With the rise of the K-Pop sensation, the number of new idol groups has significantly increased.
Entertainment agencies like SM, YG, and JYP have already introduced a number of famous Hallyu idol groups over the years. However, they are constantly in the process of forming new idol groups. For example, SM Entertainment debut groups EXO-K and EXO-M in Korea and in China at the same time.
JYP, who recently unveiled the duo JJ Project, is reported to be in the process of preparing a new male idol group. YG Entertainment is also in the process of forming a group consisting of Kim Eun Bi from the show "Super Star K" along with Euna Kim and Jenny Kim to form a Girls' Generation of YG Entertainment.
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Other agencies are also in the process of preparing new idol groups. Cube Entertainment, the home of idol groups BEAST and 4minute, recently unveiled their new group BTOB. T-ARA's agency Core Contents Media introduced a new girl group Gangkiz as well.
Even agencies that refrained from entering the idol group market have entered their foot in the field. For example, FNC Music, home of FTISLAND and CNBLUE, will debut their new girl group AOA sometime this year.
Big Hit Entertainment will work with Source Music to introduce the girl group GLAM. Before their debut, they are appearing in the SBS MTV show "GLAM" to familiarize themselves with the public. Also, Yedang Entertainment that manages big stars like Lim Jae Bum and Ali, will debut their new boy group C-Clown.
In reality the idol market in Korea is dominated by mainstream groups like TVXQ, JYJ, Super Junior, Big Bang, Girls' Generation, Wonder Girls, KARA, 2PM, 2NE1, SHINee, f(x), T-ARA, BEAST and 4minute, all who debuted within 2004~ 2009.
INFINITE and SISTAR became famous after some time passed since their debut. INFINITE's popularity suddenly became explosive for various reasons and SISTAR became popular after switching to a sexier concept.
A representative stated, "It's important to pay attention to the internet communities to observe which idol stars are the most popular. Among the fans, there is already a list of the most popular idol groups. According to the list, the fans decide where they want to go. In an entertainment industry that depends largely on internet, it is inevitable to ignore the comments and news articles in the media."
So what is the reason why agencies keep on introducing new idol groups?
Another representative in the entertainment industry revealed, "K-Pop has become the center of Hallyu which enriched the businesses that are related to K-Pop. It's only natural the market for idol groups became bigger and many agencies feel that they could jump in the field as well. However, once they enter the industry it is very hard to leave as they wish."
The idol groups that are being introduced today are all aiming to debut overseas as well. As a result of the K-Pop sensation throughout the world, countless agencies are attempting to find talents that will wow the world. For groups like U-KISS, they headed to Japan when they couldn't find much success in Korea.
A Hallyu representative stated, "The market in Japan is several times bigger than that of Korea and in China with its large population, there is a greater potential for success."
According to a survey of international students taken from February to April revealed that 60% of 4,600 believed that the Hallyu sensation will end within 4 years and 40% believed it will end within 5 years. Most believed that Hallyu/K-Pop is at its peak right now and there won't be anywhere to go except down.
A representative from the K-Pop industry stated, "If agencies keep producing idol groups at this rate, there will be a very negative outcome for sure. Idol groups need to be stabilized once they debut. There are a lot of talented people amongst the idol groups and they should be recognized for their talents, not for the idol groups they're in. It's a shame to think that some of that talent could be buried under the greed of entertainment agencies."
To wrap up, the reason there is a never-ending supply of new idol groups is because of the success driven entertainment agencies. Although that statement cannot be applied to all music agencies, that explanation clearly seems to be the best fit for some. As a result of the K-Pop sensation that is sweeping the globe, there is a significant increase in the potential for monetary success.
There is not a single idol group that does not get training for their debut overseas even before their original debut in Korea! The hottest idol groups that dominate the industry today have all been carefully trained throughout long, hard years to become what they are today. It seems as though it is necessary for the entertainment agencies to reconsider carefully before debuting a new idol group in a rushed manner since it will only be a waste of time, money, and most importantly talent.