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The entertainment world of the future│Soo Man Lee (이수만; SM Entertainment, Executive Producer)

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Today, I wish to speak about the future of entertainment When I first went over the U

S to study in 1980s, MTV had begun to broadcast As I witnessed the launching of MTV, I came to think that the global music industry will most likely advance and expand much further in the near future When I returned to Korea, I thought about why there weren’t any Korean singers that are recognized abroad and what would be the foundation for producing globally respected singers Was it unrealistic to have Korean singers to be recognized in other countries just as foreign singers were praised in Korea? After pondering through all these questions, I began to think why not try this myself

And in 1989, I founded SM Production Agency with the ambition to discover and produce singers that will be acknowledged not only in Korea, but also in other countries In time, the Agency became the corporation currently known as the SM Entertainment Our first iconic singer was Hyun Jin-young He was incredibly popular, but was caught up in a big scandal – an incident we all learned a lesson from After that we discovered and trained many artists such as H

OT, Boa, Dong Bang Shin Ki, Super Junior, Girl’s Generation, Shinee, F(x), EXO, Red Velvet, NCT, etc, to develop our music entertainment and establish our culture technology SM Entertainment is currently responsible for producing various iconic contents that are very successful in the global market

Also, establishing future culture technology is one code of mine that has never changed since the day I founded SM Entertainment Ah, you can see the word on the screen The word CT was coined from the prediction that the future may come to highlight cultural technology over IT When you think of skills and technology, we used to have the skills to make decent china but because its technique was never codified into formal text, the skill was lost and never passed onto future generations So I thought establishing an intellectual property is a technology of its own

A technology or a technique needs to be recorded like a formula in order to stimulate a new derivative formula which will bring birth to another one that is more suitable to the next generation The answer given by this evolving formula should, in the end, assist the advent of a more advanced set of logics that will suggest more adequate answers for the future All of this, I believe, is something that should be passed on to future generation through a formalized, written text You should remember that we aim to establish our entertainment contents based on our culture technology Our method doesn’t come from some ancient text hidden somewhere in the mountains, but from a very open script which all of our employees can read and understand the moment they begin working with us

I wish many of you will have the opportunity to read it when you come to work with us And I do hope this manual of ours becomes a guidebook for everyone and is copied, page to page, by everyone so that it is never lost When singers from my company pulled off their first oversea performance and gave birth and meaning to the phrase Korean Wave, many foreign fans had the Korean national flag buttoned on their bags Foreign fans that came to see HO

T concerts became very fond of Korea itself When HOT

became one of the most loved singing group in China, Seoul became Chinese’ most favored city to travel When I planned on oversea performances for my artists in 1997, I said that the beginning of the future starts when we all dream of the same thing We will be loved and when we are loved, we will flourish That was our catchphrase that really twisted the conventions of society Culture came first and economy second

We debated on what was the exact opposite to the general knowledge of the world – culture coming after the economy’s expansion – and this was back in 1997 We’ve created a national brand – a Korean brand – through cultural power Chanyeol, who is a member of EXO, is one of the main characters that elevated our brand’s stature Thanks to EXO’s great success, Korea has witnessed another million-seller artist Which has also made the music industry much more vigorous

EXO is one of the main stimulus to the recent K-Pop fever that is sweeping the world This influence is causing foreigners to be more interested in this country – where Chanyeol was born They are becoming curious in its food and products Also, they say many of the fans abroad are starting to learn Korean SM Entertainment

and I have optimized our plans in advancing overseas based on the motto “culture first, economy next”

We’ve fractionized culture technology, or CT, into various aspects: casting, training, producing and management Through this sophisticated system of CT, we’ve trained the best artists and produced the best contents For a long time, the outstanding artists and producers, backstage workers in the entertainment industry and of course, the trust and love of the fans gave birth to a cultural trend of K-Pop we now refer to as the Korean Wave This trend has gone beyond SM Entertainment and allowed the entire world to focus their eyes onto Korean producing system K-Pop has now become a word that symbolizes the collection of “our music”

If so, what would the future look like? I would like to claim that the future will be the world of AI and celebrities The public is always interested in celebrities; they want to know everything about them With the development of digital platforms, daily life of celebrities has become a contents on its own which everyone in the world can enjoy

I believe this sort of contents will be much more diversified in the future The relationship between celebrities and business entities will grow more and more important as well Big data and advanced robots will also assume a major role within the world of celebrities Especially with AI

technology because its advanced communication robot – or chat-bot – will become avatars that will infiltrate deeper into our daily lives Avatars that become more specialized in each and every individual, will turn into mutual friends or personal assistants This is the colossal virtual world I anticipate in the future There will be an avatar that will replace the “real me” to specialize in certain fields which the “real me” has fallen behind and interact with other avatars to engage in brand new relationships South Korea is relatively small in population but tends to have quite a lot of early adopters

When these people engage in virtual world and possess multiple AI avatars, it will not only render our weakness in population obsolete but also enlarge our influence to a level comparable to other huge countries with much more population Future society, hence, can be described as a wireless, borderless and seamless world Development in biology, nanotechnology, A

I, etc, is drawing us closer to a technological breakthrough at an exponential speed In the future, we will transcend from simply hearing or seeing music to enjoying cultural contents in a virtual space seamlessly linked with the real world Culture technology, in this sense, should also evolve to satisfy the demands of future entertainment industry All of this, I believe, is the authentic meaning of CT

This evolved CT will cross the border between the real and virtual world so freely that it will stimulate myriads of opportunity in collaborative and crossover contents We intend to establish foundations for a new world of entertainment based on this novel culture technology – a culture universe, so to speak The culture universe, is the embodiment of culture technology in future society You might think future industry might have nothing to do with entertainment contents but the innovative technologies such as bio-/nanotechnology and AI

will revolutionize the way the public indulge entertainment contents We should think beyond the boundaries of different industries and collaborate to shape a new future for entertainment industry I believe a day will come when advancement in the entertainment sector and number of AI brain avatars become new standards of national competitiveness

Also, Creative Artist Agency, an American talent and sports agency, has begun to work with our artists as well – starting with Super M and NCT 127 I believe this new relationship with CAA is the first step of building bridges between Asia and the entire world and transcending national borders I, as a producer, will strive to make Korea the gateway for both Eastern and Western culture from coming and in out So far, I have developed and utilized the culture technologies I possess in order to step closer to this dream Now I will like to share this culture technology with artists to establish the culture universe together

I really hope everyone will be generous to give us support to our production and the culture industry which will eventually become Korea’s core competitive edge Since it is very important to exploit the power of music, I intend to visit other countries – the US, China, Japan, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, etc – in order to learn from their musical culture and in turn, strengthen this powerful impetus we call K-Pop

I hope everyone will really support our dream Thank you

Source: Youtube

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