Looking into the spread of K-pop around the world reminds me of the advantage that American popular culture has in its global influence. K-pop is changing itself in order to gain popularity in different markets. They sing in different languages, use different imagery/lyrics, and market artists in completely different ways. This is not to say that American artists don’t change their marketing techniques as well, but I would argue that American artists do not need to make as many dramatic changes as Korean artists do.
Language is one of the most important aspects of culture. Throughout the world, there are more people who speak English than people who speak Korean. Based on this fact, Korean popular music is already at a serious disadvantage when compared to its American counterpart. It is not very common that an American artist will rewrite their songs for a Korean audience. On the other hand, Korean artists are more likely to cater to a culturally different audience by making large changes like singing in a different language.
There is no reason that both types of music cannot exist at the same time. Although American artists do have a distinct advantage when trying to sell their product in different cultures, this American advantage does not directly hinder the Korean artists. What is most impressive about the rising popularity of K-pop is that it seems to have found a global niche for itself even amongst the American dominated popular culture scene.