There's a renewed buzz around BLACKPINK's 'together yet apart' strategy, which involves members pursuing individual paths while maintaining group activities. Both titles - as a complete four-member BLACKPINK and as solo artists originating from BLACKPINK - have their pros and cons for the four artists moving forward.
On November 20th, a media outlet reported that the four members of BLACKPINK are in final discussions to renew their contract with YG Entertainment for group activities. It's understood that not all members have signed the group activity contract yet. However, YG stated, "Nothing has been decided yet, and discussions are ongoing."
BLACKPINK debuted on August 8, 2016. As they entered their seventh year, there was heightened interest regarding their re-signing with YG. However, both YG and BLACKPINK have not clearly revealed their stance on the renewal and negotiation status.
Since August, YG has been repeatedly stating that they are 'in discussions.' After their concert at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul last September, there have been no official schedules involving all four members together. Even at that concert, Jennie's comment of "We will continue to be a great BLACKPINK" was the only mention, with no reference to contract renewals. However, YG left some room in their third-quarter report (as of September 30) by including BLACKPINK under the exclusive contract status.
Currently, all four members Jennie, Jisoo, Rosé, and Lisa are focusing on individual activities. Rosé recently attended an event for spouses of world leaders at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit hosted by Jill Biden, the First Lady of the United States. The event aimed to raise awareness about mental health issues. Rosé is also the only one among them releasing a season's greetings. Jennie has confirmed her appearance in a new variety show 'Apartment 404' with Yoo Jae-suk. It's noteworthy whether Jennie, who has rarely been in fixed variety show roles, will expand her variety activities. Jisoo made a special appearance in the recently released film 'Cheonbaksaji Exorcism Institute: Secret of Snowscape.' Lisa caused controversy by appearing in an R-rated cabaret show.
Each of the four members holds significant fandom and influence as solo artists, even without the name BLACKPINK. Should they choose 'their own paths,' they will be guaranteed freedom in their activities. They can continue their careers in the entertainment industry according to 'their own plans,' not 'the company's plans.' However, they will have to forego the synergy they have when they are together. The size of their fandom may also decrease compared to when all four members are united.
One option for YG might be to let go of BLACKPINK, who have become too big to control. Allowing them to leave the 'parental home' and find their own colors. However, this would lead to a short-term reduction in profits. BLACKPINK has been a major source of revenue for YG. Although there is the boy group TREASURE, they haven't reached the level of BLACKPINK, and the new girl group BABYMONSTER is just about to debut.
Amidst this, BLACKPINK won the 'Top K-Pop Touring Artist' award at the 2023 Billboard Music Awards held today. This win reflects BLACKPINK's continued prominence in the global market, highlighting the intrinsic brand value of the name BLACKPINK. This might be why both parties are hesitant to make a swift decision regarding their contract renewal.