of BIGBANG, Winner, Epik High, iKon and Blackpink, though the eventual aim is for Gracenote’s standardizing of descriptive information to improve the accessibility of K-pop music overall.
“We’re seeing, across the board now, more and more breakout artists from Korea, but without a standard way to talk about the music that translates across the world. That is really important and that’s why [YG] wants to partner with us,” Brian Hamilton, the general manager of music for Gracenote, told Billboard.
“In a market like Korea, they don’t just call it ‘K-pop,’ but right now there’s not a good description of Korean music [on international streaming platforms]. It’s either showing up as ‘World Music’ and is being buried, or everything is just being grouped together as ‘Asian pop.’ If they’re really lucky, it’ll be called ‘K-pop.’ But we’re able to provide a level of detail where we’re able to mount that out to different user interfaces using our other metadata, such as mood, era, origin, etc. That’ll be really big to help expose the content, and help it get discovered across the major streaming platforms that are using our metadata.”