It's no secret that these days, K-Pop boy groups have a very hard time gaining the general public's recognition in Korea. Two of the most difficult achievements for boy groups to achieve include: 1st place on a major broadcasting station music program (KBS, MBC, SBS), and placing on Melon's yearly top songs chart.
In fact, K-Pop male idols groups who have managed to achieve entry into Melon's yearly top songs chart in the few years only include: EXO (SM), BTS (Big Hit), Wanna One, WINNER (YG), iKON (YG), and BTOB.
K-Pop idol fans pointed out that more boy groups from non-big-3 (SM, JYP, YG) agencies definitely received more recognition during the 2.5-generation/early 3rd generation era. The following male groups have achieved 1st place on a major broadcasting station music program in the past 10 years, in debut order:
B2ST (debut 2009)
CNBLUE (debut 2010)
INFINITE (debut 2010)
TEEN TOP (debut 2010)
B1A4 (debut 2011)
Block B (debut 2011)
VIXX (debut 2012)
B.A.P (debut 2012)
BTOB (debut 2012)
NU'EST (debut 2012)
BTS (debut 2013)
No 2014 debut groups from non-big-3 companies have won 1st place on KBS, MBC, or SBS
MONSTA X (debut 2015)
Seventeen (debut 2015)
No currently promoting male idol groups from non-big-3 agencies who debuted between 2016-2019 have won 1st place on KBS, MBC, or SBS. Only two male idol groups in this category managed to earn 1st place nominations on KBS, MBC, or SBS music programs - ASTRO and TOMORROW x TOGETHER.
Netizens collectively agree that it's high time for some of the non-big-3 company boy groups from the new era to "make it" in the Korean K-Pop scene.
Some argued that the dramatic effects of Mnet's 'Produce' series in recent years played a role in making it even more difficult for these non-big-3 company boy groups to garner attention. Comments included, "Now that 'Produce' is going away, there will be more chances for boy groups", "It's because CJ ENM swept away all of the fame that would have been otherwise reserved for some of the smaller company groups into 'Produce'. Maybe once CJ goes bankrupt...", "Most small/medium companies have sent their trainees out on 'Produce' by now, so it's like even if they succeed in their own companies it'll all be seen as the 'Produce' effect", "Seeing this makes me realize just how badly CJ screwed up the entire idol market", and more.
So which non-big-3 agency boy group do netizens want to see "make it" big next? Fans shared, "TOMORROW x TOGETHER has the highest chance, but at the same time it's kind of difficult to consider them from a 'small or medium-sized company' at this point keke", "I'm looking forward to TXT making it big in the next comeback or so", "I love VERIVERY, can they please succeed TT", "VERIVERY has the most clear concept of all the new age groups", "SF9, let's get 1st place no matter what next time TT", "I hope ONF is the next group to get big, love their songs", "B1A4 I love you guys forever TT, ONF you can do it too!", "I think SF9 can succeed soon, with Rowoon in the group and all", "I've heard TXT and ATEEZ mentioned a lot these days, maybe they're the next new age groups", "TXT and ATEEZ have 1st place on 'M! Countdown' under their belts so they're the ones to watch out for next year", and more!
Which new age K-Pop boy groups are you cheering for?