Unable to maintain the stability of its promotion plan, SM seems to be wasting time investing in unrealistic plans which cannot stay for long.
During the first half of 2019, SM almost disappeared from the big game with no impressive project enough to compare to its rival. While BTS is breaking records non-stop, BLACKPINK succeeded in making their first steps in America, TWICE is changing themselves with a new concept, SM is just releasing solo projects of mostly 2nd generation idols.
Many fans expressed that, at this time when EXO is still unstable due to its members’ military enlistment, projects from the 2nd generation idols will benefit SM in maintaining the agency’s activity while also help these idols express their personal music personality to the public. However, this shows that SM is showing its lack of determination towards their projects, because it’s obvious that they need to focus on NCT and Red Velvet – the future of SM in the next 5 years.
K-Pop fans were fascinated with what Lee Soo Man had introduced about NCT – the global group project with the most members in SM history. An one-of-a-kind group which is hoped to bring K-Pop everywhere throughout the world with no limitations in number of members or nationality.
After each member of NCT was revealed, many believed in SM’s success this time because in this agency’s hand are boys with appearance, talent and unique musical personality. However, after some time investing for this group with several achievements, SM seems to be slowing down in this project. Apart from NCT 127, the company is not focusing on other units enough which decreases NCT’s effect in Asia even though they have shown signs of their power after impressively climbing on other countries’ music charts.
With such a project like NCT, SM cannot expect them to immediately surpass their rivals from the same generation or replace EXO in a short time. This is why patience is much needed here, and this agency need to bring the NCT project back to its right track.
While solo products of Taeyeon (Girls’ Generation), Heechul (Super Junior), Yunho (DBSK),…is released one after another, fans can’t help but be impatient for both Red Velvet and EXO. 2nd generation idols are not SM’s future key. They had all succeeded in the past, got respect from their juniors, which means that they now mostly focus on tours, variety shows more than music projects.
That’s why SM is choosing the wrong track which is focusing on solos and abandoning Red Velvet – one of their most promising girl group. In such a situation where Girls’ Generation has passed their prime time, f(x) is on a long hiatus, fans believe Red Velvet will be SM’s aces who can compete with BLACKPINK and TWICE. After a successful 2018 with 3 comebacks in 2018, the girls totally disappeared in the first 6 months of 2019, the time when BLACKPINK and TWICE was working hard with much success. Many are worried that the girls will have to endure the stress from their rivals and the comparison from the public.
Obviously, SM is losing determination in maintaining its projects. Sometimes they focus too much on Red Velvet, sometimes on NCT, and sometimes too much on solo projects,…which makes the public unable to properly recognize their identity. If this continues, it’s possible that this big agency will soon lose all the advantages they have got since Red Velvet’s success with “Red Flavor” or NCT’s position in Asian countries,…and then EXO will be their only hope at the competitive playground with other rivals from YG, JYP and Big Hit.