Disclaimer: Just like my write-ups on K-Pop’s biggest agencies, this is created from an outsider’s perspective. I’m not privy to any kind of business-associated financial information past what any type of other fan would certainly know. The objective of these write-ups is to study exactly how well these agencies are serving their artists and also the general K-pop fan-base.

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If you’re curious to check out my thoughts on these agencies from last year, click here for component one and right here for component two!

Brand New Music

Now in its third generation of artists, Brand also New Music seems to have settled right into its area as a mid-level company. When it comes to sales, namong its artists are height tier. But, AB6IX have discovered a nice groove after a tumultuous 2020. The agency is offering the members plenty to carry out, through multiple comebacks alongside drama functions and also array to diversify their resume.

As a lot as I enjoyed BDC’s music this year, I’m not sure exactly what Brand also New are hoping to attain with them. Are they a resolved group, or a prelude to a new debut? If they’re hoping to be irreversible, they require a lot stronger proactivity. Ditto for Lee Eunsang, who is dipping his feet into the industry fairly than making a splash.

B-

Cube Entertainment

At its height, Cube knocked on the door of the “massive three.” It never rather obtained tbelow, yet stays a strong pressure in the sector. Regardless of member chaos, (G)-IDLE released a really effective mini and also varied solo jobs. Pentagon dealt with enlistment obstacles the finest they can, bolstering their music career via other ventures. Agency seniors BTOB came across extremely well during Kingdom, and also their future looks bappropriate as some key members return from the army.

Acomponent from (G)I-DLE, Cube appears fairly ham-fisted as soon as it concerns girl groups. CLC is all-but defunct, via Sorn leaving and also Yujin joining upcoming team Kep1er. Meanwhile, rookies LIGHTSUM haven’t yet settled on a defining sound or principle. Their music reflects promise, but they feel sevedepend under-advocated for a new deyet.

C

DSP Media

From an outsider’s perspective, DSP Media seem to be at a perilous allude in their history. With both April and also KARD inenergetic at the minute, their 2021 rested almost completely on a new deyet. That’s the majority of push to put on boy group Mirae. From sales to affect, the team is a moderate success so much. They’ve released some fantastic music, but I fear DSP might not have a long-term vision for them – which will be crucial to the agency’s ongoing momentum. On the plus side, DSP hasn’t been stingy on the youtube variety uptons, taking benefit of Dongpyo’s popularity while quickly developing the whole group as all-approximately entertainers.

C-

Fantagio Entertainment

Fantagio remains exceptionally lucky to have Cha Eunwoo among their ranks. Astro had actually another standout year commercially. Both of their albums marketed like hotcakes, and also Eunwoo ongoing his prominence in acting and also range. It’s rare for a member from a small-to-midsize company to have actually such a stranglehost on the industry’s brand also reputation ranmonarchs, and also his popularity has actually undoubtedly buoyed Astro. But, Fantagio has been pretty great around providing the various other members methods as well. In addition to MJ’s fun solo job, the guys were continuous fixtures on range.

So, Fantagio… why not provide Weki Meki the exact same push? Their lengthy 2021 hiatus didn’t assist them, and also it feels choose the agency isn’t putting in the majority of initiative to their music (or physical packaging) either. The firm stays on solid footing, but their neglect of this team drags their grade dvery own a few notches.

B-

FNC Entertainment

Eincredibly year, FNC Entertainment feels solid if unspectacular. They simply go around their service, releasing strong albums to sturdy sales. But, they rarely make waves. Boy group SF9 have end up being an agency standout, offering incredibly well in a year where they’re finding their musical niche. I’m not certain Kingdom was the ideal fit for them, yet it appears to have nudged alengthy their popularity. More crucial is member Rowoon’s drama functions. He feels extremely a lot on the climb, and that bodes well for the group’s future.

On the band also side of the firm, N.Flying proceed to occupy their niche, finding their fan base and also transporting a secure stream of music. CNBLUE act as FNC’s veterans. They’ve passed their commercial prime, yet they’re still releasing solid music.

AOA seem all-however kaput, which is a shame provided the scandalous nature of their last K-pop bow. Newer group Cherry Bullet don’t feel choose a priority to FNC, which is weird given the agency’s comparative lack of girl teams. Maybe some of the members’ participation on Girls Planet 999 will certainly cause a renewal in promovement.

And while FNC’s youngest act P1Harmony display much potential, I can’t help however feel the agency is failing them. They need to be releasing means even more music than they are. It’s been over salso months considering that their last album – a lifetime as soon as it involves newly-debuted rookies.

C

IST Entertainment

IST is newly-developed, merging Plan A, Fave and Cre.ker under one umbrella. It’s difficult to provide a precise grade given that these agencies operated individually for the mass of the year. But through artists prefer The Boyz, Weeekly, Victon and Apink, IST’s future appears bright.

The Boyz have establiburned themselves as an A-list success, offering a ridiculous amount of albums, securing spots on dramas and also range and coming to be synonymous with the bombast of Kingdom. The just point that’s lacking – in my opinion – is music strong sufficient to justify this success. It’s difficult to be excited about their prominence once their 2021 output felt weaker than any type of various other year of their career. Still, they are undoubtedly a bankable prospect for the market.

Weeekly’s music additionally dipped a little bit compared to their deyet year, but they are definitely rookies on the climb and also have currently carved out an identifiable sound for themselves.

Victon face armed forces enlistment battles, but they’ve establiburned a solid fan base that have to support them well in the coming year. Solo tasks have actually also offered a welcome glimpse at future potential. Apink were reasonably inactive in 2021, which tends to happen through more-established groups. They remajor sector darlings, and also an important ascollection to any type of agency.

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B

Jellyfish Entertainment

Over the past few years, it feels like Jellyfish has endangered to collapse under its very own weight. Gugudan is no even more, and it appears unlikely that VIXX will certainly ever release brand-new music through the agency aget. But, stranger points have actually happened!

This puts an massive weight on boy team VERIVERY, that have actually yet to clegislation their way to the top reaches of the market. If Jellyfish had the benefit of reputable revenue from senior artists, VERIVERY might be permitted even more grace as they gradually mature their sound and also image. Their promotion has actually been continual (including an upcoming UNITED STATE tour), but they shouldn’t need to be the confront of their firm at this stage in their career. Luckily, their sales are progressively flourishing.

C-

Check out component 2, wbelow I take a look at KQ, P-Nation, RBW, Starship, Top Media, WM and also Woollim!