GFRIEND (여자친구) – Crossroads (교차로): MV Review

As GFRIEND starts to upload videos to BigHit, we will remove incentives to all vids uploaded to 1theK.

Vids will also be embedded direct from respective channels, instead of getting the same with 1theK.


We will now do a review of GFRIEND with their song Crossroads.

This comeback is their first since Source Music’s acquisition. With this event, we are expecting some major milestones for the group in the coming years.

So, being a Buddy for one year, how will the author rate the group?

(Side Note: To wit, we will not review Labyrinth, as this has no corresponding music video.)

Storyline

The storyline presented is complete. It started with Eunha seeing a butterfly, stepping backward and falls. At that point she realized that it was a dream.

Later on, the story focuses on a strained friendship. This is emphasized by them arguing, being deaf, and them refusing to hold hands. As the remaining five realized that their friendship wins over anything else, they are now rushing to help Eunha, who is now under a shaking building. It ends with them playing fireworks at near-end.

Contents

Guitar tunes give a start, then proceeds with fast beats. This similarly follows Time For The Moon Night, which is amusing. It then builds-up sufficient tension needed to illustrate what’s going on in the video. This is the case with electric guitar tunes at the end.

As is with Sunrise, the main character is Eunha. The music video only shows the story, something that they want to share with us. Even at the first listen, the music video is quite sufficient for me to be moved on it.

As a whole, this also reminds us of BTSRun or I Need You. It is more on compacting a whole movie into a music video.

More symbolisms are featured in Crossroads. These include items like a treasure box full of butterflies, mirror, trains running, and standing in a crossroad. Summing up their message:

Several times, as we journey in our lives, we meet our loved ones who will join us. While we do have disagreements, this should not hinder our relationship with them.

We also have to treasure those who are with us, while there’s still time. Don’t make it a point where we will regret, then rush to show that we appreciate them.

As TheBiasList noted, their shift from innocent concepts to being typical worked against them. Like other reviewers, I find it also quite bland and boring, and felt that it would’ve been better if they went a different concept. Or at least copy their cute concepts.

The only thing disliked is on featuring a crystal ball, which implies astrology.

Final notes

The 1theK logo is still there at 2:52, albeit not now being primarily uploaded there. The final video somehow recognizes their former distributor label.

Due to their attitude, I picked them as one of my top three groups. So, as promised, extra five points will be given to them starting with Crossroads.

Further readings: TheBiasList | KPopReviewed

TweetNewscaster’s Overall Rating: 90.59%
Grade: A-
Assessment: Very Good

Scoreboard

Aspect Criterion Points Base
Storyline 10 10
Appearance 24 30
Music 10 10
Dance
Lessons 9 10
Entertainment 19 25
Other Factors Outstanding attitude 5

Rating K-Pop Groups 2019: Big 3 and YG Groups (TWICE, ITZY, BLACKPINK, BTS, TXT, GFRIEND)

(Side Note: In rating select groups, primary objective is to assess the groups’ responses and attitude of its members. These are crucial also for their survival, profitability, and reputation.

Groups who are not mentioned here and in related articles are presumed to garner 85.00% rating, or “Satisfactory”, unless otherwise stated.)


TWICE

The most impressive attitude of TWICE is on giving their best to Onces. They’ve shown this in their recent Manila concert. Despite having health issues, especially Mina and Jihyo, they managed to make PH Onces happy by having complete attendance. PH being sorely deprived of visits, they make it up by giving their best shot.

Another best attitude is on thinking of fellow member. They dedicate their awards to Minari, and allotted space for her. Not to mention Jihyo finding a way to include her despite absence, and comforting her (together with Nayeon). In fact, they realized how even one member can make difference to the group.

As to Jihyo, she expressed her desire to recover quickly from neck strains. This is the kind of attitude the author appreciates much. But she must take a rest for now, and take time. Also for Minari, who always take time to attend on activities even if ailing, she really needs to rest.

A point for improvement is for Dahyun to be a camera spotter, which they missed. Talk about caring for others’ privacy. If one remembers, Dispatch sneaked into Jihyo and Kang Daniel’s privacy, since Tofu was not included in their roundabouts. Take Dahyun in the picture, and surely Dispatch won’t “invade” into the couple.

Rating: 92.00%
Grade: A-
Assessment: Very Good

Scoreboard

  Criterion Points
1 Health issues 5
2 Dating issues 5
3 Other issues (internal) 5
4 Attitude 10
5 Attendance in concerts, meet-ups, and overseas TV shows. 10
6 Review as whole 5
7 Dubu being a camera spotter for Jihyo 1
Giving the best for Onces 5

ITZY

So far, no issues related to the rookie group were encountered. What’s outstanding was that Chaeryeong helped Stray KidsBangchan during the athletics. To add, their staff recalled how kind and generous the group was by treating them with foodstuffs.

Rating: 95.00%
Grade: A+
Assessment: Excellent

  Criterion Points
1 Health issues 5
2 Dating issues 5
3 Other issues (internal) 5
4 Attitude 9
5 Attendance in concerts, meet-ups, and overseas TV shows. 10
6 Review as whole 4
7 Other factors

BLACKPINK

Even with minimal engagements, BLACKPINK still hits the charts and sales. Part of success lies on their attitude.

The most conspicuous attitude was of Jennie, especially in their recent PH visit. Despite enduring pains, she maintained her composure and greeted PH and Macanese Blinks who are waiting for her last June. If this is lingering, she has to take a rest.

Another attitude worth commending was of Rosé. It can be remembered that she was not given solo debuts for this year. Upon learning of this issue, Rosé immediately responded by telling fans of that event. She assuaged fans, and told them not to worry about her. To add, she tried to communicate with some fans using sign language.

Jisoo showed her concern with Jendeukie, as she hugged and comforted her all the way at the airport.

Finally was that of Lisa, being humble, polite, and approachable in facing the press and other people. Most notable is on donating money to help flood victims in Thailand.

So far, no other negative issues re attitude were encountered with BLACKPINK.

Rating: 95.56%
Grade: A+
Assessment: Excellent

Scoreboard

  Criterion Points
1 Health issues 5
2 Dating issues 5
3 Other issues (internal) 5
4 Attitude 10
5 Attendance in concerts, meet-ups, and overseas TV shows. 10
6 Review as whole 3
7 Responding to issues 5

BTS

The attitude played by BTS for this year is very outstanding. So, it’s not a surprise if they still are in the top.

First of all is on being genuine, sincere, humble and “good-natured”. This humility is expressed in their song Boy With Luv and Make It Right, where they go down to be with ARMYs. This they also do when dealing with some people. These acts will take them to greater heights.

Second aspect is on being responsible for actions. This is noted with Jungkook who was involved in car accident. Upon happening, he apologized and took responsibility for the incident.

Most of all, they are in complete attendance. Name any overseas event this year, and we’ll see that they haven’t missed attendance to these. Even in the US, where K-Pop is quite new, they managed to be complete on various shows. Not to mention being complete in virtually all concerts and engagements.

Charity works have to be also noted. Suga donated 100 million won to Korea Pediatric Cancer Foundation. RM later gave already the same amount to a deaf school. The group also donated a huge sum to continue the Love Yourself campaign.

Another positive note is on influencing ARMYs to be socially responsible, like awareness campaign on Amazon and other environmental projects. For instance, Vietnamese ARMYs opened a school and named it after V (Taehyung), in addition to forest project named after RM. ARMYs even went far to help fellow fans who can’t afford the Saudi concert.

A point for improvement would be on toning down intense moves. Otherwise, this might pose danger to their health. This time, they have to take things easy and consider safety first.

Rating: 94.00%
Grade: A+
Assessment: Excellent

Scoreboard

  Criterion Points
1 Health issues 5
2 Dating issues 5
3 Other issues (internal) 5
4 Attitude 10
5 Attendance in concerts, meet-ups, and overseas TV shows. 10
6 Review as whole 5
7 Health considerations 2
Showing good influence to its fans 5

TXT

Health issues are still underway, such that the group’s supposed recent fanmeet was cancelled. But this has no negative effect at all. In fact, despite this, they managed to name their own fandom and greet their fans in live chat.

To add, Taehyun cared for MOAs by having a coffee truck, loaded with foodstuffs. This shows how special fans are for him and the group.

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Rating: 95.00%
Grade: A+
Assessment: Excellent

Scoreboard

  Criterion Points
1 Health issues 4
2 Dating issues 5
3 Other issues (internal) 5
4 Attitude 10
5 Attendance in concerts, meet-ups, and overseas TV shows. 9
6 Review as whole 5
7 Other factors

GFRIEND

GFRIEND’s attitude, and attendance during Manila tour, convinced me to include them as one of three most favorite groups.

They performed in their Manila tour as a complete group. They even appeared complete in a PH music show. As such, extra five points will be given in favor of them in their next comebacks.

So far, there were no major issues on their attitude. If there’s any, they respond very well.

We’ll explain some positive attitudes here. For instance, Sowon just shrugged off the dating issue with Cha Eunwoo as if nothing happened. Another example is Yerin, who sent a coffee truck for Apink’s Hayoung and Red Velvet’s Joy as support for their own activities.

As for SinB, she immediately responded to allegations that she is a difficult person, while it clearly tells otherwise. This was amidst her words taken out of context during Produce X 101. Finally, the group itself in a snap clarified their being focused on phones during live radio broadcast. These responses, like what we will discuss later with CLC, are very important to avoid misunderstandings and issues.

Rating: 97.50%
Grade: A+
Assessment: Excellent

Scoreboard

  Criterion Points
1 Health issues 5
2 Dating issues 5
3 Other issues (internal) 5
4 Attitude 10
5 Attendance in concerts, meet-ups, and overseas TV shows. 10
6 Review as whole 4
7 Other factors

We will review in next article other groups, particularly CLC, AOA, MAMAMOO, Momoland, and SATURDAY.

Rating K-Pop Agencies 2019: BigHit 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.)

As BigHit is making major strides in K-Pop for 2019, and being a big company now, this warrants a stand-alone rating of agencies like SM, YG, and JYP.

Overview

BigHit became a big hit this 2019, with success of BTS’ promotion and tours, and debut of its rookie group TXT. A running joke tells of BigHit not included in Big Three, as its name also starts with “Big.” But later events turned in favor of them, being one of Big Three agencies this year, quite dislodging YG.

The responses by this agency have to be noted. With military service looming to all Bangtan members, the agency responded by giving another boy group. It also purchased Source Music, which houses GFRIEND, citing shared values. Finally, BigHit also added another valuable person from SM Ent to share insights for operations improvement.

Clear health

BigHit did not overlook the health status of its groups. For instance, its dance director reminded BTS not to go too far in dancing. The agency also suspended some meetups on TXT to look after their health.

It’s amazing how BigHit managed to steer BTS clear of various issues that usually plague other groups. For instance, it issued immediately statement denying dating issues with Jungkook, up to the point that they charged the offender to protect him and the tattoo shop. Another action worth commending is by giving the lead group long break. The group deserves this after long years of work.

Part of their success lies on their so-called “Liberal Trainee” system, where the company trains them to be responsible in social media, and face consequences if gone wrong.

Further responses

Additional responses have to be noted. As of now, they are charging those going below the belt against leading group. Although minimal, it is one step higher towards making social media a safe place.

It advised entities to be vigilant amidst reports of counterfeit BTS concert contracts. Recently, Jungkook got involved in car accident, which BigHit immediately responded and apologized. Later on, following complaints from the fandom, BigHit listened to ARMYs by hiring their own translation team.

So, it’s not surprising that in virtually all engagements, BigHit is taking the lead from charts to album sales and profits.

Improvements

With its desire to expand comes the challenge on sustaining its boy groups in the long run. As TheBiasList pointed out, international scene has short-term memory over boy groups. Plus, since TXT is being deemed to be a shadow of BTS (and on the latter’s success), BigHit should clothe the rookie group with its own identity.

Group(s) Rated: BTS and TXT

Rating: 97.78%
Grade: A+
Assessment: Excellent

Scoreboard

  Criterion Points
1 Promotion of groups 5
2 Rolling of comebacks 5
3 Handling boy groups 5
4 Handling girl groups
5 Assessment as whole 10
6 Longevity of groups 10
7 Handling issues and responding 9
8 Other factors

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.