SXSW 2018: How K-Pop Grew Beyond Niche

While K-pop isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, you must admit that you had hummed it before, whether it was PSY’s Gangnam Style or 2NE1’s I am the Best. Those two examples have been heard on the radio, played at parties and clubs, and in the background of commercials of our favourite phones or promos for sports teams. A couple of short years ago, not many people knew that K-pop was a genre that existed. Now, not lonely do we see it as an option on our Spotify discovered lists, but it has begun breaking major records in the US, which is a notoriously difficult market to break into. It started breaking records in not only the US but worldwide. 
    Many have attributed its worldwide success to it being known for its style and beauty in the mainstream. While I agree, I feel that it's more because of the fans. During the convention, panellist Greg Fish, Director of Business for YG Entertainment USA, commented that “All pop fans care about their pop.” I can attest that the fandoms are very powerful. During SXSW I had the chance to see the very well known, Jay Park, former boy band member turned solo rap artist perform. The audience energy was infectious, and Park returned the energy by passing water out to the crowd as they were dancing and chanting, taking as many pictures with as many fans as he could, and entertaining the crowd before his set. This is something that I have rarely seen from an American artist. I believe that it is that exchange of intense appreciation and energy that makes k-pop different.
To bring this all back home, as the Program Director of WRAS Album 88, one of my jobs is to help create and start different shows. Recently before going to SXSW, I had a DJ express interest in creating a Korean music show. I knew a bit about different artist and thought that it would be a great idea, complementing our Latin music show and Japanese music show. This convention helped me to understand why the music was so infectious and why it sits perfectly between niche and almost mainstream.

SXSW 2018: Digital Witness: Embracing the Digital Age at College Radio

I was recently announced as the 2018-2019 GM of WRAS Album 88, so I figured that I should start getting ideas and learn from other college stations and their alumni. The one thing that I did know going into my new GM-ship is that I wanted to increase our online presence. Not only with your run of the mill Facebook (which every one of our shows on the station has), and not just Instagram or Snapchat, but that we should be focused on our web site. One of the panellists confirmed my feelings about the need for constant activity on our website by making it a note that all mainstream radio stations control and constantly update their websites. An example of how a college station has made the most of their website is KCRW, from the campus of Santa Monica College in California.  

KCRW was able to stay relevant with the help of their website. We must start utilizing our website like mainstream radio stations to have a chance of not being left behind. I took the liberty of taking a look at not only KCRW's website, but I decided to look a bit closer to home and found SCAD Radio's website. Both have interviews, podcasts, and weekly blogs and some do a "Track of the day" or Digital Download. The panellists also discussed RadioK 70's "K Singles Club" on Spotify, and how they release a preview of what will appear on their station or what they have been loving.  

Both ways, Digital Downloads and having a WRAS version loosely based on "K Singles Club", are ways that Album 88 can stay relevant and stay connected with our listeners and engage with them more. And by making and updating our website regularly can help to increase our audience engagement. 

SXSW 2018: Music Law Boot Camp

I decided to go to this panel on a whim. I figured, "Hey, I'm dealing with future musicians, DJ, and recordable owners. I might even want to go to law school and take up Entertainment law. Why not?" There is so much to learn about the music industry, and even more to know about on the music law side, particularly copyrights.  

The way that the panel broke down the "bundle of rights" or copyrights is that there are four main rights. The first being the right to reproduce. This covers CDs, downloads, and streaming. The next is the right to distribute, which covers the selling, giving away, and the lending of a product. Then the right to adapt (sampling and remixing) and lastly the right to perform the work. In countries outside of the US, this is called "neighbouring rights".  

They went more in depth with the different areas of copyright such as records, publishing, touring, and merch. During this time, they mentioned that copyrights didn’t exist until 1972 because of the boom of cassette tapes.  

All in all, this panel gave me a tiny taste of what is to come in my potential law school future. I learned that there are a lot of little things that I need to familiarize myself with before going to law school. This panel was a good intro for anyone who feels that they want to work in the music industry, whether as an artist, manager or a songwriter.  

SXSW 2018: Podcasting on the Rise

Younger people what podcasts ready to go and like the convince of having the content in the palm of their hands (cell phones) as opposed to the old way of having podcasts, having to download it and to put it on to your iPod mini. When the spike in the purchasing of headphones made it the largest selling electronic item, people took notice.  

With streaming up 30% every year, and podcast up 41% over last year, this is the time to jump on the podcast wagon. Podcast radio reaches 9 of 10 Americans, which is more than Facebook reaches daily. The reason why these numbers seem (and are) so high is because of our multitasking nature. Listening to audio is something that we can do while we do other things. Also, the new binging culture that has been fostered by Netflix and YouTube, makes people want to binge content, including podcasts.  

By listening to the numbers and realizing the fact that we are a binging culture, its easy to see that podcasts are the next huge thing. Podcast are a thing that we should be utilizing at WRAS and will be working toward it very soon. 

The Developing Discussion of Craft By Ally Wright, Production Editor, New South Journal


During AWP 2018 in Tampa, I attended a panel sponsored by Graywolf Press and featuring 3 prominent writers, only one of which I’d heard of. I took my comprehensive exams last Fall, so I’ve read A LOT of craft in the past year. So much so, that I am not sure I would have attended this particular session had I realized what it was, but I was distracted by the author name I did recognize: Edwidge Danticat. I have read multiple stories and a novel by her in the past year, and have fallen in love with her lyric prose and powerful portrayals of characters. I knew I wanted to hear her read, and I’m so glad I did, because not only was her reading lovely, this type of discussion of craft was exactly what I needed to get me out of my Comps list and back into the current conversation on writing and what literature can and should be.

Each of the writers (Edwidge Danticat, Maud Casey, and Christopher Castellani) read from a newly published book on craft from a series being published by Graywolf. The others spoke about the art of mystery and the art of perspective, and Danticat spoke about the art of death. They read from their books, and this was followed by a moderated conversation about craft and their experiences with writing.

The way they approached craft was refreshing, reflecting another author’s words (whom they quoted): “The best art is criticism, and the best criticism is art.” This feels like what these books do and like the type of criticism I want to read. Each of the writers mix their personal stories in with their discussion of craft topics and of books. Danticat says she thinks of criticism as “a conversation between passionate readers.” And that’s a conversation I’m so glad to be a part of. Other topics these authors covered were editing and revision and how writing is always an assertion of consciousness. This is what we are doing anytime we write: saying we’re here, we have a voice, and we want to use it.

Lorrie Moore and Seeing Your Idols in Person By Ally Wright, Production Editor, New South Journal

I have loved Lorrie Moore ever since I first read her story “How to Become a Writer”: “First, try to be something, anything, else.” Well, I’d tried, as she had, and couldn’t. I related immediately to her voice and the way she infuses her stories with humor. I had no idea what she would be like in person, but when I saw that she was going to be on a panel with Jeffrey Eugenides and Dana Spiotta at AWP Tampa, I knew I had to find out.

It’s a little daunting to hear someone you’ve admired for so long in person. What if they don’t come across the way you’ve imagined? It’s like meeting a fictional character in real life, because don’t we all make fictions about the people we love? We think writers belong to us, specifically, when we really love them, and that’s both beautiful and terrifying. Jeffrey Eugenides was on the panel too. So this was two idols in one session. But it was fantastic! Lorrie Moore was everything I wanted her to be: smart, funny, personable, and I really enjoyed the way Jeffrey Eugenides did not overpower the conversation and let the women speak.

Each author read for a few minutes and then they had a moderated conversation about fiction and nonfiction. Lorrie Moore read from a new collection of essays that is coming out soon, and this led to an interesting conversation about the difference between fiction and nonfiction. Eugenides said that he thought that his fiction feels more real to him, because the dislocation allows him to be more honest. Lorrie Moore said “you can make this stuff up but you don’t have to” when talking about her nonfiction. Writing as a whole, though, they agreed is designed for preservation. You invent, you collect, but then by writing, you preserve. “It’s absurd, being humans” was another Lorrie Moore statement. It’s absurd, and we writers are here to make sure it’s all recorded.

SXSW 2018: "For Us By Us: Marketing for the Global Majority"

In this panel, two women describe how to market to Black women. In the panel they project that by 2021 the spending power of Black Women will be $1.5 Trillion, yet in the past year companies and organizations have struggled to create inclusive and culturally appropriate marketing strategies. Throughout the panel they discuss that many of the terms we use were created by white men and do not appropriately describe Black Women or People of Color. They believe that People of Color are the Global Majority and should not be called a “Minority.” In the panel they mention that the companies need to be mindful and intentional when marketing to Black Women.  Also there needs to be more diversity on these marketing campaigns and boards. They brought up the recent H&M debacle as an example of needing to be Black Women in these spaces when they are trying to market to Black Women and People of Color alike.

SXSW 2018: "Next-Gen Content Marketing: Reaching Digital Natives"

This panel discussed what to do when it comes to marketing to the consumer that is a heavy digital user. A digital native does not have a specific age group or demographic. It is simply anyone who is more inclined to use their phone or some type of digital device to do anything. When it comes to a digital native, things must be interactive and eye catching and mobile devices are better for images than text. They don’t want to do a lot of reading or spend too much time on a link or article. The speaker mentions the social proof playbook and how your brain makes shortcuts, you end up following everyone around you. With the Digital Native there tends to be a “Herd Mentality” where is everyone else is doing it, then so will I. Another way to reach them is through giving them a sense of belonging and this can be accomplished through testimonials from others or using influencers to vouch for the product or business.

SXSW 2018: "Extending your Reach in College Radio"

In this panel we learned about how to position our radio station to reach a broader audience. The panel discussed different promotional tools and ideas to extend our reach. Using other platforms, like internet radio or podcasting, is a great way to extend our reach beyond just Georgia State. There are apps that are free and can be used to be heard online 24/7 and in the case of Album 88 between the hours of 5am-7pm. A couple of apps in particular are Tune in (that we currently use) and Spotify. They mentioned using Spotify to make our interviews and playlists accessible because the audience may want to hear the interview or listen to a specific specialty show again. They also mention to craft messages that will connect, meaning to find ways to connect with our students by using visuals. Posting staffer of the day or pictures of our DJ’s in the booth makes a personal connection with the audience.

SXSW 2018: "If You didn’t Share it, Did it Happen?"

I am a Marketing major and wanted to take advantage of a few of the Marketing panels that were offered. In this panel I learned how to get your audience to share your social media pages and repost your businesses content. One way is to make things shareable and easy for them to post. To do this you need to create gifs, be helpful, and make them wish they were there. Through Gifs and posing in front of big objects (the Eifel tower), you make yourself stand out from the others.  Being helpful and posting quick links also makes your consumers want to share your content, for example, posting locations for polling stations, makes it so that they won’t have to search around. Another way to make things shareable is to create FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out), for example, saying the phrase “limited time only.” Being relevant to small audiences is another way because the more niche the audience the more excited they are to get involved with your business or cause. Lastly, doing the opposite of what is expected can cause your business or cause to be shareable or go viral.