What’s The Future of K-Pop?

We have seen rapid growth of K-Pop in the past ten years. Based on its present status, we can forecast what will happen to K-Pop as a whole in the coming years. These will be discussed in this article.


One major question:

What would K-Pop look like ten years from now?

I also discussed this in my previous article. However, with news on the change in K-Pop industry, I decided to talk further about it in a separate article.

New groups

With new groups sprouting, and with their various debut songs, multi-fandom people like me will be confused. Which one should be followed? We will end up selecting only groups that matter.

We have witnessed various groups formed this year. These include ITZY, ONEUS, Cherry Bullet, TXT, BVNDIT, AB6IX, 1the9, TARGET, and VeriVery. These groups will be added more in the coming years. As new groups are trying to be relevant, and competing for limited attention, many will end up with less views and underrated performances.

New approaches

More stars will collaborate with non-Korean artists, like Nicki Minaj, Dua Lipa, and Lauv. But owing to lack of promotions, popularity, and music videos, these kind of music will not last for long.

With various groups catering to international audiences, and adding more English lyrics, mainstream radio stations will feature their songs. But for TV stations, only few will make it, like BTS and BLACKPINK. And only few dance crazes wil also make it.

The battle in the next years would focus more on quantity and time. The battle now would be on number of views, streams, and likes. Some existing groups are on hiatus, giving other groups chance to stand out.

With intense competition, more new songs and concepts will be featured, focusing on modern side of music, instead of traditional music used by pioneers of K-Pop. In turn, K-Pop loses its distinct flavor and might sway with mainstream trends.

The genre will expand promotions, focusing more on US and Latin America. Expect some changes if this happens, which includes assimilating Latino music into the genre.

Fans will increase. Expect more distasteful remarks between fandoms, and more support in promoting each other’s music. Sasaengs will also increase, and expect more attacks toward artists. Expect also some fandoms turning tables around, as is the case with Monbebes today.

As a whole, K-Pop might feel a gradual downturn as it battles various issues, especially that more agencies are unresponsive to these. Plus its aversion to experiment on new styles of music, as what TheBiasList pointed out. It reached the apex, and going through declining stage is becoming inevitable.

New milestones

Existing and former groups made their mark on various aspects, from album sales, concerts, and ability to penetrate Western markets. New groups will usually find it hard surpassing milestones made by pioneers, like being featured in a Time Magazine or three billion views.

We will also see more stars from new groups rise to fame. This we see today with some members of ITZY and AB6IX, who were named as one of famous Korean personalities. Even if they debuted just months ago, they immediately caught attention from more people.

More groups will disband. This is apparently the case for new groups which will only exist for a limited time (instead of usual seven years). Also, other groups under indefinite hiatus will eventually disband.

Oldies

More and more oldies will face pressing issues, like drugs, sex, and crimes, regardless if proven or not. This we see from Seungri, Daesung, and B.I, and this is not farfetched. On the other side, some oldies will do solo debuts or collab, as was the case with 2NE1’s Park Bom or Sistar’s Soyou.

More and more stars will experience depression, especially among the oldies. Take the case of Sistar’s Dasom, and even Taeyeon from Girls’ Generation. Worse, this might lead to another death like that of Sulli.

If not involved in bad stuff, more oldies will go to drama, and some will go on a date and marry. They will prefer to stick on personal life. This we see now with 2NE1’s Dara, who is now dating with her longtime crush. Even SHINee’s Minho is now thinking of having a family. Take also the words of Jin and V (Taehyung), who want to live simple lives after ten years.

Specific Forecasts

YG Entertainment, while still taking the lead in bringing K-Pop to the world, will struggle to be relevant in the music industry, as it battles various issues from its talents.

Others like SM, BigHit, JYP, and even small entertainment agencies will still remain afloat. Meanwhile, new agencies like that of Daniel Kang and PSY will start showing their own talents, competing with the big ones.  As to 1theK, we see less and less MV uploads from other agencies to the channel.

K-Pop sees Japan as a very profitable and “critical” market. In fact, July 2019 was full of comebacks in Japanese. Some groups already have Japanese members (like IZ*ONE, TWICE, and Cherry Bullet). However, the ongoing trade war and racism against Japan will indirectly cripple K-Pop in terms of sales.

Military service

All of EXO, SHINee, and Super Junior members in the camp today will finish military service, in which case they will continue their careers together.

As to BTS, all members will be in active service, at which point their fame will be on a halt until their comeback. In the meantime, TXT will take the lead.

Other talents

Produce 101 will not air anymore owing to breach of trust with fans and future trainees. This vacuum will be filled by other shows, which more or less adopt the same format. On other cases, existing groups and members will venture on different shows like Queendom, as another way of promotions.

Few soloists will stand out, like IU, Chung Ha, Heize, Park Bom, and Eric Nam. Others like Mina (AOA), Sunha (SATURDAY), and other Pristin members who left their groups will battle for fame as soloists or venture on drama.

Opening doors to non-Korean talents are giving exciting prospects to K-Pop. Expect more agencies opening its doors to them. In fact, JYP Entertainment debuted its Chinese group Boy Story, and SM Ent did the same with WayV. An agency debuted SB19, an all-Filipino group, and Zenith Media formed Z-Boys and Z-Girls.

For Z-Boys and Z-Girls, though they are quite related/non-related to K-Pop, their boom in the future will inspire other agencies to follow their concepts, shifting K-Pop to become more global in approach. This also might push agencies to add more non-Koreans to their respective groups, which will force some Koreans to tone down their racist remarks.

Final Words

In general, the challenges K-Pop will face in the coming years include (1) ability to penetrate mainstream media, (2) maintaining the vibe it has amidst globalization, (3) agencies to respond to worst of issues, (4) handling of increase in new groups, (5) keeping and maintaining talents (as is the case with IZ*ONE), (6) surpass milestones made by pioneers, and (7) need to change negative attitudes of some Koreans.

TXT (투모로우바이투게더) – Run Away: MV Review

For the third time, we will review again TXT (Tomorrow x Together) in their song Run Away.

With so many endless Run Aways that we hear in K-Pop, we might wonder which K-Pop group might use this title next. But for now, we will focus on the group, who are gaining popularity as rookies. Let’s start!

Storyline

The story starts with boys aiming endlessly as they are entering the school, like kicking a ball, scribbling something, or doing something at the book. There they are describing how they are doing during their high school days. Bored on usual studying, they are trying to sneak on swimming during the night.

As they are going underwater, they discovered an opening which led them to the forest, the fields, and eventually, to the burning door. The story ends with a member remaining, discovering a lion doll.

They featured how to burn a paper using the sun and glasses. I suppose this is rarely being done, out of danger viewing this experiment. It features a member also putting fires out using fire extinguisher, thereby teaching viewers how to put out small fires on their own.

At 2:24 – 2:28, they are featuring students in a library, while one is reading. Hope this sparks interest to rediscover their own libraries.

Review as whole

The way how TXT plays the music is worth noting. It uses strutting tune at the start of the video, which guides them throughout. Sparkling tune is added next at start of video and the first verse, only to hide throughout the second verse. On the other hand, the rock tune is visible in the chorus. The first verse and interlude jumps into a different tune, as if telling a fairytale story.

Dances were simple on the chorus, except on the moving of shoulders and on jumping, which they have to improve later on. Special effects are used when a member shoots colorful lights using a fire extinguisher.

The setting where they first dance share striking similarities with Lim Jimin’s Loveholic, which I find it very amusing:

Lim Jimin
TXT

Review by others

TheBiasList noted that TXT was being branded as the lighter version of BTS, and is worth waiting for. Good points include the “rock-infused” arrangement retaining elements that made them successful. Vocals are refined, strong, bright, and upbeat. Most of all, the “true star” is its chorus. The only thing that was pull-down is on the breakdown at the second verse, which he deems unnecessary.

KPopReviewed gradually liked the song as being “catchy and vibrant,” with melody as its advantage. Added energy is on the instrumentals. The weak point is on the bridge which did not pick up the intensity. He gone way beyond to interpret the confusing storyline, which is what BigHit usually does.

Joketime

Let me share the joke again, this time including mainstream tracks:

The Corrs: Runaway
Sebastian Yatra: Runaway (Ft. Jonas Brothers)
AURORA: Runaway
Bon Jovi: Runaway
Kanye West: Runaway
Sasha Sloan: Runaway
Maroon5: Runaway
PENTAGON: Runaway
Bobby: Runaway
Super Junior: Runaway
Tiffany Young: Runaway (Ft. Babyface)
Royal Pirates: Runaway
Eric Nam: Runaway
Teen Top: Run Away
IN2IT: Run Away
TXT: Run Away

Am I that ugly?

TweetNewscaster’s Overall Rating: 88.00%
Grade: B+
Assessment: 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 4
Music 10 Not too deafening 5
Dance 11 Learned easily even by beginners 4
Dance 12 Not too sensual 5
Lessons 13 Moral lesson clearly stated 4
Lessons 14 Impart something beneficial for viewers 5
Other Matters 15 Sense of humor/expresses emotions 6
Other Matters 16 Make it to mainstream media 1
Other Matters 17 Review by other sites 5
Other Matters 18 Review of MV as a whole 5
Other Matters 19 Shares concept from other groups 5
       

Criteria on Rating K-Pop Agencies and Groups (Republished)

With the recent passing of Sulli, plus other events, agencies need to respond better to various issues. Hence, this article being republished.


This time, we are going to rate K-Pop entertainment agencies and select groups. Why are we doing this? This is to recognize their hard work in promoting and caring their K-Pop artists, and to impart some things for improvement. Ultimately, an agency must be responsive and mindful of its talents. It also has to let the groups reach their fullest potential. These things will be our focus as we rate them.

(Side Note: We’ll publish this now to let the agencies prepare and respond to issues till November 30 this year, in which afterwards we will evaluate them.)

To a lesser extent, the author will tackle some financial aspects. However, this has no major effect on ratings, since generally, if agencies are responsive, fame and financial success will just follow.

How do we rate K-Pop entertainment agencies? This is based on another set of criteria, and each criterion is assigned 5 points (except for Criteria No. 5 to 7, 10 points each). In this regard, I also decided to follow that of TheBiasList, but this is an assessment of performance in another angle. They are as follows:

  1. Promotion of groups. This appraises the ability of the agency to promote its groups through fanmeetings, various comebacks, and concerts. It is important, especially that rookie groups are being formed, drowning many others in the sea of K-Pop.
  2. Rolling out of comebacks. Preferably, groups have to be given various quality comebacks, especially when many people tend to forget them and their performance. At a minimum, one comeback per group is enough. This is also anchored on the premise that “the more comebacks, the better.”

Comebacks, as defined here, exclude Japanese comebacks (as this is intended primarily for Japanese) and OSTs for K-Dramas, but include comebacks via commercials.

  1. Handling boy groups. The biases in favor of boy/girl groups over the other cannot be avoided. Hence, rating them separately helps in tracking the agency’s treatment of them.
  2. Handling girl groups. Same reason as of Criterion No. 3.
  3. Assessment as whole. The rating gives an overview of how the agency acts and performs. Assigned ten points to this to reflect how the author perceives the company as a whole. This shall be explained further when we are now ready to rate them.
  4. Longevity of groups. In general, agencies are to be responsible in keeping their groups’ permanence. Groups are ideally not to be given limited life, as is the case on some groups today. I see this also as very important, hence the greater weight assigned.
  5. Handling issues and responding to it. Greater weight is also assigned to it, as agencies need to be mindful of various issues and ways on resolving it. Otherwise, expect lower quality of performance, lesser sales, net loss, and other negative effects, plus angry/dismayed fans.
  6. Other factors. This shall be explained further in separate assessment.

But wait, there’s more! In grading the K-Pop agencies, there will be a twist:  A separate assessment for select groups will also be provided, each criterion with rating of 5 points (except for Criteria No. 4 and 5 with 10 points each). Here they are laid as follows:

  1. Health issues. This does not mean that the group must not have any health issues. Absences due solely to health issues are acceptable. But if this gravely affects the group’s performance, we have a problem.
  2. Dating issues. This also does not mean that groups are barred from dating or having a boyfriend/girlfriend. In fact, they are free to love and be loved. However, if this affects the group’s performance, we also have a problem.
  3. Other issues (Internal). This shall be further discussed, if there’s any.
  4. Attitude. Greater weight is assigned, as this focuses more on their behavior, like absenteeism, time management, handling other commitments, concern for fellow members, and quarrel between themselves. It also includes how they treat their fans, whether in Korea or overseas. Proper attitude sets the groups to right direction and fame.
  5. Attendance in concerts, meet-ups, and overseas TV shows. Greater weight is also given in this criterion. It is given that groups do have limited opportunity to hold various concerts every day. Members who are absent without justifiable reason do miss greater chances to meet, greet, and win over non-fans.
  6. Review as a whole. This shall be discussed in separate ratings.
  7. Other factors. This shall be explained further in separate assessment with them.

All agencies and groups not mentioned in various rating articles are presumed to have rating of 85.00% (B- or Satisfactory), unless otherwise stated.


Featured Image Credit: Logo of K-Pop agencies from aminoapps.com.

Criteria on Rating K-Pop Agencies and Groups

This time, we are going to rate K-Pop entertainment agencies and select groups. Why are we doing this? This is to recognize their hard work in promoting and caring their K-Pop artists, and to impart some things for improvement. Ultimately, an agency must be responsive and mindful of its talents. It also has to let the groups reach their fullest potential. These things will be our focus as we rate them.

(Side Note: We’ll publish this now to let the agencies prepare and respond to issues till November 30 this year, in which afterwards we will evaluate them.)

To a lesser extent, the author will tackle some financial aspects. However, this has no major effect on ratings, since generally, if agencies are responsive, fame and financial success will just follow.

How do we rate K-Pop entertainment agencies? This is based on another set of criteria, and each criterion is assigned 5 points (except for Criteria No. 5 to 7, 10 points each). In this regard, I also decided to follow that of TheBiasList, but this is an assessment of performance in another angle. They are as follows:

  1. Promotion of groups. This appraises the ability of the agency to promote its groups through fanmeetings, various comebacks, and concerts. It is important, especially that rookie groups are being formed, drowning many others in the sea of K-Pop.
  2. Rolling out of comebacks. Preferably, groups have to be given various quality comebacks, especially when many people tend to forget them and their performance. At a minimum, one comeback per group is enough. This is also anchored on the premise that “the more comebacks, the better.”

Comebacks, as defined here, exclude Japanese comebacks (as this is intended primarily for Japanese) and OSTs for K-Dramas, but include comebacks via commercials.

  1. Handling boy groups. The biases in favor of boy/girl groups over the other cannot be avoided. Hence, rating them separately helps in tracking the agency’s treatment of them.
  2. Handling girl groups. Same reason as of Criterion No. 3.
  3. Assessment as whole. The rating gives an overview of how the agency acts and performs. Assigned ten points to this to reflect how the author perceives the company as a whole. This shall be explained further when we are now ready to rate them.
  4. Longevity of groups. In general, agencies are to be responsible in keeping their groups’ permanence. Groups are ideally not to be given limited life, as is the case on some groups today. I see this also as very important, hence the greater weight assigned.
  5. Handling issues and responding to it. Greater weight is also assigned to it, as agencies need to be mindful of various issues and ways on resolving it. Otherwise, expect lower quality of performance, lesser sales, net loss, and other negative effects, plus angry/dismayed fans.
  6. Other factors. This shall be explained further in separate assessment.

But wait, there’s more! In grading the K-Pop agencies, there will be a twist:  A separate assessment for select groups will also be provided, each criterion with rating of 5 points (except for Criteria No. 4 and 5 with 10 points each). Here they are laid as follows:

  1. Health issues. This does not mean that the group must not have any health issues. Absences due solely to health issues are acceptable. But if this gravely affects the group’s performance, we have a problem.
  2. Dating issues. This also does not mean that groups are barred from dating or having a boyfriend/girlfriend. In fact, they are free to love and be loved. However, if this affects the group’s performance, we also have a problem.
  3. Other issues (Internal). This shall be further discussed, if there’s any.
  4. Attitude. Greater weight is assigned, as this focuses more on their behavior, like absenteeism, time management, handling other commitments, concern for fellow members, and quarrel between themselves. It also includes how they treat their fans, whether in Korea or overseas. Proper attitude sets the groups to right direction and fame.
  5. Attendance in concerts, meet-ups, and overseas TV shows. Greater weight is also given in this criterion. It is given that groups do have limited opportunity to hold various concerts every day. Members who are absent without justifiable reason do miss greater chances to meet, greet, and win over non-fans.
  6. Review as a whole. This shall be discussed in separate ratings.
  7. Other factors. This shall be explained further in separate assessment with them.

All agencies and groups not mentioned in various rating articles are presumed to have rating of 85.00% (B- or Satisfactory), unless otherwise stated.


Featured Image Credit: Logo of K-Pop agencies from aminoapps.com.

AFAR Straight Problem No. 8: BTS and GFRIEND

Prepare yourself for CPA Board Exam through these kind of problems, like this Advanced Fin. Acctg. and Reporting problem:

You may have heard of ARMYs and Buddies talking about BigHit’s purchase of Source Music. While some are excited on this, others are not happy with it. Let’s see what will happen afterwards, but expect a better future for these groups they manage.

If you are the lead Accountant of the company, what will you do? Use all concepts that you learned in Advanced Accounting. Solve this problem:


This last week, BigHit acquired Source Music and is planning to do the same with RBW. This has effect of the latter two agencies as being subsidiaries of BigHit. As a consequence, GFRIEND, ONEUS, MAMAMOO, and other groups under two labels will be indirectly managed by the parent group.

Source Music is on its way to relocate its headquarters to BigHit’s new building.

Discussion Questions

  1. Is BigHit exercising significant influence or control? Explain.
  2. Does this purchase fall under merger or consolidation? Explain.
  3. (Independent case) Assume that royalties on every comebacks are divided as follows: 60% to BigHit and 40% to Source Music. Explain and/or illustrate where will these portion/s of income go. (Hint: non-controlling interest in net income of subsidiary)

Advanced Fin. Acctg. and Reporting Problem prepared by: TweetNewscaster

Featured Image Credit: Logo of two agencies. For illustrative purposes only.