Podcast Guide For Fans of All Things Korean Pop Culture

Korean Pop Culture Podcasts You Must Listen To

Hallyu Podcasts

It seems like a day doesn’t go by without me overhearing a conversation between two people about what podcasts they’re listening to. Hit podcast “Serial” may have started the trend, but now we’re seeing a full-blown podcast industry where many popular topics are getting covered daily by experts and amateurs alike. People are even looking to spread news of their own podcasts through marketing firms, be it Lower Street or any other expert out there, in order to best reach their audience, and the range of topics covered is extensive. Korean pop culture is no different, but there is still a bit of a dearth when it comes to podcasts. Here’s our picks of some of the best listens, which includes both podcasts dedicated solely to K-pop as well as specific episodes of broader podcast series that explore K-pop, dramas, and more.

1. K-Stop

The first dedicated K-pop podcast from a media outlet, Jeff Benjamin and Tina Xu of Fuse talk each week about what’s happening in the Korean music scene. Last week’s episode discussed EXO and Wheesung’s comebacks, the collaborative track by Younha, Cheetah, and Wonder Girls’ Sunmi, the demise of 4Minute, and “K-pop’s Curious Orlando Response.” Each episode is about a hour long, so K-Stop is a fun quick way to hear a professional perspective of that week in K-pop.

2. K-Pop Unmuted

Any diehard fan looking to get a little bit of a deeper look into Korean music needs to listen to the brand new podcast from Scott Interrante and Stephen Knight. There’s only one episode (“Tiffany vs. Jessica”) so far, but Interrante’s previous venture with the Pop Unmuted podcast ensures that this series will offer in-depth discussions about K-pop songs from technical perspectives.

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3. The Exposé “K-Dramas Over Flowers: An Analysis of Korean Dramas”

Unfortunately, while there are dedicated podcasts about the Korean music industry, there is no equivalent (currently) about Korean dramas. (If you know of one, comment below or tweet @KultScene because we need to listen to it!) But Najira Ahmed did a great job introducing K-dramas in this episode while discussing the differences between western television and Asian media with Odessa Jones of K-Drama Today. Jones raised serious questions about the sexism rampant in Korean dramas and why a patriarchal society has managed to hack the script to getting female viewers, which are definitely worth taking a listen to.

4. Radiolab – “K-poparazzi”

WNYC-produced Radiolab is one of the most popular podcasts around that “is a show about curiosity” so of course they couldn’t resist putting together on a piece about K-pop. This episode went into the origins of the Korean paparazzi and the tabloid outlet Dispatch, which has single handedly changed the K-pop industry. It’s a fun listen that even non-K-pop fans will enjoy being shocked by.

[Disclosure: There are a few situations discussed throughout the episode (Girls’ Generation’s black ocean, Ailee’s nude photos, etc.) that are mentioned and glossed over without being placed within a larger context. Lizzie from Beyond Hallyu wrote about it here. ]

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5. Call Your Girlfriend- “Phone -a-friend: K-drama with Dodai Stewart”

One of the best things about Korean dramas according to Call Your Girlfriend? “Everybody’s not having white people HBO problems.”

Similarly to The Expose, Call Your Girlfriend isn’t a podcast that typically discusses Korean pop culture but is instead a podcast dedicated to exploring long distance friendships between women. This episode’s a cozy discussion explored why they like watching dramas. The 30-minute, anthropological conjecturing of two American women talking about K-dramas is a fun listen and a nice one-off if you’re not dedicated to podcasts as a whole. The pair, host Amina Sow and her friend Dodai Stewart, explore the escapism and race issues related to Korean television, and also discuss how they act as a doorway to the immersive experience of Korean culture. There’s also a few minutes of spazzing over Bigbang…

Do you have any podcasts you like listening to? Share your thoughts in the comment section below and be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr to keep up with all of our posts.