Rating K-Pop Agencies 2019: YG Entertainment

(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.

Bad points

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?

Good points

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.

YG also ensured that artists will have personal space. In fact, they warned fans not to get too close with iKON at an airport, and asks them not to visit Bigbang members on their military discharge.

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.

Conclusion

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

Rating: 70.91%
Grade: F
Assessment: Failed

Scoreboard

  Criterion Points
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

AKMU (악동뮤지션) – How Can I Love The Heartbreak, You’re The One I Love: MV Review

For the first time, we will review AKMU (Akdong Musician) in their newest release. While the original title is indeed long, we will call it Heartbreak for purpose of brevity.

It can be remembered that they weren’t active due to Chanhyuk being in military. While on hiatus, it’s quite disappointing that Suhyun hasn’t been given solo debuts during that two-year hiatus. Seems that the agency wastes time and talents like that of hers. We’ll deal with that further some time.

While YG comebacks like this are badly needed, it’s still intriguing to see how they perform after two years of hiatus. Hope this review (and fans) will also promote the duo more than YG does. (And congrats also for them topping the charts!) Anyway, let’s start!

Storyline

The story tells of a boy painting, and a girl scribbling. Even if they are on different ventures, they share the common goal of sailing amidst the vast ocean. Another side of story tells of her brainstorming, then finally gets bored.

Lesson of Heartbreak is on the title itself: Even if we encounter heartbreaks, this does not stop us from loving that person. On the other hand, viewers are being taught the value of arts and sea travel.

Review as whole

Various abstractions are employed to project the sadness. First is on abstract painting. The blue color and painting technique akin to Van Gogh’s Starry Night has the clearest message. Second is on the aimless journey amidst the open sea. Finally is on raining inside the house, at the end of the video. Summing up:

“Deep inside, heartbreaks can make us gloomy and sad. Despite these, we still love him/her. Even without sense of direction, we still find a way to his/her heart.”

Regarding musical aspects, Chanhyuk is relegated more to being a background voice, only to rejoin in the chorus. He also later steps up on the second half of finale. The tune mostly relies on echoing vocals of Suhyun.

Lastly, the first fifteen seconds closely resembles a Filipino rendition of I Believe by Joowon.

Review by others

TheBiasList was astonished that the duo still retains the usual style after a long time. It described the song as a timeless nautical masterpiece, opening with clarity and restraint. This act truly expresses the mostly-ignored concept that “Music is a universal language.”

KPopReviewed noted that Suhyun’s voice is very “airy” which fills in the mood of the song. This is coupled with instrumentals being toned down. And even if Changhyuk has limited lines, he managed to harmonize where he is needed.

TweetNewscaster’s Overall Rating: 92.22%
Grade: A-
Assessment: Very Good

Scoreboard

Aspect   Criterion Points
Storyline 1 Storyline 4
Storyline 2 Consistent theme 5
Appearance 3 Colorful/color fits emotions 5
Appearance 4 Good taste 5
Appearance 5 No Halloween, Easter, etc. 5
Appearance 6 No astrology featured 5
Appearance 7 Less horror featured 5
Appearance 8 Not too revealing outfits 5
Music 9 Exciting/Expresses emotions 8
Music 10 Not too deafening 5
Dance 11 Learned easily even by beginners  
Dance 12 Not too sensual  
Lessons 13 Moral lesson clearly stated 4
Lessons 14 Impart something beneficial for viewers 5
Other Matters 15 Sense of humor/expresses emotions 7
Other Matters 16 Make it to mainstream media 1
Other Matters 17 Review by other sites 4
Other Matters 18 Review of MV as a whole 5
Other Matters 19 Shares similarities/tunes with other songs 5
       

Mgt. Advisory Services Problem No. 2: YG Entertainment

Malapit na ang CPA Board Exam. Good luck and God bless sa inyong lahat na kukuha ngayon!

Yamang ngayon ay more on situational-type ang problems, try niyong i-solve ang problem na ito. Sana makatulong din ito para mahasa ang analytical skills, na kailangan para sa exam na ito.


YG Entertainment is home to various groups like Blackpink, Bigbang, IKon, Winner, and AKMU. It has been known for rarely releasing music for these artists, due to its belief of “quality over quantity.”

The scandals last March and April was a major blow to the company. Despite need for policy change to address problems, YG held to that belief and still gave few comebacks to artists.

The company recorded 2.1 billion won net loss (PHP 96.8 million) for Q1 and Q2 2019. Comparisons with big and small agencies still reveal that YG is losing bigtime. Even YG’s investor, Louis Vuitton, plans to withdraw its investment worth 67 billion won (PHP 2.89 billion).

As such, the company held a closed-door emergency meeting with its artists, including you. This was to plan something better for the company. As the Chief Accountant of YG, your task is to point out problems and offer solutions to management.

Discussion Questions

  1. Would YG be subjected to regular corporate income tax, minimum corporate income tax, or both? Explain.

YG will not be subjected to regular income tax, as it recorded losses. However, it is still subject to minimum income tax on gross album sales.

  1. What would be the immediate steps for YG to recover despite the scandals?

Steps: (1) Capitalize on existing groups, like BLACKPINK and BIGBANG. Provide more than one comebacks for them, plus iKON, Winner, and AKMU; (2) Suspend debuting new talents till the issues subside, and (3) Provide more solo debuts for other members.

(Bonus) To add, issue apology for lack of responses over scandals, and commitment to strengthen ethics.

  1. Aside from short-term solutions, what would be your long-term plans to be offered to management? Explain.

I’ll recommend that YG adopt values, and be flexible in decision-making. Lack of these things translate to substantial losses. Adopting values like building trust, and flexibility like sufficient comebacks translates to additional sales and ultimately, additional net income for YG.

  1. YG needs your help for LV not to withdraw its investment. What will be your action plan/s?

Action Plans: (1) Hold informal talks with LV on this issue, and present truthfully the company’s status; (2) Request LV not to withdraw first, and give assurance that management is fixing problems, and (3) Provide projected financial statements to LV, assuming that YG responds to these issues.

Solutions are indicated in white text. Only select it after answering these questions.


Management Advisory Services problem created by: TweetNewscaster. Photo image credit from Wikipedia.