Earlier this month, YouTube revealed that Psy's crossover smash "Gangnam Style" was key in creating an international following for South Korea's music scene, growing Korean pop video viewership to about 30 million clicks a day. Even more impressive is that more than 95 percent of those eyes are coming from outside of Korea. But if you thought K-pop's widespread reach started and ended with "Gangnam Style," you'd be gravely mistaken.
America's obsession with Korea's unforgiving bubblegum pop is growing. 2014 saw more stateside K-pop concerts and more Korean albums on the Billboard 200 chart than ever before, thanks to big releases by the likes of Girls' Generation, f(x) and 2NE1. Meanwhile, North America's annual K-pop festival KCON, where fans meet their favorite artists and attend panels and workshops on Korean culture, saw 43,000 attendees.
K-pop's takeover isn't slowing down anytime soon, and a wave of newcomers are making big plays in hopes to establish themselves in the international market. Click through the gallery to check out the five you need to know now.