July 20, 2023; Washington, D.C. — NPR and LG U+ are proud to announce the launch of Tiny Desk Korea, the first-ever international TV format version of NPR's iconic Tiny Desk Concert series. Up to 52 episodes will be produced, released weekly, and in the same intimate style of the original U.S. series. This is the first format licensing deal for both NPR and LG U+., and the deal was brought together in part by Korea's top format agency Something Special who will also serve to develop and expand the Tiny Desk Korea brand. Tiny Desk Korea will premiere later in August 2023.
Tiny Desk Korea is the first series of its kind, spotlighting emerging and established artists with the same authentic-style performances, look, and feel of the original Tiny Desk concert series, with a slight reinterpretation and localization for Korean audiences. All of the performances will be filmed, produced, and aired in South Korea on the LG U+ owned platforms.
"NPR's Tiny Desk Concerts have grown to become the preeminent music series for the 21st century," said Keith Jenkins, Vice President for Visual and Music Strategy for NPR. "Our style mixes a public media sensibility with the expert curation of NPR Music's editorial staff. The result has been an amazing array of musical performances that challenge both the artists and the audience, breathing new life into music already known or recently discovered. I'm thrilled that our partners at LG U+ will bring their reverence for this aesthetic directly to music lovers in South Korea."
"We are proud to work with LG U+ and Something Special to extend the beloved brand of Tiny Desk Concert to new audiences and new formats–and to keep evolving creatively and inclusively for the benefit of our audiences," said Gordon Synn, Senior Director of Business Partnerships for NPR.
NPR and LG U+, developed this opportunity to give the South Korean music scene another platform to showcase its growing global influence and popularity while leveraging the Tiny Desk brand. K-culture and K-pop music and musicians have found international success with chart-topping singles and albums across Asia, the U.S., Latin America, and Europe.
"LG U+ is extremely pleased to launch Tiny Desk Korea with NPR, offering us a great opportunity to continue the global expansion of K-pop music. We are honored to be entrusted by NPR to carry out their initiative of showcasing original music through their iconic Tiny Desk brand. We will highlight the best of not only Korean, but all of Asia's diverse musical artists with a series of concerts," said Sangjin Lee, VP of Content IP Business for LG U+.
NPR Music's Tiny Desk concert series launched in 2008. Since then, more than 1,000 concerts have been recorded at the Tiny Desk — Bob Boilen's festive workspace at NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C. — adorned with years of music souvenirs and memorabilia. The series has featured performances from artists of every genre at every phase of their careers. Tiny Desk concerts attract 16 million monthly viewers.
NPR's rigorous reporting and unsurpassed storytelling connects with millions of Americans every day — on the air, online, and in-person. NPR strives to create a more informed public — one challenged and invigorated by a deeper understanding and appreciation of events, ideas, and cultures. With a nationwide network of award-winning journalists and 17 international bureaus, NPR and its Member stations are never far from where a story is unfolding. Listeners can find NPR by tuning in to their local Member stations (npr.org/stations), and now it's easy to listen to our stories on smart speaker devices. Ask your smart speaker to, "Play NPR," and you'll be tuned into your local Member station's live stream. Your speaker can also access NPR podcasts, NPR One, NPR News Now, and the Visual Newscast is available for screened speakers. Get more information at npr.org/about and by following NPR Extra on Facebook, Threads, and Instagram.
About LG U+
LG U+ is the flagship telecommunications and media company under LG Group, providing unmatched services and content that add value to customers. As a leader of the telecommunications market, LG U+ launched the world's first commercial 5G service and have exported various XR content around the globe. LG U+ have gained customer trust through differentiated services that we provide such as U+Kids World, which ranked first in customer satisfaction among all children's content in Korea. LG U+ is also the first IPTV operator to partner with Netflix and Disney+ in Korea. Now, LG U+ is actively expanding into new business areas beyond connectivity such as media, smart factory, and smart mobility with the ultimate goal of becoming a truly customer-centric and innovative company.
About Something Special
Founded in 2019 in Seoul, Something Special is Korea's first-ever TV Format agency focused on creative talents, specializing in global content development, production, and distribution. The company acts as a bridge to facilitate global formats both from Korea outbound to sourcing and bringing premium formats into Korea, pairing them with the right partners. Something Special has launched formats internationally such as "The Beatbox" (co-created/co-owned with Fremantle Netherlands) and by concluding multiple international deals such as "Battle in the Box" to Germany, the UK, and other territories.