Hallyu has impacted Indian youth in a big way. Korean pop, dramas, and beauty were already thriving subcultures in India, but in 2020 these became part of India’s mainstream.
Keeping in mind the obsession that GenZ and millennials have, Zing became the first channel in the genre to launch K-dramas in Hindi. Zing aired ‘Boys Over Flowers’, which got an overwhelming response from the audience. Viewership was high across all time-bands but the original time-band increased by 2X! Given the success of the first show, Zing has decided to continue to bring joy in the viewer’s lives by launching more K-Dramas, starting with ‘Descendants of the Sun’ this week. It will air Monday-Friday at 2pm.
Pankaj Balhara, Dy. Business Head, Music Cluster, ZEEL, said, “K-Pop and K-Dramas have been an important sub-culture among India’s GenZ for a few years now and 2020 took this fandom manifold higher. One of the key reasons for the popularity of K-Dramas is the massive similarities between the two cultures. For example, romance is depicted in a very similar manner and themes include rich boy, poor girl, intense love story triangles, etc. They also believe in family values, which resonate well with the Indian audiences. After the massive success of ‘Boys over flowers’, we have decided to air more K-dramas on the channel. Through content innovation either creating or curating, we want to give best of entertainment to our consumers.”
A recent OTT platform report stated, “The viewing for K-dramas on their platform in India increased more than 370% in 2020 over 2019”. The number of streams for K-pop doubled in 2020 and BTS was among the top five artists overall on a leading music streaming app. At many levels, K-dramas are more relatable than US or British shows due to the similarity in cultures of both the countries, adding to their popularity.