The remaining tasks for SM to solve after the acquisition battle ended with Kakao’s victory

Overcoming the acquisition battle, SM is changing to proceed with the “SM 3.0” strategy and keep its promise to fans.

HYBE’s Chairman Bang Si Hyuk attended the Kwanhun Forum held on March 15th and apologized to K-pop fans. It was Bang Si Hyuk’s first official appearance after the battle over SM management ended with Kakao’s victory as HYBE stopped pursuing the acquisition of SM.

As Bang Si Hyuk said, the artists and K-pop fans were excluded in the SM acquisition battle between Kakao and HYBE, because only shareholders and investors were highlighted. During the battle, both Kakao and HYBE, as well as SM, emphasized that their own methods were the best for artists and fans. However, there has been criticism that fandoms of idols were only used as a tool to gain the upper hand in the acquisition battle.

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Now that the acquisition battle is over, the remaining works are like ‘homework’ for SM. It is said that soothing fans who were confused by the recent issue is SM’s top priority. SM also seems to be aware of this and has actively tried to please fans. They are showing movements to improve the areas that fans have raised complaints about, such as protecting the rights of artists, reducing ticket fees, and maintaining active communication.

First of all, SM held a showcase to introduce female trainees in Seoul on March 15th. The event was attended by “fan monitoring agents” composed of pre-selected fans. While there have been cases in the K-pop industry where trainees are revealed to the public prior to their debut, it’s unusual for a company to hold a showcase for trainees, and even invite fans as monitoring agents. This demonstrates SM’s willingness to actively communicate with fandoms.

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SM has also started to solve the problem of ticketing fees that once sparked fans’ dissatisfaction. Earlier, SM-affiliated company Dream Maker eliminated paper tickets by introducing smart tickets utilizing mobile phone apps to contribute to environmental protection. However, criticism arose regarding the high booking fees of 5,000 won. After consulting with Dream Maker, SM lowered the fee from 5,000 won to 3,000 won. For those who have already purchased tickets, the remaining 2,000 won will be refunded in the form of a deposit after the concert.

Fans’ requests for artists are also being reflected one by one. In particular, NCT fans were all tired of the group’s system of constantly increasing members so they raised their voices, stating that instead of expanding NCT, more efforts should be put into supporting the activities of existing members. Initially, NCT was planned to have more units in Hollywood, Saudi Arabia, and other places under the leadership of former executive producer Lee Soo Man. However, the agency recently decided to stop the expansion of NCT members after debuting NCT Tokyo (tentative name) this year.

In addition, SM is showing its great determination to protect the artists. They have signed a business agreement with the law firm Shin & Kim LLC and announced that they will accelerate the implementation of “SM 3.0” to filter out fake news that leads to malicious rumors through a collaboration with a text analysis AI company. They also established a new reporting platform called “KWANGYA 119” for fans to report evidence of defamation against their artists. Based on this, SM will work with Shin & Kim LLC to take strict responses.

Source: Daum

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