(Side Note: In rating agencies, primary objective is to evaluate agencies’ responses to various issues. Responses are a crucial ingredient for agencies’ and groups’ survival, fame, and profitability.
To a lesser extent, financial aspects might be tackled, but will not be a major factor in rating them.)
YGE has been instrumental in bringing K-Pop to the world for many years. But while 2018 has been a stable year for YG, it was an unfortunate one for 2019. First was Seungri on sex scandal, and then it was B.I. over drug use. The negative impact on K-Pop was great, such that Obsessed and Assessed stopped doing MV Reviews for whole of March (only to go indefinite hiatus this year).
The way how YG (company) is not responding has major effects, as we will discuss later.
First of all, they should’ve issued strong statements condemning major offenses, which they failed to do.
Another faulty response is on their peddled “quality over quantity” slogan, to the point that artists themselves suffer from lack of exposure. And here comes the habit of not frequently releasing music. This usually sidesteps its various artists among other promotion-packed and stage-packed agencies. Worse, this hampers full potential for them to stand out.
Most obvious is on BLACKPINK, which could’ve slayed more charts had they been given several tracks. Another case lies on AKMU’s Suhyun, where the agency did not give her solo debut during the two-year hiatus till September. They wasted time and opportunity for her to shine. As for Lee Hi, this was the cause behind deterioration of her mental health.
Speaking of lower sales, this actually happened in terms of albums. In fact, YG is still being pushed aside by Big 3 now (and Pledis). Not surprising, as they are still going stingy in terms of releases.
Consider too what happened to Treasure13 members. They are supposed to debut last July, but are still not as of this writing due to scandals. And as the saying goes, these trainees are leaving the “pharmacy,” looking for somewhere who manages them better.
Another negative point is on not giving iKON a break from several concerts, especially during the Holidays. While the intent was to entertain fans during the holiday, they should’ve considered the immense toll it will bring to the group.
While BLACKPINK served as YG’s flagship group, its status has not yet changed for the better. And till 2019 comes to near-end, still no solo debuts for Lisa, Rosé, and Jisoo, not to mention want of long-term planning on BP.
If Blinks are getting impatient on lack of comebacks, and the group is still sad on their status, we have a serious problem. It shows how inefficient YG is in handling talents as whole. Plus, owing to lack of protection afforded when 2NE1 disbanded, it’s not surprising if it also happens to the new girl group, albeit on different case.
Most worrisome is on Dara, who is currently working with the agency. Maybe YG should give her also comebacks, as consideration of her still working despite what happened to 2NE1?
Meanwhile, some good points must be also taken into account. For instance, it still promotes its groups like BLACKPINK, iKON, and WINNER in several countries through concerts and meet-ups. Second, after fans complained of removing B.I. from the credits, they listened by crediting him again in his songworks.
They also give groups relative freedom, apparent on AKMU. This refers to freedom in producing songs while being funded. So far, no artist-related complaints have been heard with YG such as being underpaid. Add to that, rare to no instances of copyright issues were encountered. That’s another plus points for them.
Another good point is on handling dating issues with Jennie. While this would actually damage reputation of Jendeukie and her group, YG still let her perform in their only comeback. You know what happened to them later on.
The quality over quantity mindset demonstrates their lack of flexibility, especially in hard times like this. It posed disastrous results up to financial level: lower sales, opportunity costs, net loss, and potential loss of investors. It seems that no one, not even BP or Big Bang, could save YG from its sad state.
The responses, from kicking out delinquent stars, “quality over quantity”, and removing Yang Hyun Suk, are itself short term ones. Without long-term solutions (and purging), we doubt if YG would recover its leading status next year.
Group(s) Rated: BLACKPINK
|1||Promotion of groups||3|
|2||Rolling of comebacks||2|
|3||Handling boy groups||3|
|4||Handling girl groups||4|
|5||Assessment as whole||8|
|6||Longevity of groups||8|
|7||Handling issues and responding||6|
|8||Rare copyright issues||5|