Korean idol group After School members Ka-eun (left), Raina (second to left), Juyeon (third to left), U-ie (fourth to left), Junga (fourth to right), NaNa (third to right), Lizzie (second to right) and E-young (right) at a event in Seoul, Korea. [Pledis Entertainment]



Minhyun (left), Ren (second to left), JR (center), Baekho (second to right) and Aron (right) on the cover of “Action,” released on July 11, 2012. [Pledis Entertainment]

The strong never lasts forever. It is the same for the entertainment industry where the trend changes rapidly and the future is more unpredictable compared to other fields. It’s undeniable that the top three agencies—SM, YG and JYP—are leading the industry both in sales and ability in planning and marketing.

However, there are still other smaller agencies which have squeezed themselves in between and gradually becoming a threat to the major three. And that’s why TenAsia English decided to go over these rising mid-sized agencies.

We made a list of our comprehensive comments of their movements so far, plus cool-headed evaluations and advice on their strengths and weak points and accidental outcomes. From today, we’ll be highlighting a total of 12 mid-sized entertainment agencies striving to rise to the top in the cutthroat entertainment world here in Korea.


Pledis Entertainment


After School, Son Dambi, Kahi, NU’EST, HELLOVENUS, SEVENTEEN, Orange Caramel Overall Evaluation

Cool performances by slender and sexy women. Based on this early strategy, Pledis targets a niche market by using pinpointing strategies as well as systemizing sub-unit activities. It was overwhelming to watch Son Dambi showing off her long legs in “Crazy” and eight After School members donning uniforms and playing drums in “Bang!”

But it’s time to head to a new direction. After School’s sub-units RED and BLUE are having a rather hard time and their newbie groups NU’EST and HELLOVENUS are not exactly on par with others who debuted around the same time as them, such as B.A.P. It is time for some more careful strategies.

A Magic Touch

Orange Caramel, who are childlike yet charming and cute yet sexy. The group dropped their first studio album after their title tune “Aing♡” and sang ‘let my touch call you’ in wizard costumes. They became the talk of the town in Korea. Many would like to see them coming up with more surprising, unique performance in future.

A Surprising Move

A collective image of Son Dambi’s scorning face, which helped to change her rather cold image. Her scorning face put up during her performance got many laughs.

The Boss’ Mistake

After School’s new releases after Kahi’s graduation. “Flashback” is not that different from After School’s previous songs, and that was the problem. There was no powerful performance to cover the absence of Kahi, nor a new image from After School. Fans will not be too surprised to see Kahi returning to the group.

Reporter: Lee Hye Ji, Editor: Nemo Kim