Required Reading: Revisiting Psy’s “Gangnam Style”, 2 Years Later

Next month marks the 2 year mark since Psy took the world by storm with “Gangnam Style”. As unlikely of a global phenomenon as it was, it’s mark on pop culture has been undeniable, with the video recently eclipsing 2 Billion views – that’s billion, with a capital “B”!

The economist broke down that number and provided some insight to the opportunity costs of the most watched Youtube video of all time.

At 4:12 minutes [x 2Billion], that equates to more than 140m hours, or more than 16,000 years. What other achievements were forgone in the time spent watching a sideways shuffle and air lasso? It took 50m man-hours to complete the “supercarrier” USS Gerald Ford last year. Had people not been watching PSY—the South Korean pop star who released the song in July 2012—they could have constructed three such ships. Alternatively they could have built more than four Great Pyramids of Giza, or another Wikipedia, or six Burj Khalifas in Dubai (the world’s tallest building). 

In addition, PolicyMic provides some insight as to what Psy has been up to, especially after his not-quite-as-successful follow-up, “Gentleman“. They analyze what his impact may mean in hindsight, now that we’ve had time to let things settle and observe it’s effects.

Sure, the pop star is often credited with bringing K-pop to Western attention, but “Gangnam Style” also reinforced certain Asian stereotypes in the media. Psy is seen as non-threatening — a jolly, middle-aged man with little sex appeal who prances and laughs throughout colorful videos.

Only time will tell how relevant Park Jae-sang will remain in the coming months and years.


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