Author Archives: PLo

K-Pop Leaders, Challengers, Visionaries, & Niche Artists

2019 Kpop Competitive Positioning Quadrant.png

Top 10-100 lists for K-pop artists and groups are flawed. They typically only measure influence based on a candidate’s ranking on a list, without providing the more multidimensional nuances and relationships between those in the list. It’s led us to begin thinking about another way to present the winners and leaders in K-pop today.

Introducing The K-pop Competitive Positioning Chart

Who are the competing artists in K-pop today? How are they positioned for the long story arc of their brand? Who is delivering high production value content, and who provides innovative concepts?

The Kpopcast’s K-pop Competitive Positioning Chart is a culmination of the winners in K-Pop are within a specific category, giving k-pop fans a wide-angle view of the relative positions of each artist’s competitors. The K-pop Competitive Positioning Chart takes heavy inspiration from work produced by technology analyst firms and reimagines it for k-pop purposes. Visualized through this graphical chart, The K-Pop Competitive Positioning Chart lets k-pop fans quickly grasp how well a given artist is performing in a given category or year.

How do I use The K-pop Competitive Positioning Chart?

The K-pop Competitive Positioning Chart is a quick snapshot view of how well your favorite idol or group is performing in a given category. Look at the K-pop Competitive Positioning Chart to see an artist’s relative position against others of its category.

Keep in mind that just because an artist isn’t in the “leader” category doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stan them. Nor are “leader” artists fit for everyone. There may be personal biases and specific reasons to follow a niche artist. 

How does The K-pop Competitive Positioning Chart Work?

The K-Pop Competitive Positioning Chart provides a graphical competitive positioning of four kinds of k-pop entertainers:

  • Leaders execute well against their unique concept and are well-positioned for the future.
  • Visionaries understand where the future of where the k-pop genre is going but do not yet execute well.
  • Niche Artists either focus on a small segment but do not out-innovate or perform against others.
  • Challengers execute well today or may dominate a large segment, but do not demonstrate an understanding of the market direction.

Each K-pop Competitive Positioning Chart may be organized by a category (girl groups, rookies, labels, music producers, etc). The positioning of artists may shift quarter-to-quarter or year-to-year across successive iterations of future K-pop Competitive Positioning Charts.

Positioning is determined by extensive proprietary qualitative analysis, which incorporates the views of variables such as Kpopcast episode reviews, western reception, and digital engagement.

Why should I care?

The K-pop Competitive Positioning Chart brings together expert opinion and peer-insights in a quick visual summary. It additionally serves as a way to quickly survey a landscape within a category.

Example: 2019 K-pop Artists (August)

2019 Kpop Competitive Positioning Quadrant Aug 10.png

BTS is a Boy With Luv

The Kpopcast crew discuss BTS’ “Boy With Luv.” Continue reading

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Let’s Kill This Love With BlackPink

YG Entertainment takes an experiment in doing something right. Continue reading

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Stray Kids’ “Miroh” Is The Art of Rebellion

Fighting against the man in style. With incredible dance moves. And dope drops. Continue reading

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Hit Replays: THAMA, KARD, DALsooobin W1 April 2019

Finally, a week without a Soyeon mention.

– 따마( THAMA ) – ‘Sing It’
– KARD – [밤밤(Bomb Bomb)]
– DALsooobin(달수빈) – Katchup

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Baby Shark Is The Best K-pop Song Of All Time

Ariana enjoys a day at the beach on the first day of April when she discovers a familiar face who claims to have unearthed the best k-pop song of all time. Continue reading


A Shot With Soju & Miles Jai

What happens when you invite two drag queens onto a k-pop podcast? NSFW hilarity ensues. If it wasn’t clear: this is an EXPLICIT episode, so please take caution in listening appropriately. 🙂 Continue reading

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K-Pop Hot Issue: A Korean Reporter Explains The Seungri Scandal

This is an abbreviated conversation on what international K-pop fans should make from the developing Seungri scandal story. We invited a Korean Entertainment Reporter to provide her Korean-perspective on the current state of the hot issue. This episode was recorded on March 17, 2019.

If you would like us to dive deeper into this topic or ask us questions, let us know on Twitter (@thekpopcast) or send us an email to



Soyeon is great. We also listen to some of the noteworthy Hit Replays for this second week of March. Continue reading

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TXT Grow Into Their “Crown”

The NYC-based team of the Kpopcast, Ariana and Olivia, introduce the highly-anticipated Big Hit debut group TXT. Continue reading

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