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    The “Blackpink” factor


    The business of fun is not funny, especially not in Korean pop music, or K-pop for short. The Seoul entertainment company YG Entertainment can tell you about it, because it is experiencing an instructive ups and downs these days. The debut of its six-member girl group creation Baby monsters The end of November was planned as the start of a new era of success. Their music video for the opening single “Batter up” broke a K-pop record with more than 22.6 million clicks within 24 hours. However, the piece sounds suspicious Blackpink, the most famous group from the YG cosmos. The market was disappointed and the share price collapsed. And now? On Wednesday, YG Entertainment recorded a three-week high on the stock market with an increase of up to 29 percent. Reason: the contract extension with Blackpink.

    Once you’ve made it into the world’s ear canals, you stay there forever

    You can see how much the Korean creative industry depends on what is known. K-pop companies produce their productions using proven processes, train selected talents to become flawless performers and have them sing songs by international professional composers. This can sometimes lead to global success – like Blackpink with the four highly talented artists Lisa, Jennie, Jisoo and Rosé. Blackpink songs have titles that don’t contain much content like “Ddu-Du Ddu-Du” or “Boombayah”. But with their casually danced productions of female self-confidence, the group captured the spirit of the times after their debut in 2016. And once it has made it into the world’s ear canals, it stays there forever.

    According to estimates from the business magazine Forbes Blackpink has a net worth of 57.5 million euros in 2023. For YG Entertainment, the quartet is a brand that can hardly be dispensed with. It must therefore have been a relief for the company when it was able to report on Wednesday: “After careful discussions with the members of Blackpink, an exclusive contract for the group’s activities was signed.” Especially since YG isn’t going through a good phase right now. Company founder Yang Hyun-suk, who stepped down as CEO in 2019 and returned as Baby Monster’s chief producer in January, was recently sentenced to probation for extortion. Important bands have left YG. And the share price was already in a downward trend before the baby monster launch.

    Some stars eventually become more important than the companies that made them big

    Even after the new Blackpink deal, there are concerns. This only applies to the group. How Lisa, Jennie, Jisoo and Rosé orientate themselves as individual artists is another question. Each has already released a solo album. Each is a brand ambassador for a luxury brand, Jennie is at Chanel, Rosé at Saint Laurent, Lisa at Celine, Jisoo at Dior. Jisoo and Jennie have acting ambitions and are reportedly planning to start their own agencies. Lisa, the Thai member of the team, is said to have already rejected a YG offer.

    At some point, some stars become more important than the companies that made them big. This is also a truth of the harsh everyday life of K-Pop. It’s quite possible that YG Entertainment will soon only be able to work with its most important women if they can arrange it.

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