The Impact of The Legend of the Blue Sea on Korean Entertainment Industry

The Impact of The Legend of the Blue Sea on Korean Entertainment Industry

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South Korean entertainment industry has become a global sensation because of K-dramas. The Legend of the Blue Sea is one of the most successful dramas in recent years. It is a romantic-fantasy drama that captured the hearts of Korean and international audiences. The drama has made a huge impact on the Korean entertainment industry, including its actors, production, and tourism. Here’s a look at the impact that The Legend of the Blue Sea had on the Korean entertainment industry.

Increased Tourism and Cultural Interest

The Legend of the Blue Sea was filmed in several locations in Korea, including Jeonju, Seoul, and Jeju Island. After the drama aired, these locations experienced a surge in visitors. Jeju Island, for example, saw a 38% increase in tourism. Visitors wanted to see the locations where their favorite scenes were filmed. The drama also brought attention to Korean culture, such as traditional Korean foods and hanbok, Korea’s traditional clothing. The popularity of the drama increased the interest in Korean culture among international audiences.

Boosted Actor and Actress’ Careers

The Legend of the Blue Sea starred two of Korea’s most popular actors, Jun Ji-hyun and Lee Min-ho. Their performances in the drama elevated their careers to new heights. Jun Ji-hyun, who played a mermaid named Shim Chung, became a household name in South Korea and China. The drama also secured Lee Min-ho’s place as a leading man in Korean entertainment. Their chemistry in the drama was also praised and sought after by Korean and international fans.

Increased Revenue for the Korean Entertainment Industry

The success of The Legend of the Blue Sea was not limited to Korea but also internationally. The drama was exported to over 28 countries, including China and the United States. The international success of the drama brought in a significant amount of revenue for the Korean entertainment industry. The popularity of the drama encouraged international viewers to watch more Korean dramas and increased the demand for Korean content.

Encouraged Investment in Korean Drama Production

With the success of The Legend of the Blue Sea, production companies began to invest more in Korean dramas. High production budgets were set, and efforts were made to ensure that Korean dramas have better quality. The Legend of the Blue Sea’s success was an encouragement for production companies to invest in more dramas with unique and creative storylines.

Increased Opportunities for Korean Content in Hollywood

With the international success of The Legend of the Blue Sea, Korean content became more appealing to Hollywood. Production companies from Hollywood began showing interest in buying the rights to remake or adapt Korean dramas into films or series, offering opportunities for Korean content creators to expand their reach.

Created Opportunities for Spin-Offs and Merchandising

The Legend of the Blue Sea’s success created opportunities for spin-offs and merchandising. A mobile game based on the drama was developed, featuring the characters and storyline. Fans could purchase official merchandise, such as phone cases and posters, as well. These spin-offs and merchandise offered fans a way to continue supporting the drama and engaging with its story.

Encouraged more International Collaboration

The Legend of the Blue Sea’s success encouraged more international collaboration between Korean and foreign entertainment companies. Drama production companies started to partner with foreign production companies to expand their reach and bring new perspectives to their stories. The drama’s success also encouraged collaboration in the music industry, where Korean and foreign music producers began working together.

Encouraged More Diversity in Korean Content

The Legend of the Blue Sea’s success also encouraged more diversity in Korean content. Production companies began to explore genres outside of the typical romantic-drama genre. More dramas with diverse storylines and characters were produced, offering international audiences a glimpse of Korean culture through different lenses.

Increased Demand for Korean Actors and Actresses in Hollywood

The success of The Legend of the Blue Sea also created demand for Korean actors and actresses in Hollywood. Jun Ji-hyun, for example, was offered a role in the Hollywood film, Assassination. Lee Min-ho was also offered to play a role in a Hollywood movie, but it remained uncertain if he would accept the offer. The drama’s international success opened doors for Korean actors and actresses to build their careers beyond Korea and expand their reach to international audiences.

Encouraged Fans to Visit Korea

With the release of the drama, fans across the world began to take an interest in visiting Korea. The drama’s beautiful filming locations and cultural references encouraged fans to take a trip to Korea to see the places they have seen in the drama. The fame of the drama also encouraged tourism in areas that the drama did not film at, which made it an even more significant influence on the Korean entertainment industry.

Boosted Korean Production

The Legend of the Blue Sea played a significant role in boosting Korean production. The drama was brilliantly written with an attractive and engaging plot that kept viewers glued to their screens. Its success made the production more flexible and encouraged other productions to invest more in their writing procedures. Despite the success, it increased the quality of Korean productions, with fans eagerly anticipating new dramas to come.

Boosted Profits in Korean Hospitality Sector

The Legend of the Blue Sea’s success did not only affect drama production, but it also affected the hospitality industry. With millions of fans watching the drama worldwide, the drama’s theme began to take over the tourism industry. Restaurants that were featured in the movie began to see significant increase in sales and coverage, and hotel bookings increased by over 20% in Jeju Island alone.

Encouraged Bold Originality

The success of The Legend of the Blue Sea has encouraged Korean creators to produce more exceptional original material. The production of this drama proved that Korean audiences appreciate and respond well to new and exciting stories outside of the genre that’s typical of the Korean production market.

Increased Cultural Exposure

The Legend of the Blue Sea exposed Korean culture to the world on an entirely different level. Its international popularity proved that Korean storytelling and creative teams could produce media that everyone around the world could relate to. Therefore, the impact of the drama extends beyond the Korean entertainment industry and reached global audiences. For instance, the drama effectively promoted Korean cuisine, expanding global reach and marketing strategy for Korean cuisine, and encouraged foreign audiences to consume more traditional Korean dishes.

Increased Korean Popularity in China

The Legend of the Blue Sea’s success made Jun Ji-hyun a household name, and the drama was well received in China, where it won an award in the Best Global Online Drama category. The drama’s success in China helped boost Korean popularity there and opened doors to more co-productions between the two entertainment markets.

Increased Economic Benefits

The Legend of the Blue Sea’s economic effects extended beyond increasing revenue for production houses. Its various indirect benefits were observed in the tourism and hospitality sectors. The ability of the production house to attract international audiences expanded the market and created new streams of revenue for the country.

Global Recognition

Due to The Legend of the Blue Sea’s impact on the world, the drama industry in Korea gained recognition from the global entertainment industry. Step by step, the drama and the Korean entertainment industry gained recognition from the entertainment industry worldwide, further expanding the reach of the Korean entertainment industry.

A Step Closer to Globalization of Korean Entertainment

K-dramas have gained popularity worldwide, with many viewers enjoying their content. However, the popularity of the K-drama industry does not compare to that of the Hollywood industry that dominates world entertainment. With the success of The Legend of the Blue Sea, it was hoped that the Korean entertainment industry would grow to bridge the gap between Hollywood and Korean production. The global exposure provided a seedbed for a new generation of Korean creators to bring new forward-thinking into the Korean entertainment industry.


The Legend of the Blue Sea has had a profound impact on the Korean entertainment industry. It broke new ground in creativity, story, and production, differentiating Korean dramas from other dramas worldwide. The drama has expanded the reach of the entertainment industry beyond Korea and reinforced its global popularity, proving that great storytelling is bound by no limits. The impact of the drama has changed the industry, from increased tourism to location scouting, creating value across a variety of channels across Korea.

Goodbye readers! Enjoy this interesting read!

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