As K-pop’s status in the global music market has increased, K-pop fans’ expectations are continuing for the debut of new groups. Among them, those who are receiving the most attention are the so-called “Big 4” idol groups from large entertainment companies. This year, HYBE, SM Entertainment, and JYP Entertainment each launched new idol groups and began a full-fledged “battle for success.” In the case of YG Entertainment, it is expected to focus its efforts on expanding the presence of BABYMONSTER, which debuted at the end of last year.
The first runner in the debut of a new talent under a large agency is the new boy group TWS, launched by Pledis Entertainment under HYBE. TWS, scheduled to debut on January 22, is the first byo group to debut through Pledis nine years after SEVENTEEN. TWS, which dropped a pre-release single, “Ohmama: 7s,” made a mark on global K-pop fans, and plans to focus its activities on “Boyhood Pop”, an independent genre expanded from the team’s identity.
Upcoming global girl groups KATSEYE and I’LL-IT is also expected to debut this year. In particular, in the case of KATSEYE, given that they are HYBE’s first global group to produced specifically targeting global markets such as the United States, curiosity within and outside the industry is focused on the results they will achieve.
SM Entertainment, which launched the SM 3.0 era last year and operated a multi-production center system, is also expected to accelerate its efforts by launching a girl group and a boy group respectively this year. The boy group scheduled to debut first is the last subgroup of NCT, whose debut group was confirmed through a survival program aired last year. Having already completed 24 pre-debut tours in nine cities in Japan, they plan to make their official debut in the first half of this year and form the top two new SM boy groups along with RIIZE.
In the case of a new girl group that was initially preparing to debut in the fourth quarter of last year, the debut period has been delayed and is expected that they will debut this year. If the new girl group debuts this year as expected, it will be SM’s first new girl group in three years since aespa. Although there is no specific information yet about the member composition, team name, or debut period, SM previously described them as “a new group that will join SM 3.0 as a team that will show various talents and charms.” Recently, trainees that were believed to be members of the girl group were captured on social media under the SM Artist Development Center, drawing the attention of fans. Many are paying attention to whether they can achieve meaningful results in the saturated new girl group market.
JYP Entertainment will officially launch the global girl group VCHA on January 26 and enter the global girl group market ahead of HYBE. The team was created through a global girl group launching project jointly presented by JYP and Republic Records, an American subsidiary of Universal Music. The group was formed at the end of the project last September and released pre-debut singles.
YG Entertainment is expected to do its best to solidify the position of the new girl group BABYMONSTER, which debuted at the end of last year. Recently, YG’s general producer Yang Hyun Seok announced his intention to accelerate more aggressive promotions through a video announcing the group’s future activity plans. Accordingly, they plan to release its second new song, “Stuck in the Middle” on February 1 and release its first mini-album in April, accelerating its efforts to quickly gain a foothold in the new girl group market. Recently, BLACKPINK, the flagship girl group, signed a renewal contract limited to group activities, making it urgent to foster a new flagship girl group. Attention is focused on what kind of results YG will achieve through the new comeback.