K-pop is at an all-time high and the genre owes a great deal of its international success to Spotify, the global audio streaming subscription service which is now dominated by the infectious sound from South Korea. In 2014, Spotify launched its K-pop flagship playlist K-pop Daebak, which now has more than 2.4 million followers. Between January 2014 and January this year, K-pop streams increased more than 1,800 per cent and during the same period users listened to more than 134 billion minutes of K-pop on Spotify. The first K-pop act to top the US album charts was BTS , and the seven-member boy band can claim a large part of the credit for the upsurge of interest. Not only is BTS Spotify’s most-streamed K-pop band, it’s among the service’s most streamed artists overall. Last year, BTS were the first group from Asia to surpass five billion streams on Spotify. And as of this month, they have racked up more than 8 billion streams. BTS have boosted their international appeal by teaming up with a range list of A-list global artists. Last year’s collaboration with US artist Halsey, Boy with Luv , has clocked up 380 million streams, making it Spotify’s most-streamed K-pop track. “There’s no denying the massive global explosion of K-pop over the last few years, and we’ve witnessed it first-hand on Spotify,” says Kossy Ng, Spotify’s head of artist and label marketing in Asia. “This is truly the first Asian music genre to resonate so well with a global audience. K-pop fans are among the most passionate and active, and K-pop fandom – the way fans function, communicate and connect with one another – is like no other. There’s no doubt that K-pop’s immense popularity will only continue to grow, and we’re excited to continue driving discovery and connecting K-pop artists to fans all over the world.” In 2015, Spotify created a hub dedicated to K-pop featuring a variety of dedicated playlists from soundtrack recordings to Korean films and TV dramas to collaborations and rising stars. In addition to BTS, the other top-streamed K-pop artists on Spotify include Blackpink , Exo , Twice and Red Velvet. The top three countries streaming K-pop on Spotify are the US, Indonesia and the Philippines. Thailand comes in at number seven and Singapore is 10th on the list. The term hallyu (Korean wave) was coined in the 1990s, referring to the growing popularity of Korean culture. While it was first driven by K-dramas, K-pop is now riding this wave. If all you know about K-pop is the 2012 hit Gangnam Style and you want to get up to speed, you might start with Kiss and Make Up by English singer Dua Lipa and Blackpink , which comes in at second place on Spotify’s top 10 K-pop tracks (January 2014 to January 2020) after Boy with Luv. K-pop girl band Blackpink – made up of Jisoo, Jennie, Rosé and Lisa – debuted as a group in 2016 and have three other songs in the top 10: Kill This Love , Ddu-Du Ddu-Du and As If It’s Your Last . BTS have three more songs in Spotify’s global top 10: Fake Love , DNA and Blood Sweat & Tears . The top 10 K-pop tracks streamed on Spotify in Hong Kong (from January 2014 to January 2020) sees a few other bands squeeze into the ranks. At No 1 is BigBang with Bang Bang Bang and the boy band also claim the fifth spot with Loser . Other bands trending on the Hong Kong chart are Twice – a nine-member female outfit with members from South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan – Exo, Red Velvet and IU. But the global favourite BTS also top the Hong Kong K-pop artist chart. The BTS boys were last in Hong Kong in December 2018 when they won most of the top awards at the Mnet Asian Music Awards.