Since South Korea music market has already reached a new level, big entertainments like YG and SM are currently developing new formats of music releasing. For example, SM entertainment announced that they would start their New Culture Technology project.
In SM founder Lee Soo Man’s speech, every week SM entertainment will release a new single performed by the singers from SM entertainment from 2016.
“The goal is to bring together, not only, collaborations with SM artists but also artists, producers, composers, and company brands outside of the SM label to create a multitude of new music”, according to officiallykmusic.com.
I haven’t had many studies in SM entertainment’s new plan so today I would like to focus on another biggest Korean music entertainment, YG, ’s new project. Their new music-releasing project started from April 2015, when Big Bang announced their coming back.
In the previous K-POP market, musicians always prepared the album for a long time and then came back with one album. Normally there is only one song as the hit song (sometimes there is a second promotional song after the hit song). It is very difficult for the singer to present the whole album to the audience and the singer’s hard working couldn’t be seen.
This is absolutely a waste of singers and composers’ talent. Unlike most of K-POP entertainments, YG has a lot of singers who are not only idols, but also composers. Thus, the company needs to develop a new way that can maximize the popularity of every single song. That’s why Big Bang came back with their M.A.D.E album(s).
I add “s” because this album was divided into 4 parts, which of them included two singles. Four parts are released on the first day of every month from May to September and they performed the hit songs on music TV shows every week. The advantage of this format is that every song gets the chance to be presented to the audience.
This project did increase the popularity of the album. As of December 5, 2015, Big Bang’s MADE album music videos have a total of over 350 million views. On YouTube, Big Bang’s recent music videos (starting May) have a total of over 265 million views. (Wikipedia)
In February, Big Bang’s junior group, Winner, came back with their new album E.X.I.T. The group adopted the format of Big Bang’s M.A.D.E album. Recently they are advertising the first part of the album – “Exit Movement: E”.
As you can see from the track list, Winner members took part in the making of songs.
Back to 2010, YG’s girl group 2NE1 actually has already tried this project, though the album was not divided into several parts. The girls released three main songs (“Clap your hands”, “Go Away” and “Can’t Nobody”) in 3 days and two songs won first prizes. Two months later, “It Hurts” was released as a promotional song. They tried generalizing more songs in one album and this album helped the girls become one of the most famous girl groups in Korea.
CD generation is gradually walking away from people and more people start to accept digital media player. Dividing the album into several parts and releasing them as digital mini albums is a wise decision. Only artists who adapt to this change can survive in music industries.