why some fans are freaking out over ‘SM with HYBE’ kpop news
Latest news from EMOTIONALthe acquisition of shares little entertainment sent shockwaves through the K-pop industry. As SM is not the first label to join HYBE’s stock portfolio (with Pledi’s entertainment etc source music also part of the multi-label company), this latest development has raised concerns about creating a potential monopoly in the industry.
But what does “monopoly” really mean in the context of K-pop, and what does it mean for fans and artists?
A monopoly is a situation where one company or entity controls a particular market or industry. This means they have no real competition and are able to set prices and make decisions without too much conflict.
Monopolies can take many forms, from tech giants like Google etc Facebook oil companies like ExxonMobil. In some cases, monopolies can actually benefit consumers because the company can produce goods or services more efficiently than any potential competitor. A company that dominates a particular market may have more resources, which could allow it to reduce costs or invest more in research and development of new products and services.
In other situations, however, monopolies can have negative effects on consumers and competitors. For example, if a company has a monopoly on a particular product, it can charge whatever it wants because consumers have no choice. This often leads to artificially inflated prices and a lack of innovation as the company has no incentive to improve its product or develop new features. In addition, monopolies can suppress competition and prevent new companies from entering the market, which can hamper innovation and progress.
The concept of monopoly is not new to South Korea. The country’s economy is dominated by chaebols — large conglomerates with significant power and influence in their industries. Well-known companies like Samsung, lotteetc Hyundai are all drivers in the Korean market and the outlook for them is mixed.
There is no doubt that these companies have contributed significantly to economic growth and GDP. Many citizens also regard them as a source of national pride and a symbol of the country’s success. However, some still argue that they wield too much power, stifling competition and preventing small businesses from entering the market. Additionally, these potentially monopolistic companies tend to have close ties to the government, raising concerns about corruption.
In the event that HYBE acquires SM Entertainment, some fans fear the downsides of a monopoly in the K-pop industry will become a reality.
People say it’s unprofessional and not serious when it makes clear what most kpop fans have been worried about for the last year or so: hybe’s forced acquisitions of all these companies and subsidiaries will form a monopoly https://t.co/ PBBS1oJNxa
– min (@yenascape) February 20, 2023
HYBE, formerly known as Big Hit Entertainment, has been doing a bit of shopping in the past few years. Along with their recent stock acquisition of SM Entertainment, they also acquired several other companies in the K-pop industry. These include Source Music (2019), Pledis Entertainment (2020) and KOZ entertainment (2020).
So far, results from these acquisitions have been mixed. Since acquiring Source Music, HYBE has formed a new girl group by the name THE SERAFIMwhile the former company girl group AMI has since dissolved.
group of boys SEVENTEEN is still part of Pledis Entertainment and all members have renewed their contracts. Plus a group of girls opportunity_9 switched to Pledis after the takeover.
HYBE said its goal with these acquisitions is to create a “multi-label” system where each label can maintain its unique style and identity. CEO Bang Si Hyuk himself denied the monopoly allegations in an interview with CNN. Even so, some fans worry that this commitment will change over time.
A major concern seems to be how the lack of competition might affect the innovation and diversity of their artists’ music.
SM is absolutely right. Because of the hype, there will be no competition and no diversity in the industry. swallow everything like a hole https://t.co/Mu22HVb44M
— 𐰏𐰃𐰏𐰃 (@aexorator) February 20, 2023
The loss of these labels’ individuality is also of concern, as fans believe that each label’s unique identity and style could be lost or homogenized.
I mean, you’ve already seen what the HYBE effect is on Seventeen. The glow stick changes, the merchandise changes without knowing their artists, concert ticket prices, etc.
If this happens to SM artists after they’ve been taken over by HYBE, so what??? https://t.co/VaEUIBlZED
— JP | Crazy About Balls (@mingyubuns) February 20, 2023
Interestingly, fans may not be the only ones affected. In a recent post, a K-pop industry insider hinted that several SM Entertainment artists may consider leaving the company after acquiring HYBE shares.
Employees appear to share similar sentiments, with 85% of SM Entertainment employees surveyed saying they disapproved of the merger. Last month, 208 employees issued a joint statement expressing their support for SM’s current management opposing what they call HYBE.”OPA hostile“.
Why SM Opposes Hive Hostile Takeover https://t.co/fIDPaPJbti
The reason SM is against the hostile takeover of HYBE https://t.co/FrrYdV7xln #SMTOWN #SM entertainment
– SMTOWN (@SMTOWNGLOBAL) February 20, 2023
At the same time, some fans are excited about the potential benefits these acquisitions could bring to the industry. One of them could be the increased resources that artists could get under these labels. Another positive in the eyes of K-Pop fans is the possibility of more collaborations between labels, leading to more art and content.
Now I need Red Velvet, Fromis 9, Aespa, Le Sserafim, New Jeans Collab https://t.co/jcTrBXJnVu
— •~• (@giinngger) February 10, 2023
Additionally, a full merger between HYBE and SM Entertainment would, in a sense, bring K-pop back to its roots. For several generations, the industry has been dominated by the so-called “Big 3”: SM Entertainment, YG entertainmentetc JYP entertainment. These three agencies have produced some of the most popular acts in history Shinwa pour NOIRPINK pour ITZY. After the success of btsHYBE then went from an unknown agency to a major player in its own right.
Few fans objected to this three-point structure, and that stopped artists from other agencies (eg I HAVE etc MAMMOO) to see success. If HYBE fully acquired SM Entertainment, K-Pop would likely revert to a “Big 3” format, with HYBE instead of SM.
proof that mamamoo doesn’t have to be in these 3 big companies for TALENT to be successful is enough. https://t.co/o08s8XPyqE
— Maria (@FEARLESSHWASA) January 31, 2023
Anyway, with so many major labels under the HYBE umbrella, it’s natural to wonder what this could mean for the future of K-pop. Will styles and sounds really be homogenized, or will we see a new era of K-pop that’s more innovative than before? Only time can tell.