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Posted by haydn-an AKP STAFF 8 days ago

Small to midsize entertainment companies are struggling and having difficulties staying afloat due to the COVID19 pandemic

AKP STAFF

On the surface, the COVID19 pandemic didn't seem to affect the Kpop industry as BTS swept up the Billboard charts and Kpop continues its popularity globally.

However, there is a part of the entertainment industry in the dark shadows where the COVID19 has taken a great toll. As events and festivals are canceled one after another, small and medium-sized companies are at a crossroads as new idol groups postpone their debut.

The idol group 'Black Swan' has been waiting for their debut but it has been postponed indefinitely as performances have come to a stop due to the coronavirus.

The idol members of 'Black Swan' have stated they have to spend every single day with an uncertain future because their debut date has become uncertain. They state that they are nervous and anxious as they do not know what will become of their future. One member stated, "I don't have any other skills. I only have experience with singing and dancing so I have to be successful here."

DR Music CEO, Yoon Deung Ryong stated, "99% of small-sized agencies like us are almost bankrupt, it's difficult to stay afloat day by day. It's really threatening our livelihood. You can see that it costs approximately 20 to 30 million KRW ($17,000 to $25,600) a month while preparing the group. We're almost running out of funds."

These idols who have dreamed of becoming a singer since they were in their teens are now waiting until the Coronavirus pandemic comes to an end. It's an indefinite wait time until these new idol groups can make their debut. Other idol groups who have already made their debut from a small to a midsize company are also having difficulties during the pandemic. Most of these idol groups have fans overseas and most of their income comes from overseas performances.

However, overseas performances have been all canceled due to COVID19.

Idol groups ICU and Chic Angel are among the groups that have been heavily affected by the pandemic. One member stated, "We had overseas performances scheduled throughout the year but all got canceled so this year just blew away. I feel we couldn't keep our promise with our fans."


These two idol groups are struggling to survive as they joined together for a project group. They stated they are able to make their name known through promotions at festivals and live performances. However, already 30 events have been canceled this month.

Another member stated, "My parents are very worried about me. They call me often asking how I'm doing. I'm very upset since we can't promote at this time."

BTS has generated 25 Billion KRW ($21.3 million) from just one online performance. However, this is the story for only the top 1% of the idols with huge fandoms. The idol groups from small to medium-sized companies are able to gain income, traction, and recognition from participating in festivals and performances. However, these groups are not able to do that.

There have been 34 agencies that have closed since March of this year due to the COVID19 pandemic.

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trogdorthe8th8,823 pts 8 days ago 0
8 days ago

A part of me feels for small businesses, because it would be unfair to make a blanket statement saying all of them are bad in the K-pop industry. However, I would hope that perhaps this would be able to weed out many of the seedier companies that pop up and take advantage of young people trying to make it. We've seen it happen so much, which is why the market is so heavily saturated with groups from start ups hoping to find the next BTS or Twice. They give their artists nothing, expect them to contribute even more with their own finances and then expect them to just blow up and make money for the company. Unfortunately with the market the way it is there's no favoritism between 'good' or 'bad' small businesses.

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Secretninja3123,986 pts 8 days ago 1
8 days ago

One of my mom's friend said it best about this year when it comes to small businesses/companies: 2020 isn't about making profit. At this point, its just about surviving.

Unfortunately, it seems to ring the same with small entertainment companies. The Kpop industry is oversaturated and highly competitive. The larger companies have the fundings to stay afloat. Small companies often put all their money towards debuting their one group in hopes they'll hit it big from the start, but unfortunately, most don't. Larger companies can afford to provide a new group with a few more comeback in hopes of them being able to rise but small companies don't have the luxury. And that's even worse this year since many events and concerts have been canceled. Plus with places still enforcing social distancing and people generally not going out, it makes busking hard as well.

On a different note, isn't Black Swan "B.S" aka Rania that they renamed? Frankly I'm surprised that company hasn't gone bankrupt years ago.

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