The anticipation for YG Entertainment's new girl group, BabyMonster, is growing day by day. Once heralded as YG's secret weapon for the future, BabyMonster is increasingly seen as the savior to pull YG out of its current predicament, especially with BLACKPINK's contract renewal hanging in the balance. However, the debut of BabyMonster still seems uncertain.
Comprising members Ruka, Pharita, Asa, Ahyeon, Haram, Rora, and Chiquita, BabyMonster is YG's first girl group in seven years since BLACKPINK. The group garnered immense attention and expectations through their debut survival show "Last Evolution." While some members were initially expected to be eliminated from the debut lineup, fervent support from fans ensured a seven-member debut.
Even before their official debut, BabyMonster has achieved significant milestones, surpassing 3 million YouTube subscribers and 50 million views for their pre-debut song "Dream." They have been praised as YG's secret weapon for the future, especially with the return of Yang Hyun-suk, the executive producer, taking the lead in their debut project. The expectations for BabyMonster to emerge as a monster rookie are soaring.
Amid these expectations, BabyMonster has evolved into a potential lifeline for YG Entertainment, especially with the ongoing delay in BLACKPINK's contract renewal.
BLACKPINK, having celebrated their 7th debut anniversary in August, is now approaching the time for contract renewals. Since last year, the renewal status of BLACKPINK has been a critical factor determining YG's future direction. However, even after their 7th anniversary, there's no news on their contract renewal. Instead, rumors persist that some members might leave YG. Detailed accounts of these rumors continue to emerge, and while YG consistently emphasizes that "nothing has been confirmed," such rumors have been affecting the company's stock prices.
BLACKPINK's significance to YG is paramount. According to Hanwha Investment & Securities, BLACKPINK accounts for 75% of YG's projected concert attendees and 63% of album sales in 2023. Their contribution to operating profit is estimated to be over 85%. The best scenario would be to renew contracts with all BLACKPINK members and continue their growth trajectory. However, there's a need to diversify and reduce reliance on BLACKPINK. For this, the success of BabyMonster is crucial.
The issue remains that BabyMonster's debut date is still undecided. YG announced on July 11th that BabyMonster's debut song would be a powerful hip-hop track, with the debut set for September after completing choreography and music video production. However, as September ends, there's still no specific schedule. Considering holidays and promotional periods, it's uncertain if BabyMonster will debut in October.
This situation is reminiscent of YG's previous debut group, TREASURE. Born from the survival show "YG Treasure Box," TREASURE faced member changes and multiple situations that delayed their debut. As a result, the winners of the 2018 show only debuted in 2020. The longer the gap between the end of a survival show and the actual debut, the more the fandom's cohesion can wane. This could still apply to BabyMonster.
There are already speculations, as some members have been absent from group schedules, raising questions about the possibility of a seven-member debut. With both expectations and pressures on their shoulders, when will BabyMonster finally debut? The golden time is ticking away.