Asian Connection Succeeds with 2016 MAMA' Music


AR Technology First Utilized in Domestic Broadcasting and Legendary Performances of Artists
MAMA Reborn as Platform for Asia's Representative Cultural Industry Platform through 'Creators Forum' and 'Professional Category Awards'

On December 2 (Fri), the Mnet Asian Music Awards Asia's largest music awards ceremony concluded with a grand closing ceremony at Hong Kong AWE (AsiaWorld-EXPO), successfully attaining an Asian connection. Twice took home the Song of the Year Prize for ‘Cheer Up’ and BTS, the Singer of the Year Prizes. “EX'ACT”, the third album of EXO earned the boy group the Album of the Year Prize.

In addition to the main award ceremony, the 2016 MAMA featured 'Red Carpet' where stars and global fans closely interacted with each other, 'Creators Forum’, which took on the role of a hub for the global music industry and the “Small and Mid-Sized Enterprise (SME) Convention” to help Korean SMEs advance into the global market. They promoted connections between global music fans and music industry officials.

In particular, AR technology, used for the first time in Korean broadcasting, and leading K-Pop artists and overseas popular artists drew a great deal of attention from fans from around the world. Approximately 11,000 'K-Pop' fans across the globe flocked to the venue. In addition, the event was broadcast in 45 countries on five continents, including Asia, Africa, America, Oceania, and Europe. Fans around the world were able to join the 2016 MAMA through various online platforms.

In Hong Kong, SCMP, Apple Daily, Sing Pao, Sing Tao, Min Pao, Sohu, and Xinhua News among others were busy covering the 2016 MAMA. The media coverage fever underscored the solid stature of the MAMA in Asia.

Connection 1. First-Class Collaboration & Global Music Fans / Communication Connection

As the concept of the 2016 MAMA was 'Connection', stages of communications constantly connected artists, global music fans and creators. In particular, various collaborative stages followed and fascinated a huge crowd of 10,000 music fans from all over the world.
The opening collaboration stage was a stage where GFRIEND and SEVENTEEN displayed plenty of their charm. From then, there were big performances by Korea's mainstream artists, rapper Zico, Dean and Crush. The second part began with Korea's male idol stars such as GOT7, Monsta X and NCT 127 that tugged at the heartstrings of girls. A performance of singer-songwriter Lee Juck started with narration by Kim Yoo-Jung and was mixed with AR technology and a bandoneon performance by Koh Sang-Ji, making a deep emotional connection with the audience.

Particularly Yoo Ah-In, Bewhy, Yiruma, and the dance team Prepix reached the most exciting point of collaborative performances with an art collaboration that satisfied the five senses. The Art Collaboration Show started with an art film, followed by narration by Yoo who explains the challenge to explore space and the art project, Bewhy’s performance of an arranged version of “Forever” and “DAY DAY” with a piano performance by Yiruma.

In addition, Leon Lai, Darren Wang and Gui Gui, popular in Chinese-spoken regions, made the event even more meaningful by handing out prizes. In particular, world-renowned music artists Gallant, Timbaland and Wiz Khalifa put on legendary performances. Gallant sang ‘Weight in Gold' with artistic vocals and deep emotions. Timbaland performed 'Body' with Eric Nam first, drawing much attention. Wiz Khalifa, famous for ‘See You Again,’ from the movie "Furious 7", gave an impressive performance as if to rewrite MAMA's history.

In addition to this, the event invited this year’s hot and popular actors and actresses such as Lee Byung-Hun, Cha Seung-Won, Ha Ji-Won, Han Hyo-Joo, Hwang Jung-Eum, Jang Hyuk, Han Ji-Min, Park Gi-Woong, Park Min-Young, Park Bo-Geom, Kim Yoo-Jung, Lee Ji-Ah, Seo Kang-Joon, Gong Myung, Ahn Jae-Hyun, Park Ha-Sun, Shin Hye-Sun and Kang Seung-Hyun. They fueled the excitement of the event by appearing on the stage to hand out prizes to winners.

Connection 2. Technology & Sensibility, Virtual & Reality / Space Connection

It is said that the 2016 MAMA stage created a new era of stage technology by creating not only various collaborative stages of artists, but also a new space connecting technology, emotion, virtual and reality via AR technology used for live broadcasting for the first time in Korea. In 2015, the MAMA caught the attention of people around the world by unveiling a stage with flying drones and the concept of the tech art-based Robot Arm System by making good use of IR sensor technology in a live program for the first time in the world.

In accordance with the main stage concept of 'Connection’, the 2016 MAMA also fused with AR technology loaded with virtual space and artist performances, including its opening performance, that were impossible to realize before. In particular, AR (Augmented Reality), newly introduced to the Korean broadcasting industry, is a hybrid virtual reality which combines reality and virtual environments that shows a real world overlapped with a layered 3D virtual object. Unlike 'VR (Virtual Reality)', which depicts a non-reality environment as a reality through graphics, it is a graphical technique that composes virtual objects or information in a real environment and makes them look like real objects.

In the opening stage, cubes repeated the connection and disassembly. Then, Lee Juck’s ‘Don’t Worry, Dear’ from the TV show “Reply 1988” maximized the lyrical characteristics of the song with AR technology with the vast universe and constellations as its background.

Connections 3. Creators' Forums & Professional Category Awards & SME Conventions / Connections to Cultural Industry Platforms

This year, MAMA was the first to showcase the music professional conference 'Creators' Forum'. From 11 am to 5 pm, approximately 400 music industry leaders around the world shared the vision and insight of the music industry and declared the evolution of MAMA as a culture and win-win platform.

Starting with the opening speech by Shin Hyung-Kwan, the head of CJ E&M’s Music Contents Division, music industry-leading experts took part in the panel session. They include Andy Ng, a director of QQ Music; Josephine Cheng, COO of KKBOX; Tony Elison, a representative of YouTube Music APAC; Calvin Wong, a vice president of Warner Music Asia; Jung Wook, the CEO of JYP Entertainment; Timbaland; Adam Wilkes, the CEO of AEG Asia; Yoon Seok-Jun, director of Big Hit Entertainment and Quincy Jones. They presented the future and new business models of the music industry and introduced trendy information and technologies for the music industry as a whole. Music and entertainment experts from Asian countries enjoyed a meaningful time, such as discussing collaboration with K-Pop planners and sharing insights to advance into the global market, proving once again the stature and authority of the MAMA, which has been acting as a hub in the development of the Asian music industry.

The Professional Category Awards, for all professionals who technically and artistically contributed to the development of the music industry, expanded its prize categories into seven to focus on the expertise and diversity of experts in the Asian music industry and take the lead in the growth of a music industry ecosystem. 164 judges, including those from music industry associations, critics, journalists, and music producers from six Asian countries including Korea, Japan and China, selected winners through fair and strict criteria. As a result, Tanaka Hironobu was honored as the Best Engineer and Min Hee-Jin as the Best Visual & Art Director. J.Da took home a prize as the Best Choreographer and Masahiro Hidaka as the Best Promoter. Black Eyed Pilseung nabbed the Best Producer Prize and Bang Si-Hyuk, the Best Executive Producer Prize. Timbaland picked up the Best International Producer Prize and Quincy Jones, the Inspired Achievement Prize.

"The 2016 MAMA Professional Category Awards was held to thrust professionals in the music industry as well as artists into the spotlight,” said Shin Hyung-Kwan, head of the Music Contents Division at CJ E&M. “We will do our best to make the MAMA contribute to building a healthy music ecosystem in the future."

To top it off, the 2016 MAMA held the “SME Convention” to help Korean SMEs advance into global markets. The event helped SMEs in relevant industries enter overseas markets and promote shared growth, thereby strengthening its roles as a cultural industry platform. This year, a record 188 companies submitted applications and ranked in the order of beauty, new-idea household and fashion goods, proving the stature of the MAMA as the best music festival in Asia and a platform for global advancements.

This was a remarkable increase from 2014 (106 companies). On the opening day of the MAMA (Dec 2), a total of 64 SMEs evaluated by the judging committee composed of the Big, Small and Medium Enterprise Cooperation Foundation and external experts, and KOTRA's marketability specialists, held a joint exhibition for local audiences and an import and export fair for buyers from Chinese-speaking regions. In addition to product promotions, they laid the groundwork for making a foray into global markets such as facilitating PR, marketing, and buyer meetings.

"The MAMA is not merely a B2B event but a good opportunity to engage customers in Hong Kong as we can showcase our products. We also made plans to meet with Hong Kong buyers whom we already knew at MAMA,” said a spokesperson from Kicho, a beauty care company that makes beauty and skin care products such as functional cosmetics and mask packs and first visited Hong Kong for the 2016 MAMA this year. In fact, SMEs do not have many opportunities to directly meet with overseas customers as they usually communicate with them through social media. We expect to get good results through the MAMA." Participating SMEs killed “three birds with one stone” ─ selling products, signing export contracts, and conducting a target customer survey. In the 2015 MAMA, each participating Korean SME had 4.6 buyer meetings on average and concluded export contracts. Therefore, a lot of attention is being paid to how good the results of this year’s SME Convention will be in terms of Korean SME’s global advancements.

In the 2016 MAMA, a workforce of approximately 1,000 people made great efforts over the past year and successfully presented various collaboration stages, a combination of technology and sensitivity and a connection as a cultural industry platform. They created the success of Asian connections with K-Pop music and Korean culture. "Every year, MAMA makes music fans on the other side of the globe feel the affection of K-Pop artists and experience a wonderful combination of the creativity of artists, ideas of many creators and the music channel’s 17 years of technology," said Shin Hyung-Kwan, head of the Music Contents Division at CJ E&M. “Through the 2016 MAMA, we could confirm once again that music fans from all over the world are united. We will continue to act as a cultural bridge between Asia and the world music fans through the MAMA.”

Winners of 2016 MAMA Prizes (25 categories)

Winners of 2016 MAMA Prizes (25 categories)

Winners of 2016 MAMA Prizes (25 categories)
  Category Award Winner
Competition Division(20) Grand Prize (3) HotelsCombined Song of the Year 'Cheer Up' by Twice
HotelsCombined Artist of the Year BTS
HotelsCombined Album of the Year EXO 'EX'ACT - the 3rd Album
 Singer (6) New Male Artist NCT127
New Female Artist I.O.I
Best Boy Group EXO
Best Girl Group Twice
Best Male Artist Zico
Best Female Artist Taeyeon
Genre (9) Best Dance Performance - Solo 'Press Your Number’ by Taemin
Best Dance Performance - Male Group ‘Blood Sweat & Tears’ by BTS
Best Dance Performance – Female Group ‘Rough’ by GFRIEND
Best Vocal Performance - Male Solo ‘Don't Forget’ by Crush
Best Vocal Performance - Female Solo 'If You' by Ailee
Best Vocal Performance - Group ‘Beside Me’ by DAVICHI
Best Band Performance 'YOU'RE SO FINE' by CNBLUE
Best Lab Performance 'Puzzle' by C Jamm, Bewhy
Best Collaboration 'Dream' by Suzy, Baekhyun
Special (2) Best Original Soundtrack ‘Don’t Worry, Dear’ from “Reply 1988” by Lee Juck
Best Music Videos ‘Whistle’ by Blackpink
Non-Competition Division Specialized Prizes (5) World Performer SEVENTEEN
Worldwide Favorite Artist GOT7
Best Asian Style EXO
Best of Next Blackpink / Monsta X
Beest Asian Artist
  • Thailand - Getsunora
  • Vietnam - Noo Phuoc Thinh
  • Indonesia - Isyana Sarasvati
  • Japan - Sekai No Owari
  • China - Hua Chenyu
  • Singapore - JJ Lin

Prizes in Specialized Categories (7 divisions)

Prizes in Specialized Categories (7 divisions)
Category Winner
Name Introduction
Best Engineer of the Year Tanaka Hironobu - A sound engineer who creates a delicate sound with technical elements loaded with musical sensitivity
- AContributed to 40 million cumulative sales of AKB48
Best Visual & Art Director of the Year Min Hee Jin Took the lead in the advent of a video music era through creative thinking and sensual visual arts
Best Choreographer of the Year J. Da
(J.DA Apissara Phetruengrong)
- One of Thailand's top choreographers and the only female judge of the US World Hip Hop Championships
- Entertains people with artistic and dynamic choreography and at the same time, takes the initiative in the popularization of dance.
Best Promoter of the Year Masahiro Hidaka Planned the first music festival in Asia and has held the Fuji Rock Festival for 20 years which recorded a total of two million audience members
Best Producer of the Year Black Eyed Pilseung - Choi Kyu-Sung, Rado (formed in 2014)
- Took part in producing albums of Sistar, Ailee, Twice, etc.
- Played a great role in the new genre of Color Pop, which led Twice to the top of streaming services this year
Best Executive Producer of the Year Bang Si-Hyuk ("Hitman" Bang) The best composer, and producer in Asia, who has grown BTS into a top global artist in three years since their debut
Special Prize Best International Producer (Timbaland) - 저The star producer of Justin Timberlake, Eminem, Madonna, and Linkin Park.
- A role model for Asian hip-hop musicians as well as hip-hop artists in the United States
Inspired Achievement Prize (Quincy Jones) - A world-renowned producer who produced albums of Michael Jackson, Frank Sinatra and U2
- Greatly contributed to the development of the music industry through various music activities such as Asian musicians’ global advancement for 60 years