We launched ‘Boys Planet,’ ‘Boys Fantasy,’ ‘Peak Time,’ ‘Universe Ticket,’ etc.
According to the Korea Customs Service’s import and export trade statistics, last year’s album exports were $233,113,000 (approximately 289.5 billion won), an increase of 5.6% from the previous year. Korea’s record exports have grown yearly since exceeding $40 million for the first time in 2017, exceeding $100 million and $200 million in 2020 and 2021, respectively. In the background of this growth, the activities of idols led by BTS were great.
The recent frantic search for a new idol group in the music industry is in line with the globalized K-pop market. Auditions are held one after another, centered on large music companies and broadcasting companies that have focused on the diversity of genres for a while and produced audition programs such as trot, Korean traditional music, and bands are also relaunching idol auditions.
First, SM Entertainment selects new faces of SM through a large-scale global audition. Starting with Seoul on the 28th of this month, auditions will be held in Busan, Daegu, Gwangju, and Daejeon. Active artists such as Red Velvet’s Wendy and Joy, NCT’s Johnny, and Yuta Ten Mark were produced before this audition.
JYP Entertainment is also embarking on a journey to find talent to succeed in its artists, such as 2 PM, Twice, ITZY, Stray Kids, and Enmix. From the 28th of this month to February 19th, the 17th open audition will be held in 6 cities in Korea. 2 PM’s Wooyoung, TWICE’s Nayeon and Jeongyeon, Stray Kids’ Seungmin, and Xdinary Heroes’ Jeongsu are currently active under JYP through this open recruitment audition.
The broadcasting industry also took steps to select K-pop idols. This year’s first idol audition program is Mnet’s ‘Boys Planet’ (first broadcast on February 2nd). This program is a follow-up to ‘Girls Planet 999: Girls Daejeon’, which gave birth to the girl group Kepler. K Group, a group of Korean trainees, and G Group, a group of global trainees, gather to challenge to debut as a worldwide K-pop boy group.
Subsequently, on the 15th of the same month, JTBC will air the idol audition program ‘Peak Time.’ This program differentiates itself from other programs. For the first time in idol audition history, auditions are held as a ‘team match,’ and boy groups that have already debuted compete for the World Wide Idol position. So far, various groups have participated, from boy groups such as BTL, Romeo, Mask, and IN2IT, including 24K, which debuted in 2012, and ATBO, Dignity, Daydream, and Amos, which debuted last year. Attention is focused on the competition that will be held while doing it.
A follow-up to MBC’s ‘After School Excitement,’ which debuted by the girl group Klasi last year, ‘Boys Fantasy After School Excitement Season 2’ (from now on referred to as ‘Boys Fantasy’) is also about to be aired. About 1,000 trainees from Korea, Japan, China, Thailand, and the United States have applied to participate in the program, directed by PD Han Dong-Chul, who also created ‘Show Me the Money’ and ‘Unpretty Rapstar.’
Following the first half of this year, idol auditions are expected to continue in the second half of this year. SBS announced plans to showcase a girl group selection program in partnership with F&F Entertainment. To air in the year’s second half, the global girl group audition program ‘Universe Ticket’ (subtitle: Miracle of 82) has begun production.
This program, led by PD Lee Hwan-jin, who directed SBS’ ‘Running Man’ and ‘Loud,’ depicts the journey of 82 trainees going through missions for 82 days and being born into an 8-member group. The selected groups plan to expand their scope of activity by working in both natural and virtual spaces.
The movement to actively accept foreign members in the composition of idol group members is also a change following the globalization of K-pop.
An official from the music industry said, “There was an atmosphere of hesitation in recruiting foreign members due to various problems, including Corona 19 for a while, but as K-pop’s globalization began in earnest, the trend is to consider recruiting foreign members again actively.”
It is because we can look at foreign talents to meet more diverse candidates and attract the fandom of foreign members in our country.”