Source: YG Family
Source: YG Family
If we’re talking K-pop, 2014 belonged to YG. While the competition suffered from crumbling groups and lawsuit mutinies, YG Entertainment made it tough to count all the ways they got it right. The rapidly diversifying record label’s eighteenth year in business saw it elevate to full-blown conglomerate status, with subsidiary brands like NONAGON marking auspicious debuts in the cosmetics and fashion industries, not to mention YG benefiting from Samsung backing and cosigns courtesy of Swarovski and Milan shopping complex 10 Corso Como. Continue reading
Korea and Japan aren’t the only countries in Asia with pop music markets, you know. The problem for China is that demand for its own homegrown Mandopop and Cantopop (Mandarin and Cantonese-language pop music, respectively) is not nearly as high at home as that for its more popular Korean neighbors and the music it produces. Chinese web giant Tencent stands to make a huge profit by entering a deal with Korean music label YG Entertainment—home to stars such as Psy, Big Bang and 2NE1—for sole distribution of some of Korea’s biggest acts online to the world’s largest population (from The Hollywood Reporter).
“YG Entertainment has a talented portfolio of artists and this strategic partnership will instantly offer Korean fans in China a stream of high-quality music, songs and MVs [music videos],” said Tencent vice president Dowson Tong in a statement. “We look forward to launching exclusive YG content across our extensive services and raising our users’ experience to whole new levels.”
It’s a move similar to the deals that make Vevo the major provider of official music videos to services such as YouTube. The difference for YG is that China takes a much more hands-on approach to moderating content on video services such as YouTube, which helps prevent illegal versions of songs —which don’t result in royalty payments to performers—from being posted (but then again outright piracy in China is out of control).
Other hot products in China are Korean soap operas and fashions stemming from K-Pop. Tencent can’t do much about the clothes but be on the lookout for deals with Korean television producers with regards to streaming rights.
Source: Music Times
Let’s be real; the house that Yang Hyun Suk built wins every year. But 2014 felt like a monumental year for the K-pop powerhouse. YG stans unite; haters step back. Let’s take a look at ways YG Entertainment won in 2014.
1.Taking more risks with music videos
What’s K-pop without music videos? YG artists have always pushed the envelope with their visuals. But in 2014, we saw the label challenge the industry and even fans’ expectations. Through collaborations with director Dee Shin, we got social commentary in the form of a near-future dystopia in 2NE1’s “Come Back Home,” a coming-of-age short film that could’ve debuted at a film festival in Akdong Musician’s “Melted,” and a whole series of teasers for Winner which referenced everything from Taxi Driver to French New Wave directors like Jean Luc Godard. More recently, Epik High linked with acclaimed visual artists DigiPedi to explore a vertical format video for a mobile phone generation.
2. Utilizing untapped talents
Taeyang’s always been able to throw down in the dance realm, but fans were treated to something special with the choreography video to “Ringa Linga.” And it was a certified hit, garnering even more YouTube views then the actual music video. We also saw CL, the leader of 2NE1, penning her own songs, creating one of the biggest hits off of 2NE1’s Crush with “MTBD.”
3. Introducing Winner
If you want to talk about untapped talents, you can look no further than the stable of work-hard hopefuls in YG’s idol trainee program. With the reality survival competition show Who Is Next?, these no-names came out of these dark, sweaty practice rooms and into the hearts of a whole new generation of screaming fangirls. The debut album of the newly-established boyband Winner was delayed, but it met with critical and chart-topping success.
4. Setting IKON up for success
The future of the losing team of Who Is Next? was uncertain with the conclusion of the program, but YG followed the show up with another show to appease the aching hearts of “Team B” fangirls, and IKON was created. Some viewers have cried troll as he introduced elimination rounds, playing with the emotions of both fans and group members alike. But at the end of the day, it was great marketing and incited more fan support for a group that fought through two competitions for the right to debut. Also,they picked up a new group maknae in actor-turned-singer Jung Chanwoo, who proved he could hang with the group and pick up ice creams.
5. Letting Bobby show and prove
B.I. is the leader of IKON, but the breakout star of 2014 is Bobby. Fans were introduced to the aggressive rapper as a soft-spoken idol trainee who missed his mom. But on top of the aforementioned reality shows, Bobby was thrown into the fierce rap showdown known as Show Me The Money 3, taking home the win and bringing credibility back to the “idol rapper” title. Since then, he’s had chart-topping hits like “Go” that regularly bang in Korean clubs and was also named a GQ Korea Man of the Year.
6. Solidifying its presence globally
Korean media loves to play up the Hallyu wave and K-pop’s importance in the world’s collective consciousness, but this year it’s been hard to dispute, especially in the arena of fashion. G-Dragon did his usual style guy thing by appearing on the cover of Hypebeast magazine earlier this year, and 2NE1 was all in that Alexander Wang x H&M launch earlier this month. But Louis Vuitton reportedly invested $80 million in the YG brand. (Editor’s note: NONA9ON also happened this year, but its official debut comes in 2015).
Outside of fashion, PSY scored another hit with “Hangover,” accompanied by none other than Snoop Dogg. It was no “Gangnam Style,” but it still got over 100 million views and exposed the world to soju bombs and partying with ajummas. Like, that really happened. Next year looks to be no different as 2NE1’s leader CL looks to debut stateside with Justin Bieber’s manager, Scooter Braun. Unnieeeeeeeyo!
7. Bringing the hits, hits, and more hits
All these factors are great, but when it comes down to it, it’s about the music right?
The releases from the YG label have all been so different yet all successful in their own right. The secret may be in YG allowing artists to do them. This rings especially true when it comes to groups who were formed outside the label, like Akdong Musician, who didn’t change their playful folk sound with their debut album PLAY or Epik High, who were told to record their latest, Shoebox, outside the YG facilities to avoid any influence on their sound.
The label’s concept of family also pops up again and again as the label head creates “units” from time to time, pairing up singers from different groups with solo artists. Hi Suhyun just dropped their single “I’m Different” featuring Bobby, who also appears in the Masta Wu song alongside SMTM3 mentor Dok2 in “Come Here.” Finally, who can ignore the success of G-Dragon and Taeyang’s latest chart-topper “Good Boy”?
Longstanding acts can’t be ignored in this realm either, as 2NE1’s album Crush was the highest-selling Korean album on the Billboard 200 charts. Big Bang’s Taeyang saw similar success for Rise as the highest solo Korean act on the Billboard 200, making the album title more like prophecy than anything.
With rumors of a new girl group, the debut of IKON, and the feverish anticipation growing for Big Bang’s comeback, 2015 looks like another banner year for the CEO of YG and his signature cap. What are your predictions for the coming year?
2014 YG FAMILY CONCERT IN SEOUL LIVE CD releases on November 28th. Pre-order starts on November 21st to November 27th. The package contains 3CDs and photo book with 200 pages.
Get your own and feel the POWER of 2014 YG FAMILY CONCERT IN SEOUL!
YG Entertainment’s high profile K-pop acts were welcomed by 23,000 fans in Taiwan. The country was the last stop for their “YG FAMILY CONCERT” this year. The concert ended last October 25 at the Taoyuan County Stadium.
The Korean label’s series of concert took place in five countries including Korea, China, Japan, Singapore, and Taiwan. YG artists performed a total of 10 shows in the concert tour, entertaining about 400,000 fans.
The concert opened with phenomenal idol girl group 2NE1, KpopStars reports. The group performed their hit songs, “Crush,” “Fire,” and “Come Back Home” among others. CL, Dara, Bom, and Minzy wowed the crowd with their powerful performances.
Alternative hip-hop group Epik High brought the party feel to the event by performing their songs “Fly” “Get out of the Day,” and “Love Love Love.”
YG’s rookie group WINNER also performed before the screaming fans. They performed “Go Up,” “Empty,” and “Smile Again.”
Meanwhile, Big Bang’s performance was received with much applause. Dressed in shiny gold suits, the group performed their songs “Haru Haru,” “Bad Boy” and the highly energetic “Fantastic Baby.” Fans of the K-pop idol group also prepared a special event for Big Bang’s T.O.P who will be celebrating his birthday on November 4.
Globally popular Psy, who is also managed by YG Entertainment, appeared in the concert. The 36-year-old “Hangover” singer performed his hit songs “Gangnam Style,” “Gentleman,” and “Right Now.” Psy also communicated with the crowd in Chinese.
The artists also presented collaboration stages. Big Bang’s G-Dragon and 2NE1’s CL performed a different version of the latter’s hit song “The Baddest Female.” 2NE1’s Dara and WINNER’s Song Min Ho sang their own version of “Doom Da Da” by Big Bang’s T.O.P.
Bigbangupdates.com also reported other collaborations during the event. Big Bang’s Daesung and WINNER’s Kang Seung Yoon sang 2NE1’s “Ugly,” while Epik High and Taeyang performed the latter’s hit song “Eyes, Nose, Lips.”
The concert lasted for four hours with the YG artists performing around 40 songs. There were also many encore songs requested by the fans in attendance.
The event ended with the artists thanking fans and singing Psy’s “Gangnam Style” altogether.
Want China Times reported that Psy and his fellow YG artists left the country the day following their concert. Psy, together with his label mates, was seen at the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport waving at fans.
Source: Venture Capital Post