NCT DREAM – a hidden gem of SM, promising but is there any chance left for them to shine?

Seen as a promising unit under NCT but is kinda neglected by SM, does NCT DREAM have any chance left to rise?

Debut in 2016, NCT DREAM is a very promising unit of NCT – a new concept group which is highly invested by SM. However, NCT DREAM is still struggling to find a stable spot in the K-Pop scene. Many reasons has been found in order to solve this hard question, however, SM refuses to give the answer and even comlicated things up.

A promising unit

Comparing to their brother units in NCT, NCT DREAM proves themselves to be a unit with strong potential to grow. They fulfill all the needed position – rap, vocal, dance, visual – with no black hole at all and even became the first unit of NCT to got a win on weekly music shows (with “My First And Last”. Their album sales is also very stable which can even be compared to the ace unit NCT 127.

Even though NCT DREAM’s digital sales and YouTube views is not as much impressive, however, compared to other NCT units, they are strong enough to deserve a bigger investment.

“My First And Last” has given NCT DREAM their first win on music shows

SMs strategy  the biggest obstacle which is preventing the gem NCT DREAM from shining they way they should have

Too little activity, wrong comeback time

It can easily be seen that NCT DREAM is not the main force unit of NCT but the investment SM is giving them is surely not enough. They are currently in their 3rd year but there still isn’t any full album, no regular comeback and their comeback date always clashes with other bigger names.

During their rookie era, SM has given NCT DREAM lots of avtivities but this period didn’t last long. Since 2018, the time between their comebacks starts to become longer and longer. Their comeback this time with the mini album “WE BOOM” is NCT DREAM’s return in almost 1 year after “We Go Up” was released in August last year. Lately, NCT DREAM rarely has the chance to enjoy the winning joy on weekly music shows when their rivals are mostly big names. For example, “WE BOOM” is directly facing EXO-SC, ITZY,…and many other groups with huge album sales or impressive digital scores with big fandoms, which makes it hard for the young boys to even touch the trophy. This is one among among many reasons why NCT DREAM’s fame still hasn’t rose.

NCT’s “WE BOOM” encounters many big names of K-Pop

An unit with no permanent member

Even though we all know that NCT DREAM is a “graduation” type unit, which means members who are over 20 years old will have to graduate from the group, fans desperately hope that SM will turn NCT DREAM into a fixed unit. The reason is because the 7 members match so well with each other, perfectly complete their own position while showcasing their teamwork on stage. Sadly, SM still doesn’t change their mind and the members still have to graduate when time is up. Last year, Mark has had to say goodbye and later this year, 00-lines which consists of Jeno, Jaemin, Renjun and Haechan will have to graduate and move to other units of NCT. 

Next year, NCT DREAM will only have 2 members left: Chenle and Jisung, which means SM will have to add new members to this unit, or worse, NCT DREAM will go on hiatus until news faces are found.

Last year, Mark has graduated
At the end of this year, 00-line will have to say goodbye to NCT DREAM

Different units promotion activity clashes with each others

Even though Haechan and Mark are members of NCT DREAM, they are also members of the fixed unit NCT 127 which is the main NCT unit that SM is investing in. NCT DREAM’s ex-member, Mark, also has to promote as a NCT U’s member, which means he is in almost every unit and has to continuously perform on stages.

This is also another big problem. When the schedules clash with each other, the members who are in more than 1 unit will have to be absent from one. In the latest comeback, Haechan’s screentime in the MV is very little and he is almost missing from all the dance scenes, which might be the MV’s intention or Haechan was too busy with NCT 127. This is a very big problem in NCT’s mechanism that SM need to fix as soon as possible.

Mark and Haechan have to try their best to be able to catch up with the schedules from both units.


With such a special concept like NCT, SM should adjust to fit the current situation of the K-Pop scene instead of focusing only on pursuing their own motto. Focusing on pushing NCT 127 is necessary, but other units are also working hard enough to deserve a better and more detailed investment. If SM hasn’t neglect NCT DREAM so much for such a long time, they might have been on a different position in the K-Pop indsutry.

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