Disclaimer: As with my write-ups on Ok-Pop’s greatest businesses, that is written from an outsider’s perspective. I’m not aware about any business-related monetary info past what every other fan would know. The aim of those articles is to look at how properly these businesses are serving their artists and the overall Ok-pop fan-base.
If you happen to’re curious to learn my ideas on these businesses from final 12 months, click on right here for half one and right here for half two!
Model New Music
Model New Music has a means of staying very busy within the trade, but leaving little mark. They debuted boy group YOUNITE in 2022 and issues began out fairly strong for them. All people pointed towards a enjoyable retro idea in step with the company’s strengths. However, follow-up comebacks had been the worst form of generic boy group bluster. The extremely promising BDC appear to have been shelved in favor of those underwhelming YOUNITE albums. That’s a disgrace.
Model New Music’s veteran group AB6IX continued to launch music in 2022 however with no sense of development — both artistically or commercially. The company’s brightest star appears to be Lee Daehwi, who received KBS’s producer-focused selection present Pay attention Up and continues to be in excessive demand.
As with previous years, Dice Leisure continues to hitch most of their fortunes to the success of (G)I-DLE. That method is paying off. Although I haven’t appreciated any of the group’s music this 12 months, there’s no denying their chart success. Veteran act BTOB had been in a position to make a comeback as a full group at the beginning of the 12 months. They’ve an extremely steady fanbase and largely play to them whereas solo releases permit for a little bit of spice of their ballad-heavy repertoire. With ten years below their belt, it looks like BTOB are on this for the long term.
Pentagon and LIGHTSUM every had one comeback this 12 months. Each appeared to return and go along with little fanfare. Pentagon are in the course of enlistment woes, whereas LIGHTSUM misplaced a pair members final month. I fear extra about them than the already-established Pentagon, however neither act made a lot ripples in 2022.
For my part, DSP Media has actually bungled the roll-out of Mirae. I picked them as my favourite rookies final 12 months, however 2022 didn’t bear that out in any respect. They’re simply not getting the songs or promo they want regardless of having a lot potential and expertise. DSP has but to satisfy the promise showcased of their debut observe and the excitement appears to have died down significantly. I actually hope they’ll flip it round.
KARD made their long-awaited return this 12 months with music that reminded us how implausible their debut-era materials was. Gross sales had been okay, however Ring The Alarm didn’t depart a lot of a mark. Once more, DSP Media is having a tough time discovering the killer songs they should stand out.
Fantagio’s predominant musical breadwinners are Astro, and it’s gonna be a troublesome couple of years as navy enlistments rear their head. I assume the company might be counting on their massive roster of actors to maintain issues chugging alongside. With member MJ enlisting, Fantagio was good to maintain the Astro practice going by way of a gaggle comeback and a number of sub-units. These releases noticed various ranges of success, however they stored the model afloat. Member Cha Eunwoo continues to be a celebrity and appears to be branching into many various points of the trade. He’ll have a protracted profession no matter what occurs to the company itself.
Weki Meki continued their “now you see them, now you don’t” method with no single comeback in 2022. I’ll by no means perceive Fantagio’s plans for them. They’re handled like an afterthought regardless of overflowing with potential superstars. Truthfully, the company appears accomplished with them.
FNC are most likely large enough to warrant their very own function, however I don’t have an excessive amount of to say about them. They proceed to chug alongside, by no means taking middle stage within the trade however at all times discovering success with their massive and numerous roster. Aside from Cherry Bullet (who rarely launch music) and AOA (who appear to be disbanded in all-but title), FNC has was an company of male idols and actors/actresses.
Gross sales-wise, SF9 proceed to steer FNC’s pack, however youthful group P1Harmony are nipping at their heels. P1Harmony have invested a variety of time selling within the States, and that appears to be paying off for them at the same time as their Korean notoriety stays comparatively small.
Veteran teams FTIsland and CNBLUE didn’t launch something in 2022 however stay feathers within the company’s cap. In the meantime, N.Flying made one final comeback earlier than occurring enlistment hiatus. Total, 2022 was a gentle however unexciting 12 months for FNC.
IST is a mix of a number of businesses, and appears intent on sucking as many idols into its hellscape as doable. There are many profitable teams to be discovered right here, however most appear to lack any overarching idea or inventive mission.
The Boyz stay one Ok-pop’s most promising teams, however the high quality of their discography doesn’t bear that out. IST continues to present them underwhelming (and infrequently downright unhealthy) materials. It’s as if the company has by no means given consideration to their musical legacy. Add a grueling (and inefficient) schedule to the combination and also you’ve bought the recipe for burnout.
Victon have fared higher in the case of music, however they’ve had a difficult 12 months coping with member departures and hiatuses. In the meantime, debut group ATBO is a large number. Thus far, they’ve been given assembly-line music with no character. Severely, is IST’s A&R group composed of AIs? They actually don’t appear to care about originality.
Weeekly had been yet one more sufferer of terrible musical decisions. They endured a sonic reinvention that nobody requested for. However, their album gross sales elevated, so perhaps I don’t know what I’m speaking about.
The brightest star in IST’s orbit is their most veteran group: Apink. Frankly, they’ve fortunate to have these ladies amongst their rank. I don’t assume their 2022 album was among the many greatest of their discography, however at the very least it felt thought-out and well-considered.
Given their shrinking roster, I’m undecided I ought to even embody Jellyfish on this write-up anymore. I imply, in the case of music they’re just about simply VERIVERY at this level. Sure, we had a solo launch from VIXX’s Leo in 2022, however I’m not holding my breath for a gaggle reunion anytime quickly.
Nonetheless, one thing appears to have occurred with VERIVERY this month. It may find yourself being a blip, however their new album is boasting unbelievable gross sales and snagging them a number of music present wins – a feat that’s positively new to them. Are followers simply fortunately supporting the return to a vibrant idea, or did one thing occur in 2022 to completely elevate their fortunes? Time will inform, however I applaud Jellyfish for sticking with them by way of thick and skinny. Nonetheless, this doesn’t change the truth that it was a reasonably uninteresting 12 months for the company general.
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