I have chosen to do Kpop as my general media niche. In this industry there are a lot of key players, artists and companies that all work together to deliver a finished product. I want to explore how the companies and other entities affect how kpop is presented to us.
In my network, I am including several kpop companies, including the ones dubbed as the ‘Big 3′. These are the entertainment companies called JYP, YG and SM Entertainment. All of the company names are abbreviations of the founders’ names, being Jin Young Park, Yang Hyun-suk and Lee Soo Man respectively. As these companies are essentially big conglomerates, they also handle advertising, distribution, production and have their own record label. They each have a board of directors as well as a CEO. Remember Psy with his hit ‘Gangnam Style’? He was under YG Entertainment when it was released. He has since left YG and gone on to fund his own company. Another big company that I will be including is Big Hit Entertainment, home to the biggest kpop idol group, BTS.
The Big 3 also has its own impressive roster of idol groups that I will include in the network, such as Twice from JYP, Blackpink from YG and Red Velvet from SM (all girl groups). These groups are a primary focus because they are all currently active and promoting, though I will refer to other groups such as YG’s Big Bang and SM’s Exo, both boy groups, as their popularity was unmatched during their time. Another fact of the industry is that boy groups are more profitable than girl groups, because the key demographic for idol groups is usually teen girls.
There is a process to promoting the music these idol groups put out. An idol group’s ‘comeback’ is usually announced on social media, and when they release their album, they choose one song as the ‘title track’, which is promoted everywhere. They promote this song primarily by posting the music video on YouTube and social media. They also go on music shows. Music shows are usually on cable tv and feature a line-up of idol groups that are actively promoting.
These music shows are also run by companies, the most prominent being Mnet M Countdown. There are other music shows, on the other days of the week, like KBS, Inkigayo etc. There are 7 in total. Idols usually promote for 3-4 weeks on most music shows. The music show companies make their money by letting people come and watch them on their stage, though in this social media age, it is fast becoming an archaic way to promote.
All of the music show performances are uploaded to Youtube and other social medias for people to watch. All idol groups also have their own various social media channels for posting videos and variety content. None of the content is controlled by the members, usually all of it is uploaded by the company. Idols may have individual accounts that they can use.