The Korea Herald


SM, YG Entertainment’s K-pop groups benefit from troubles at Hybe

By Kim Jae-heun

Published : May 23, 2024 - 15:47

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Aespa (SM Entertainment) Aespa (SM Entertainment)

SM Entertainment and YG Entertainment are benefiting from Hybe’s momentary breakdown, as the rival companies’ K-pop groups are successfully wresting the spotlight from Hybe artists.

In a private mobile message between Hybe Chairman Bang Si-hyuk and Ador CEO Min Hee-jin, which was disclosed by Min following their fallout last month, Bang demanded that Min “crush” SM Entertainment’s popular girl band aespa.

Exactly the opposite has unfolded since the message was made public. Bang’s belligerant remark was met with public dislike and led to an interest in support for aespa.

When aespa released the music video for “Supernova” last week, an online community of K-pop fans posted comments such as “Aespa is crushing the music chart,” and “I love SM for always coming up with unique and experimental concepts that you can’t just copy like some company.”

Aespa’s new title song is currently on a record-breaking streak, topping the Top 100 and Hot 100 charts at Melon, the country’s largest online music streaming service, as well as its daily chart, as of May 23. It even topped the daily K-pop chart on China's Tencent Music platform, Thursday.

“There are a number of comments and memes about Bang’s remark concerning aespa that are making rounds on social media. It is definitely helping the girl group draw attention to their new song 'Supernova',” an industry official said, Thursday.

Babymonster (YG Entertainment) Babymonster (YG Entertainment)

Meanwhile, YG Entertainment’s rookie girl band Babymonster, which debuted last November with the expectation that it would be the next Blackpink, failed to rise to stardom. Their debut single "Batter Up" was criticized for lack of originality and lackluster performances.

However, when Le Sserafim, Hybe’s girl band under another sublabel Source Music, was blasted for poor live vocals at Coachella in April, K-pop fans began to look anew at Babymonster.

The group's new single “Sheesh" failed to make it to Melon's Top 100 Chart upon its release on April 1 as it faced severe competition from Hybe's rookie groups like TWS and Illit. However, it recently climbed back to No. 11 on the same chart (as of Thursday), after the controversy surrounding Le Sserifim’s performance at the US music festival grew.

“Other entertainment companies’ K-pop groups are definitely benefiting from the ongoing issues at Hybe. Chairman Bang’s remark targeting aespa worked to unite aespa fans. Babymonster, too, was given another chance after the member's vocal skills were compared to those of Le Sserafim recently,” culture critic Jeong Deok-hyeon told the Korea Herald, Thursday.