Leading 3rd generation girl groups are showing divergent paths regarding contract renewals. BLACKPINK's future with YG Entertainment remains uncertain, and the prospects for Red Velvet's complete group activities are also unclear. This contrasts sharply with TWICE, who all renewed their contracts last summer.
YG Entertainment's flagship group, BLACKPINK, is shrouded in uncertainty regarding contract renewals. Despite all members' contracts expiring last August, there are only rumors of individual members starting their own agencies or leaving the group. Recent solo activities, such as Jennie's solo album release, Jisoo's acting comeback, and Lisa's appearance on a French adult show, have fueled speculation about the group's future.
However, recent appearances of all members at a state banquet in Buckingham Palace and updates to YG's profile page have sparked optimism about their future activities. With YG's new girl group, Baby Monster, not yet making a significant impact, BLACKPINK remains irreplaceable as YG's global stars. Therefore, YG's stock fluctuates with every news about BLACKPINK's contract situation.
Nine years into their career, Red Velvet's future as a complete group is also in question. Seulgi is the only member who has finished renewing her contract. Irene, Joy, Wendy, and Yeri have yet to finalize their contracts, and some members are approaching the end of their current deals.
Red Velvet's recent comeback with the 3rd album 'Feel My Rhythm' was overshadowed by rumors of disbandment. Although SM Entertainment dismissed these rumors as related to the album's concept, fans remain anxious.
Comparatively, Red Velvet's global fanbase is smaller than BLACKPINK's. While BLACKPINK continues to be a major revenue source for YG, Red Velvet has yet to make significant strides in Western charts like Billboard. However, they recently showed potential with their mini-album 'The ReVe Festival 2022-Feel My Rhythm' achieving million-seller status and increasing global outreach.
As successors to Girls' Generation and f(x), Red Velvet represents SM Entertainment's unique style. Kim Do-hoon, a pop culture critic, noted Red Velvet's unique worldview as a significant draw for fans. A failure to renew contracts or potential disbandment could significantly shake their fandom.
In contrast, TWICE, another top 3rd generation girl group, completed their contract renewals last summer. JYP Entertainment announced, "Based on mutual trust, we are confident about TWICE's further growth as K-pop's leading girl group." The renewals seemed grounded in mutual trust among members and the agency. JYP's CCO, Park Jin-young, recently shared, "Honestly speaking, the nine members don't fight and still care for each other."
Cultural critic Ha Jae-keun suggests, "The decision to renew contracts involves various factors, but the members' willingness to continue as a group is paramount. The outcomes of BLACKPINK and Red Velvet's contract renewals will likely have significant implications."