Cover Aespa (Photo: SM Entertainment)

These entertainment agencies have moulded, trained, and introduced the biggest names and groups in South Korea's music industry. Read on to know more about them

There are no signs of K-pop fever slowing down with new groups and music releases year after year. It would be no surprise to know that K-pop entertainment companies are reporting all-time high profits as more groups gain popularity worldwide.

This global exposure is strengthened by groups like BTS who in 2019, became the first Korean musical performer on SNL. In 2020, the boy group also released their disco-style single Dynamite and went number one on both Billboard Global 200 and Billboard Global US charts. Today, hits like Butter, Permission to Dance, and their Coldplay collab, My Universe, continue to dominate the airwaves.

See Also: ARMYs Rejoice: BTS to Hold First Live US Concert in Two Years This November 2021

Girl group Blackpink is also gaining fans worldwide as the girls endorse high-end clothing brands like Dior (Jisoo), Prada (Lisa), Saint Laurent (Rosé), and Chanel (Jennie). These accomplishments show that South Korea's main assets continue to thrive, inspiring more agencies to be on the prowl for new talents.

But who are the agencies in question? In this article, Tatler lists four of the biggest companies in South Korea's music industry. 

See also: Manila Will Have Its Own Korea Town: Here's What We Know So Far

1. HYBE (Formerly Big Hit Entertainment)

Founder: Bang Si-Hyuk

Year Founded: February 1, 2005

Who are they: Formerly known as Big Hit Entertainment, HYBE was a very small company and was even on the brink of bankruptcy in 2007. However, everything changed when it created the BTS, one of the biggest boy groups of all time.

BTS is a seven-member boy band composed of Jungkook (main vocals), V (vocals), Park Ji-min (lead vocalist), Suga (rapper), Jin (vocals), RM (rapper and group leader), and J-Hope (rapper and lead dancer). The group worked tirelessly to produce albums that would later on sell millions. The group's videos are also among the most-watched clips on YouTube.

Most Popular Artists: BTS, Tomorrow x Together, NU'EST, Seventeen, and more. 

Related: HYBE Corporation: Why Is Big Hit Entertainment Changing Its Name? 

2. JYP

Founder: J.Y. Park

Year Founded: May 1997

Who are they: JYP prides itself on having been able to make the careers of K-pop icons such as the Wonder Girls and Miss A. As of this post, the company's official YouTube channel enjoys the support of more than 19.7 million subscribers. JYP is also the team behind the beloved girl group TWICE which has now over 22 million followers on Twitter and Instagram combined.

Most Popular Artists: Wonder Girls, Miss A, TWICE, ITZY, Stray Kids, GOT7, Bae Suzy, and more.

More from Tatler: Red Velvet, Twice, And More: 5 K Pop Girl Groups To Watch Out For This 2021

3. SM

Founder: Lee Soo-man

Year Founded: February 14, 1995

Who are they: SM Entertainment is an independent South Korean record label, talent agency, producer, and pop music publisher. "SM" is an abbreviation of the agency founder's name, (Soo-man), but now stands for "Star Museum". The label is among the formerly called 'Big Three' in K-pop together with YG and JYP, just before HYBE shot to fame.

Most Popular Artists: Aespa, NCT, EXO, Red Velvet, SM Town, Super Junior, Girls' Generation, SHINee, and more.

Read also: Red Velvet’s Joy Is Selected As Tod’s New Brand Ambassador

4. YG

Founder: Yang Hyun-suk

Year Founded: March 1996

Who are they: YG is a record label, talent agency, event management, and concert production company which also handles a number of subsidiary ventures like YG Plus. Despite the company's success with launching artists like 2NE1's Minzy, Park Bom, CL, and Sandara Park; and performers such as Nam Tae-hyun, Lee Jong-suk, Psy, Seungri, B.I, One, and Blackpink, the agency continues to draw flak for allegedly mistreating its talents.

Most Popular Artists: Blackpink, 2NE1, Psy, Lee Jong-suk, iKon, Winner, TREASURE, Big Bang, G-Dragon, and more.


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