Which entertainment agencies made remarkable moves in the Korean entertainment scene this year? One of the biggest issues that dominated the management business was that persistent demand on Hallyu contents, especially on K-pop, allowed singer and actors to expand their boundaries to overseas market. In the contents producing industry, it has become a matter of common interest that abilities to create and produce more diversified contents as viewers and audiences have higher criteria. There were bigger examples of middle and small sized agencies to make strategic alliance or have merger and acquisitions for retaining stable profit system. In addition to those, private life of stars became more in danger thanks to the Internet, which make the “risk management ability” as the top priority of the management firm should have.
As a wrap-up and recap of this year 2013, TenAsia picked up eight entertainment agencies that impressed the industry and found out their performance, strength and weakness and searched their right direction to go (in alphabetical order).
This Year’s Performance
Wonder Girls was once the symbol of JYP Entertainment and one-time favorite girl group in Korea. When Wonder Girls was taking slower track, it was miss A who replaced the position, technically it was Suzy of miss A. Starring in 2011 movie “Architecture 101” was a magic touch of both JYP Entertainment and Suzy. The starlet, who shot to stardom as ‘the nation’s first love,’ now became the star who is beloved from whatever she does. She led TV series “Kang Chi, the Beginning” to success, coming back to her original ground (?), miss A’s second studio album “Hush.”
Although Suzy was known as ‘a girl breadwinner of JYP Entertainment,’ actually it is 2PM who earned higher profit than Suzy. This March and May, 2PM released studio albums each in Japan and Korea. In Japan this April, the group stood up on the Tokyo Dome stage and exuded charm of ‘Beast-like idol’ in front of some 110,000 audiences. The DVD album which included the live concert shot to No. 1 on Oricon’s DVD chart. Although local response toward 2PM was seemingly disappointing, the popularity of each 2PM member was still hot. Taecyeon grew enough to take on the main character in TV series “who are you” and expanded boundaries by making screen debut through “Marriage Blue.” Junho was acknowledged potential in debut movie “Cold Eyes,” while Chansung continued acting activities in drama “7th Grade Civil Servant” and movie “Red Carpet.”
After leaving Wonder Girls and coming back as a solo singer, Sunmi played the role as ‘JYP’s secret weapon’ by showing her unexpected sexy charms. Her single “24 Hours” swept real-time number one on numerous online music charts. Baek A-yeon, who joined JYP through TV audition show “KPOP STAR,” released album “A Good Girl” and participated in the original soundtrack of “Goddess of Fire.” Another “KPOP STAR” participant Park Ji-min paired up with Baek Ye-rin in singing duo 15& and released single “Somebody.” It leave a little regret that it was lacked to reach the dominance of Lee Hi, another “KPOP STAR” contestant in YG Entertainment.
JYP’s chief producer Park Jin-young also back to the stage with new album “Halftime.” From year-end concerts to jury of “KPOP STAR,” Park is still alive and strong as ‘veteran’ dance singer. JYP actors were also busying themselves, including Lee Jung-jin (TV series “ 100-year Legacy,” variety show “Cool Kiz on the Block”), Yoon Park (drama “Good Doctor”), Choi Woo-shik (movie “Secretly Greatly,” drama “TEN 2”) and Park Joo-hyung (drama “Two Weeks”).
This Year’s Star
Whatever they say, the star of current JYP is Suzy. She plays 100 people’s roles in singing, acting, appearing on TV variety shows and commercial films. It is not in vain that Suzy is ‘a girl breadwinner’ of JYP, nicknamed by the Internet users. It was also timely clever and successful step to star in TV series “Kang Chi, the Beginning” and come back as miss A, changing her image again to sexy one. From innocent looks to sexy charisma, it is not easy to imagine anyone to replace Suzy’s position, which allows ‘Suzyache’ to continue for a while.
Park Jin-young was still strong. It looks a bit unexpected but his activities with a new album feel pretty welcoming. Another glad comeback is Sunmi. Sunmi came back with a totally different sentiment from hers in Wonder Girls, which makes her more promising in the future. 2PM didn’t grab big response in the local scene but received ‘pass’ with members’ individual activities, such as Taecyeon, Junho and Chansung’s.
Asie from Suzy, there were not many stars who created big issue in JYP Entertainment. Still, JYP is JYP. The company is not one of the three major K-pop agencies for no reason. It is sad that Wonder Girls is seemingly going their separate ways, but JYP-made idol groups will continue to pursue their ways. 2PM will continue musical and individual acting activities in and out of Korea. Suzy, miss A as well as Baek A-yeon, Park Ji-min and Sunmi will seek their new chances to shine. Moreover, JYP will introduce four rookie idol groups next year. As information on the rookie boy group begun to be revealed little by little, people are having more and more curiosity. Also, JYP Entertainment merged and acquired its unlisted company JYP, which runs its subsidiary firms in the US, Japan, China and AQ Entertainment, expecting a synergy effect from it.
Reporter. Hwang Seong-woon email@example.com
Translator. Cory Lee
Editor. Cory Lee
Courtesy of JYP Entertainment