K-Pop

94.2 Million Subscribers: Fans Await ‘Full BLACKPINK’

Fans hope BLACKPINK to mạe a comeback as a full group

K-Pop history’s most successful girl group, Blackpink, has been inactive for 10 months. Well-trained junior girl groups are clamoring for the “post-Blackpink” era, but Blackpink’s stronghold remains strong, with the most YouTube subscribers (94.2 million) among artists worldwide, surpassing even K-Pop groups. The members, who are each active individually after signing with new agencies, still have a strong influence, but the fandom’s longing for a “complete Blackpink” is growing deeper.

Blackpink, 4 members, 4 colors… Different choices

The four members of Blackpink signed a “group activity” re-contract with YG Entertainment in December last year. Since then, they have each gone their own way.

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Jennie, Lisa, and Jisoo each established their own independent labels, Odd Atelier, LLOUD, and BLISSOO, respectively. Rosé, on the other hand, joined The Black Label, led by Blackpink’s well-known producer Teddy, last month.

Their directions are also different. Jennie, who had a strong “mystery” strategy during her YG days, is expanding her interaction with the public. She has appeared on TV shows such as tvN’s “Apartment 404” and KBS 2TV’s “The Seasons” as she tries her hand at variety shows, and she featured on Zico’s new song “Any Song,” which topped the Billboard World Digital Song Sales chart, once again showing her influence. She also expanded her range of activities by hosting a listening party for global pop star Billie Eilish, who visited Korea last month.

Lisa is focusing on her music career. Her new single “Rockstar,” released last month, ranked 8th on the global chart of Spotify, the world’s largest music platform. This is the highest ranking for a K-pop female solo artist in Spotify chart history. It seems to be a clear result of the partnership she signed with Sony Music subsidiary RCA Records as she tries her hand at solo activities.

Jisoo is focusing on acting rather than music. She will appear in the movie “Omniscient Reader’s Viewpoint” and the OTT (online video service) Coupang Play’s “Influencer.” Rosé, who had been silent outside of Blackpink activities, also announced new activities as she found an agency.

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“The activities of the Blackpink members, each with their own distinct identities, were already foreseen,” said music critic Kang Tae-kyu. “Their success as singers was just the beginning, but they have already become familiar and well-trained in front of the camera through their stage performances, so they are showing their prowess in various fields based on the support of their strong fandom.”

When will we see the complete Blackpink?

Blackpink went on hiatus after finishing their world tour “Born Pink” at the Gocheok Dome in Seoul last September. However, the fandom waiting for their return is still strong. According to Playboard, a YouTube channel analysis site, Blackpink’s channel subscribers have increased by 4 million in the past year. The number of monthly views is also increasing by about 100 million per month. This means that there is still a considerable global K-Pop fandom waiting for Blackpink to resume activities.

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The exact duration of the contract between Blackpink and YG for group activities has not been disclosed. Industry insiders believe that the main content of the contract is the release of a new album and participation in a world tour based on that, and that the contract will likely be for a minimum of 2-3 years to do so.

Blackpink’s previous “Born Pink” tour started in Seoul in October 2022 and ended in September 2023. They performed 66 shows in 34 cities around the world for a full year. According to U.S. touring data, the tour generated ticket sales of approximately 29 billion won and attracted a total of 1.8 million spectators. Based on this schedule, Blackpink is expected to release a new album in the first half of next year and start a world tour. YG, which owns the rights to Blackpink’s group activities, said, “It seems like they will need to start activities around next year,” but was tight-lipped about specific plans.

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