In 2012, the South Korean government announced that "Gangnam Style" had brought in $13.4 million to the country's audio sector, and it subsequently launched a campaign to further expand the K-Pop music industry overseas. According to the Bank of Korea, the country's services account recorded a surplus of US$2.3 billion in the first nine months of this year, compared to a deficit of US$4.5 billion last year. This was mainly due to the growing influence and popularity of K-pop songs such as "Gangnam Style." However, American journalist John Seabrook noted that by "satirizing standard K-pop tropes in Gangnam Style", Psy may have subverted the music genre's chances of making it big in the West.
Record executives in the music industry believe that music charts will increasingly be filled with YouTube-driven globalised acts from foreign countries. Sean Carey, a research fellow in the School of Social Sciences at the University of Roehampton, wrote that the flow of popular music will no longer be a single traffic route from North America and Europe to other parts of the globe, but will also move the other way as well. According to Adam Sherwin from The Independent, the global web demand for Gangnam Style had short-circuited the "traditional reluctance" of radio stations to play foreign-language songs. The song is also underlining a shift in how money is being made in the music business. Although Psy earned more than US$60,000 from music sales of "Gangnam Style" in South Korea alone, he and his music label YG Entertainment have raked in almost US$1 million from advertisements which appear on YouTube videos identified for using "Gangnam Style" in its content. The Harvard Business Review published an article written by Kevin Evers, who explained how "Gangnam Style" had changed Billboard's ranking methodology of its music charts. Instead of relying solely on radio plays and paid purchases, Billboard started to place a heavier emphasis on digital sales and YouTube views. As a result of the change, Gangnam Style moved up to the top position of Billboard's Hot Rap Songs music chart. According to the British Phonographic Industry's report based on Official Charts Company sales data, thanks to Psy's song and Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe", pop had become the UK's favourite musical genre of the year, taking the lion's share of the singles market (38.5%) in 2012.
"Gangnam Style" was ranked No. 25 on the Rolling Stone's 50 best songs of 2012 list and No. 8 on SPIN's 40 best songs of the year. The song also took the No. 8 spot on the 2012 Billboard 20 best K-Pop songs list by Jeff Benjamin and Jessica Oak, who commented "[the song] stands out not only for its slick, electronic production but also for its deeper critique on high-class society." According to MTV's list of the 2012 best songs, the song was ranked No. 8 with MTV news staff James Montgomery's comment: "'Gangnam' is either the track we, as a culture needed right now, or the track we, as a culture, deserved." Time magazine chose it as the second best song of 2012 after Usher's "Climax," writing "The YouTube meme, a good-natured, mind-bendingly catchy lampoon [...] turned into a global obsession." The song was one of the best songs of the year on The New York Times pop critics' list and E! Online's No. 1 pick on the top 10 pop songs of 2012 list. Digital Spy ranked the song No. 20 among the 20 best singles of the year. It was voted the 12th best single of 2012 by The Village Voice's 40th annual Pazz & Jop critics' poll. Music critic Robert Christgau placed "Gangnam Style" as the No. 2 single on his 2012 Dean's List. 2b1af7f3a8