Popular mascot Pengsoo, a penguin-themed character created by the Educational Broadcasting System (EBS), has ranked No.1 on music charts to everyone’s surprise. Pengsoo released his first digital album “Billboard Project Vol.1” on Tuesday, debuting as a singer with a cutesy Hip Hop song titled “This is PENGSOO.” Pengsoo’s big dream of sweeping the Billboards is well reflected in the lyrics - “Flying into the ocean to the Billboards. I am topping the Billboards.” Famous South Korean rappers such as Tiger JK, BIBI and Bizzy have joined hands with the penguin mascot.
Upon the release of the album, Pengsoo instantly made his way on top of online music streaming services such as Genie Music and Bugs. His song still remained among top 40 as of Sunday. “We were not sure that Pengsoo would make it on music charts because access to the charts is not an easy thing in the beginning,” one of EBS staff said in astonishment and awe.
Pengsoo’s success as a singer came as a surprise to the music industry as well. Music gurus attributed the penguin mascot’s influence on music charts to a mix of various factors including COVID-19-caused social distancing, replacement of online school opening, widespread popularity of kids-targeted content and wider use of AI-run speakers.
According to data of KT’s AI speaker device GiGA Genie last year, three out of the most articulated words by 2.1 million users were related to kids-targeted characters in the “musician” category. Pinkpong was No.1, followed by Pororo and Hello Carbot ranked 10th. “We assume that commend words such as “Play Pengsoo” have more often been said because children have spent longer hours home these days,” said an insider of Genie Music.