International Transformation of M Countdown Throughout the Years
On August 2, 2012, Mnet M Countdown celebrated its 300th episode.
Super Junior, Juniel, B2ST, Muzie and more came to perform and celebrate the event. Funnily enough, BoA, who also came to the program to perform her comeback stage, revealed that she had been the show’s first ever winner back in 2004.
M Countdown began airing in July 2004 and has met viewers time and time again with live broadcasts of their favorite musicians.
The music chart show is also a strong reminder of how much K-Pop celebrities have grown over the years. In addition, M Countdown is known not only in Korea but also among many foreign fans as being an important gateway into getting to know new hit songs, new performances and new K-Pop debut stars.
So how has the show changed over the years to now be a must-watch ‘K-Pop 101’ show for K-Pop lovers across the globe?
#Broadcasting Abroad, Promoting Korean Artists Abroad
Back in 2004, M Countdown was shown only in Korea. But as the number of foreign people interested in K-Pop grew, the show also knew it was time to expand.
Currently, M Countdown is available live in the States, Japan, and also available recorded in Australia, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, Cambodia, Myanmar and more. In addition, Global Mnet (http://global.mnet.com) now has a section where anyone in the world with internet access can watch the show live each week.
M Countdown also films its episodes abroad. In April 2006, the show was recorded at the Budokan arena in Japan, as a thank-you to the Japanese fans and their support. It was the first ever M Countdown show abroad.
Shin Seung Hoon, Shinhwa, Lee Hyori and other famous artists made the fans go wild, while lesser known artists (at the time) such as SG Wannabe, SS501, Epik High and more wowed the crowds with their fresh melodies and made them into fans on the spot.
It was the beginning of a hallyu movement, because from then on, many more K-Pop artists started debuting in Japan. In April 2012, M Countdown re-visited Japan, this time Saitama, and successfully brought together yet a larger crowd than ever before with 13,000 at the concert.
# Hallyu Forerunners miss A, Infinite, 4minute Began with M Countdown
Many K-Pop artists who are now considered the forerunners of the hallyu wave once sang their first public songs on the M Countdown stage.
The studio was the place where groups such as miss A, Infinite and 4minute debuted and made their first fans - both Korean and international. Eight years have passed since 2004 when the show first aired, and many artists who debuted on M Countdown had re-visited the stage countless times as bigger and more successful artists. M Countdown is a music chart show, but also a treasure box of memories and a picture album through which fans see their favorite artists grow.
# More International Fans Attend M Countdown
M Countdown has certainly caught many international fans’ attention, because recently, there have been many more foreign fans who have been seen at the actual recording studio.
In the beginning, M Countdown’s viewers and in-studio visiting fans were all Korean, but nowadays, the crowd standing in front of the stage consists of not only Koreans but also Europeans, Middle Easterners, South Americans and Asians. Reporters from Japan, Hawaii, Hungary and France also come all the way to report on the show, further adding to the international atmosphere at the studio, and the international fan love they bring for the celebrities.
M Countdown producers expressed their gratitude and their joy at having reached the 300th episode of the show.
“We are overjoyed to have been able to reach our 300th episode, we thank each and every one of you for your love of the show. We will continue to strive to make it a better show that can represent the whole K-Pop trend abroad. We will go beyond Korea and into the world.”