• KrisMyStar

    I didn’t even know Rainbow was from DSP…as for Ajax and Puretty, they were shipped off to Japan too soon before I even had the chance to know them.

  • KrisMyStar

    I didn’t even know Rainbow was from DSP…as for Ajax and Puretty, they were shipped off to Japan too soon before I even had the chance to know them.

  • anono101

    SM’s redundancy might cause it to lose its current footing as “the #1 entertainment agency in South Korea.” There are only so much boxes an audience can take before progressing onto more creative music videos. Even rookie companies are creating better-quality music videos than what recently came out of SM. SM needs to literally think outside of the box.

    YG may overtake SM soon.

    And imo, the Big 3 had changed to the Big 2 (YG and SM) a long time ago since JYP shipped the WG off to the US for 3 years and had 2PM go through a slightly emo phase. JYP’s getting better now, but nowhere near it was in the heyday of Rain’s peak and Wonder Girls’s Nobody.

    • ThatsVeryFunny

      This article is about DSP… 

      • anono101

        I was answering the “Do you think K-pop will see another change in power once again?”

        • ThatsVeryFunny

          LOL sorry then.

    • http://twitter.com/M_Wys Michaela Wylie

      I think JYP is still a very big “thing” in South Korea. For international fans, it’s all about SM and YG, but I think that JYP groups are still very popular among Koreans.

      • sarajgh

        I don’t think so.. Suzy is the only breadwinner for JYP right now. http://netizenbuzz.blogspot.com/2012/10/with-suzy-as-jyps-sole-breadwinner-is.html

        • http://twitter.com/M_Wys Michaela Wylie

          Digitally, JYP songs chart just as well or even better than SM. Super Junior and TVXQ typically don’t do well digitally. And even if you compare rookies, EXO’s “Mama” charted at 41 on Goan while JJ Project’s “Bounce” was 30.

          So, I think they’re still up there, at least digitally. And calling Suzy JYP’s only breadwinner is a lie. Sohee is also hugely popular. And 2PM in general usually brings in a lot of revenue.

          I think most of SM’s fans are hard-core fans while YG and JYP appeal more to the general public of Korea.

        • Secret Keeper

          2PM are very much popular in South Korea and South East Asia, thanks to Khun. After Big Bang, 2PM are the most publicly recognised group. Even DBSK dont top the two. DBSK found their legendary fame for breaking into the Japanese market when it was only for Japanese artist, thats how their known as gods – for doing the impossible of their time. 

          Again, after Big Bang, 2PM have the most CF’s, and earn a rather fair bit too, and ever since their second title track “Again & Again” every one of their  title songs, even B-side, have reached number one. Also, 2PM has had the best Japanese debut from any K-pop group, having their first Japanese single hit #1 when it was dropped. 

          They even had their poster plastered in the entrance of Sony HQ in Japan, a spot only for Japanese acts that had sold a million album copies, and this is before they even debuted in Japan and were and currently are the only K-pop acts to have done so. 

          Their first album 1:59 received an immediate all-kill and so did their second album Hands Up.

          It really saddens me, as a Hottest, how many international netizens underrate 2PM. This is mostly due to Allkpop and the amount of hate 2PM, and all JYP artist in general, receive. 

          Also, on a side note, this comment isnt meant to offend or hurt anyone, and I also do love DBSK so I only used their example with a good heart,.

          • http://twitter.com/M_Wys Michaela Wylie

            No DBSK fan is offended, as long as you’re not insinuating that 2PM is more popular in Japan. XD We’re very proud of how they built up their popularity despite their initial flop in Japan. :)

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/YQ53WK5K4DPXQ5DIBKDELB6WPE Camille

      However redundant SM has been, its artists and groups are still popular and the fanbases for such groups still grow. I see them still being the top company for a quite a while longer. For every fan that gets tired or disillusioned, there’s always 5 new K-pop fans who’d go crazy over some SM artist.

      It should be noted though that SM really did hit a slump when the 1st gen idols left. H.O.T and SES disbanded and Shinhwa left the company. Isak n Jiyeon and Blackbeat flopped, Fly to the Sky was doing okay, and only BoA was SM’s real heavyweight act. DBSK’s debut kickstarted SM again, and it was only 2007 or 2008 where SM was finally turning profits again financially.

      It’d be interesting to see how things will be in SM in a few years when DBSK and most Super Junior are off to the army, as well as the inevitable day SNSD chooses to slow down group promotions. However popular SHINee, f(x), and EXO are, I don’t see them holding down the SM fort as strongly as DBSK did when SM was still in the rough transition.

      • Tornibbon91

        I think Shinee, f(x) and EXO have a lot of untapped potential. If SM choose to use them wisely they might bring a lot of money to SM.

        • Streby

          SHINee is not going to be the next TVXQ or Super Junior, they were SM’s experimental group as is f(x). I think they debuted EXO with the hope that they are going to be the next Super Junior, I mean the marketing is that they are totally super human and amazing and all. 

          • Tornibbon91

            It’ll be interesting to see how SM does after all their top groups are gone. But didn’t SHINee get compared to TVXQ when they debute? Doesn’t that show they have potential?

          • Streby

            I see where you’re coming from but SM’s marketing strategy has been totally different with them. They are the boys-next-door and even now they are not portrayed all that differently. Whereas you see that EXO is being marketed as being epic and you might as well call them ‘Rising Gods of the East’ with the way they are being presented. 

            SHINee is supremely talented and will probably always be my favourite boy group but I seriously don’t see them ruling the market the way DBSK did or Super Junior does.

             Its just the marketing not the potential, they are marketed as the approachable, cute young men who still do ageyo  even when maknae-Taemin is getting old for it.

            Edit- I think SM is like a factory which churns out idols, they see that their current money makers are ageing and cant go on forever and hence they have prepared the next generation who is to take over, I wouldn’t be surprised if they debuted another girl group next year.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/YQ53WK5K4DPXQ5DIBKDELB6WPE Camille

            SHINee were called “Baby DBSK” during debut because of their young ages and ridiculously good live performances, which were reminiscent of debut-era DBSK. They were SM’s experiment on whether they can recreate another DBSK, as SHINee’s probably the most well-rounded group SM has debuted since DBSK, and everyone saw and acknowledged that potential.

            However, they debuted just when K-pop exploded into what it is now, and they’ve had a hard time dominating their peers. They’re definitely in the upper levels of the K-pop hierarchy, but they’re just not at the top yet like DBSK, Super Junior, and SNSD have managed to do in a shorter span of time.

            Yeah, it’ll be very interesting once SHINee’s the oldest active group in SM, because it’s just strange thinking of not having to factor in DBSK, Super Junior, and SNSD’s influence in the company and in the industry.

          • mursyi nisa’

            why shinee still cannot surpass dbsk is that their voice….5dbsk truly have unique voices…even the other three left, changmin and u-know(he dramatically improved) still can show their powerful vocal despite powerful dance. For exo, they have a similarity for the lead vocalists’s voice with b.a.p. And up till now, their mr removed are not at par with shinee. For JYP, they should bring back 2pm in korea to prolong their popularity in korea…I think if YG new girl group debut successful, they could be beat SM for the 1st ranking. Furthermore, Psy already has a great year for last year…

    • catherine19

      Actually, even if YG does overtake SM, I don’t think SM is going anywhere. No offense to SM stans, but as long as they keep churning out groups with pretty faces, fans will buy anything that comes out from the company, even though their music sucks. I mean, I find it amazing how long Super Junior fans have been buying their stuff even though they keep releasing box MVs and sub-par music.

    • Haibara Christie

      Honestly, I think that you are right in regards to the international kpop experience.  JYP does not cater well to the general international fandom  (and honestly I have no idea how SM always ends up with the crazies, but that’s another discussion). YG on the other hand sits perfectly with the internationals, because their style is probably the closest to what we often define as “Western Pop Music.” YG sells on “being different” (I actually believe that that is an image that only hides the fact that they actually aren’t different; again, another discussion) SM, on the other hand represents what K-pop is at core.  As a company that is perceived to be at the forefront of the Kpop world since its modern inception (the creators of the “idol”), the identity of “Kpop” as we know it today, largely resides with them. That is not to say, however, that Kpop is not evolving or incorporating various musical concepts, its just that the SM formula is often regarded as the “general Kpop formula.” If you look at many of the “third tier” groups that try to fit the “general formula,” you’ll see that their overall concept resembles what SM has perfected over many, many years. Now back to JYP, and why it’s awkwardly in the middle.  JYP runs on groups such as 2PM and WG (probably its two biggest successes) that fit Park Jin Young’s style of Kpop Idol.  His goal is to create a brand that reflects him as much as it does his artists, which is why the whole “awkwardly in the middle” part comes in.–Internationals have no history with JYP the artist.  Otherwise, JYP Ent. is as successful and mainstream as SM and YG, just a bit toned down.  

      On a side note, people are discussing how YG is taking over SM as most powerful entertainment group, and I actually think that part of the reason for it is that YG carries a brand that is what I deem the “Apple Co. of Kpop” while SM is a lot like Microsoft…(hmm…interesting analogy that I might explore sometime) A lot of YG’s success has to do with how well they cater to the international sound, and their international popularity. If people know Kpop in the U.S., it’s either the “horse dance” or Big Bang for people who actually know what Kpop is. Korea is obsessed with becoming dominant internationally, and the closest entertainment company to that “western fame” is YG, hence their growing popularity. (Plus YG tends to release good music and arguably more importantly, MVs)

      • FlipMango

        I like your comparison with Apple and Microsoft and I do think it fits. YG is trying to be the innovators of K-Pop (just like Apple) while SM is going the more conservative but still successful path (Microsoft). However one of the criticisms I have with YG is that their idea of “innovation” seems like making their music sound more and more like Western Pop Music. I criticise this tactic because I do like the certain type of “sound” that K-Pop holds but Western Pop doesn’t, so it feels disappointing that they’re edging away from that aspect.

        Also I’d be interested in your discussions about SM’s crazies and YG’s concept of being different while actually not. You have a very interesting view :)

        • Haibara Christie

          That is exactly what I was trying to get at when I was talking about how YG truly isn’t “different” from everyone else.  GD takes heavy influence from the rap and hip hop of the West, and that shows in YG’s overall image as a company and in the personalities of each member of the company.  Apple pretends to innovate in a very similar way (iPhone 5 anyone?)–seemingly new and innovative on the outside, but lacking a bit of substance on the inside.  If you really think about some of the songs that YG releases, if you had given the song to any other group, people will never like it the way they just eat up the music when GD writes it.  SM is like Microsoft in that they think that being the saturated product in the industry means that they can slack on their material and expect people to continue buying it–which they do currently, but things are changing.  To be honest, the sad part is that I do actually like certain groups from each company, and yet I don’t like them both sometimes.

          In regards to SM crazies, I’m just going to end up ranting about the horrible paradox their existence is. I hate them for being so ridiculously crazy they are, but I find them to be utterly fascinating.

      • Sophia

        Yeah, what is up with the SM crazies? I’m an ELF and even i recognise the insanity of some in the group, how come SM fan clubs feel the need to be the best or when every award? Its just the shear volume of groups/fans?

    • KrisMyStar

      that’s why SM has been expanding to take on actors and prominent hosts like Kang Ho Dong…even when the idol fad one day fades away, they’ll still have solid ground on other areas of entertainment.

    • Black_Plague

      At least in Korea, I honestly don’t see how YG will overtake SM anytime soon. While Suju and DBSK still have their military service to do, as Camille as mentioned, the same thing also easily applies to Big Bang, YG’s current main source of income along with 2NE1.

      For SM though, neither Suju or DBSK are the cashcows at present, SNSD having taken that spot and for the next 4-5 years will still maintain that position (which they’d be in their late 20s by then) – which is plenty of time to bring out something to maintain competition before the group slows down.

      Bottom line – SM just has more ‘reserves’ to maintain itself in the long run compared to YG in Korea – which is Kpop’s main source of income, not to mention that it still beats YG by a huge margin in Japan.

    • FlipMango

      I do think SM is losing its footing, but not because of its music videos. I think they’re going to lose their footing simply because of YG’s increasing popularity. It’s not typically a music video that makes or break a company/artist. It’s more of the quality of music that should matter.

  • http://colourmesplendid.wordpress.com Ree

    It’s such a shame about Rainbow. The girls are fairly talented, and the slew of releases they had in 2010(?) A, Mach, and then To Me in ’11 were all pretty quality. It’s such a shame DSP didn’t bank on them when they were bankable.

    • animasaurus

      I love Rainbow! IMO, they make the best music as far as girl groups are concerned. It really is too bad that they are SO under appreciated… internationally and in Korea.

      • http://colourmesplendid.wordpress.com Ree

        I actually really liked their voices too, like in Sweet Dream and To Me. Like they weren’t drop dead stunning, but it had this ring to it which really suited their songs.

  • taraterrrific

    “…Kara, arguably the largest Korean girl group in Japan at the moment.”
    I don’t know about that…Girls’ Generation and Wonder Girls are miles above Kara, they are third at best

    • 271828

      In terms of popularity as a Kpop idol, I agree SNSD (not too sure about Wonder Girls…where have they disappeared off to again?) is above KARA. However IMO KARA has become more of a japanese group in that they don’t scream Kpop to Japanese people anymore. As in, they are selling on the basis of their japanese music and fame rather than on their international fame.

      • http://twitter.com/jms177 Justy

        I feel that SNSD is the most SUCCESSFUL kpop group in Japan (in terms of album sales, awards, concert stops), while Kara is the most POPULAR kpop group in Japan, meaning they’ve almost become a household name there and have firmly cemented themselves in the Japanese market to the point where they look like legitimate Japanese artists. But the Wonder Girls are not even close to being as big as SNSD and Kara.

        • syjjang

          say that to Kara’s endorsement deal in Japan, KARA is the most highly priced Korean idol singer where they receive about 40 to 50 million yen for every commercial. (Rank #3 on Japan’s most highly paid celebrities for commercials, GG rank #12
          They earned $63 Million in Japan last year while GG earned $52.. I don’t want to comment about sales, I suggest you to keep on track with Kara’s Japanese sales. awards? just go to Kara wikipedia page. And about concert stops; Kara just start their 1st concert tour last year, and hey! they will have their 2nd Karasia tour next year in Tokyo Dome, so…

          • http://twitter.com/jms177 Justy

            I take a look at Wikipedia frequently, so yes, I do know how many awards they have won and how much money they make, which is why I said referred to their success as coming from album sales, concert stops, and some awards. SNSD’s first Japan album sold more than Super Girl and Girls Talk, their first Japan Tour had more attendees, and they also won Album Of The Year award at MTV Japan awards. In 2011, SNSD just performed better than Kara did overall, which is why I said they are more successful. But obviously Kara makes more money than them from singles and endorsements, and they also have been given the golden opportunity to perform at the Tokyo Dome. That covers why Kara is more popular.

          • syjjang

            lol, because winning on MTV is so legit. Also you said that their concert Japan tour had more attendees, I don’t know how many attendees SNSD got on their 1st Japan tour but I think it doesn’t matter who’s got more attendees, it’s a matter of how many tickets they provide and they’re both sold out the ticket concerts and very successfully in a way. And when you say SNSD just performed better than Kara did overall, well that’s an opinion dear..

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JMK2FVTYJCTTWR4AIU2IMMXAIM Daniel

      are you kidding me? Do you know how much WG even sold in Japan? They are considered flop in Japan behind KARA, GG, T-ara, AS, Rainbow, in terms of girlgroups

    • http://twitter.com/M_Wys Michaela Wylie

      Wait, what? I’m a huge WG fan, but they are not as popular as KARA in Japan. Not at all.

      And KARA definitely competes with SNSD and did better on the year-end charts last year.

      • Haibara Christie

        KARA has been in Japan for Way longer than any other girl group that I can think of.  (SNSD only started Japanese promotions a year and a half or so ago?) There is no comparison. KARA is way more popular than any other Kpop Girl Group in Japan now. The closest group (with a significant gap between) to them would be SNSD, at least by my understanding.

      • Haibara Christie

        KARA has been in Japan for Way longer than any other girl group that I can think of.  (SNSD only started Japanese promotions a year and a half or so ago?) There is no comparison. KARA is way more popular than any other Kpop Girl Group in Japan now. The closest group (with a significant gap between) to them would be SNSD, at least by my understanding.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/YQ53WK5K4DPXQ5DIBKDELB6WPE Camille

          KARA and SNSD debuted in Japan with just a few months difference in 2010.

        • Theorist

          KARA debuted in August, the next month, SNSD debuted in Japan. A significant gap ey?

          • Haibara Christie

            That makes no sense. What I said was that there is a significant gap in recognition not debut times.  And I did agree to the fact that I was not sure about KARA’s timeline with Japan, because I thought they had significant success in Japan before SNSD even came out with their first Japanese album. 

            And please do not be condescending in your reply. I do appreciate corrections to incorrect things that I have said, just not mean ones.

          • Theorist

            This is the internet. LOL, don’t take things seriously. I can be condescending or sarcastic as I wish, even if I don’t mean it. It’s not my fault if it’s viewed that way, 

          • Haibara Christie

            Sorry about that. I just thought that the comment came off a bit snarky, and i really do apologize for my lapse in judgment. 

            And indeed you’re right, it’s the internet, but that’s no reason to throw away basic etiquete.  

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/YQ53WK5K4DPXQ5DIBKDELB6WPE Camille

      In JAPAN. SNSD’s a strong competitor, but KARA has Japan.

      WG wishes they’re even relevant in Japan. They could’ve hit it big there if they did “Nobody” when “Nobody” was THE song.

    • taraterrrific

      yeah I got ahead of myself on that one, I read Korea instead of Japan, sorry for being a douche guys ><

    • Miyuki

      Are you serious? I’m a SONE and I even call BS on that! Kara is not even arguably the largest Korean girl group in Japan. SNSD is the* second* largest competitor, and Wonder Girls aren’t even relevant in Japan. 

  • VividlyLivid

    It’s interesting to hear about DSP’s beginnings, because I’ll admit, I’m one of those who only knew them for Kara. I had no idea who Rainbow or any of their older groups belonged to. 
    I definitely think their strategy needs to change a little bit. I think depending on one group as the company moneymaker is stressful for both Kara and DSP. Rainbow definitely has the potential, so I don’t know why they’ve been left to dry for so long. If DSP invested more time and effort into Rainbow and even A-JAX, I think the company could balance itself out.

  • http://twitter.com/M_Wys Michaela Wylie

    *cough* SS501 hasn’t officially disbanded. *cough*

    Anyways, I always had wondered what happened to DSP. I wonder if they should have tried to create a “family” image at their company like SM, YG, JYP, and even CUBE and TS have done? It seems to raise the company’s reputation among fans.

  • FlipMango

    Nice to see read up on the history of DSP Media. Based on this article, I agree that they are focusing a bit too much on debuting groups. It’s a shame cuz I really liked Rainbow. They’re songs are pretty catchy. If anything they could’ve competed with the likes of A Pink and Dal Shabet. It makes sense for DSP to focus Kara on Japan because that’s really where they’re biggest. It even feels like they’re a Japanese group trying to break into Korea. I’ve never heard of A-JAX or Puretty before this, so if they’re going to want them to catch more attention, they’re gonna have to do something bold. That should be the way to go instead of giving up on them and debuting another group, cuz that’s what it feels like.

    As for K-Pop seeing another change in power I think it’s already happening. As another commenter stated, it seems like it’s becoming more of just the Big 2 because JYP seems to be losing some of its hype. Sure it still has a significant amount, but now other companies are really starting to catch up to the Big 3. Cube Entertainment is getting pretty big, as is TSENT and Starship. YG and SM are securely at the top for now, but YG does seem likely to overtake SM soon with it’s increasing popularity. In fact all of K-Pop seems to be in a huge shuffle right now, what with the increasing popularity in K-Pop in general. It’ll be interesting to see what happens to K-Pop in just one or two years.

  • Streby

    Its just not the same after SS501 disbanded or took a hiatus or whatever they are doing now. They should have tried harder not to lose them. 

  • kpopfan6

    TYPO: SS501 hasn’t disbanded. Even the members have said so more than once.

    SS501′s situation is pretty similar to Shinhwa’s, in that the members are in different companies but the group is still together. They plan on making a group comeback after they all finish military service (just like Shinhwa) so we’ll see what happens then. Anyway SS501 is a great group and DSP was really dumb for losing them.

    I really like Rainbow, but they don’t seem to be getting anywhere. I don’t know anything about Puretty, but I’ve been following A-JAX and I think they have great potential. 

    If DSP can’t find one or more groups to fill Kara’s shoes then DSP will fall once that group becomes inactive. It’s a really risky situation for them right now actually, because if a big scandal or something hits Kara then DSP is totally screwed.

  • http://chocobox101.blogspot.com/ chocopies:)

    I miss SS501~ (I know they haven’t disbanded or anything..) but, they haven’t made a comeback in so long~ Then Kyujong decided to go to the army, so now we’ll just have to wait to see what happens next. I actually like Rainbow but, I don’t really think they’ll get any more popular then they are now (which is really sad since I think they have a lot of potential) As for Kara~ They’re really DSP’s only current moneymaker so, if anything happens to them..I don’t what DSP could do to save the company.. 

  • goldengluvsk2

    the other day I was like thinking in all the companies’ past, listing their successful groups and when i came to think of DSP Media, I was just asking myself the same thing: what happened to them??! for DSP media I only liked and knew ss501… and rn im confused because the version i knew was that they pretty much kicked out ss501 because they wanted more funds for KARA’s activities and new groups but well… imo, their bad luck started there… instead of at least stayng with 2 famous acts, after ss501 left/were kicked out(?) the girls of KARA had the future of the whole company on their backs, eventually felt overworked and demanded to be treated fairly -thing that reminds me of ccm and t-ara being their money cow but if the same happens i dont thnk t-ara’s case would end up as good as kara’s- im not familiar with any of the newest groups puretty, A-jax, rainbow but if you ask me they should have tried to make Rainbow popular to then debut the other groups… because having like 10 groups and little ot no promotions in the state the industry is right now debuting 3 groups per week youll never stand out since you have to be constantly promoting…

    • idontknoe

      Ss501s contract ended so they left the company.

  • ourrsquaredpi

    It’s a shame DSP is neglecting Rainbow. I mean, their music is catchy and likeable. As I have noticed, their live performance (esp. their vocals) aren’t that great but with practice, they can deliver. The group’s concept is something DSP should utilize more because it’s interesting and offers various possibility as to how the members are showcased. I really do hope after this year’s inactivity, Rainbow will have an amazing comeback. I still believe that Rainbow can rise out of their nugu status.

  • http://twitter.com/fah2ma Fatouma

    You just had to name-drop Answer Me 1997, didn’t you, Jasper?? Hakchannnnn sobssss. 

  • kuroosaki

    i hate DSP for sending Ajax to japan!! they only release 2 digital single in Korea . cant they just wait for ajax to have large fanbase 1st!!

  • animasaurus

    DSP now is going to be JYP in the future imo if JYP doesn’t stop producing everything and get a better marketing department.

    DSP has some good music, it’s a shame they don’t find better ways to capitalize off of it.

  • http://twitter.com/silverukiss Silver

    I think this also highlights something Korean companies tend to miss: the importance of keeping your popular idols happy. Otherwise once their contracts are up, or even before, they are going to want to leave. Unless you are powerful enough, like SM, that you can threaten to blacklist the artists if they even think about leaving.

    • http://twitter.com/M_Wys Michaela Wylie

      Or, like SM, you just make the contracts long enough that by the time they want to leave, they aren’t valuable to the company anymore. XD

      • http://twitter.com/silverukiss Silver

         Yeah, but even SM screwed up. They made TVXQ unhappy enough that even with all their power and blacklisting and extensively long contracts, they still split. SM lost a lot of money from that. I can only hope they learned from it. (unlikely, though)

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/R5BKARJWK7NNOXYOIUSP76YJW4 Aj

    yeah what happened to DSP exactly? They shouldve kept SS501 even after the contract ended,they could’ve made a new one and made them stay with DSP.But well Kim Hyun Joong is doing great with his solo career.