The information regarding BLACKPINK’s contract renewal is anticipated more than ever
Since the beginning of 2023, reports on BLACKPINK’s contract renewal with YG Entertainment have continued to stir up the public. However, despite the end of BLACKPINK’s exclusive contract (August 8) having passed, no official announcement has been made.
At the end of September 2023, Rosé was reported to be the only member to have re-signed with YG. Meanwhile, Jennie and Jisoo are revealed to be setting up their own companies but still wish to maintain BLACKPINK’s activities. Lisa is rumored to have signed a contract with an American recording label.
Nevertheless, in response to all of this, YG repeatedly stated, “Nothing has been confirmed regarding BLACKPINK’s contract renewal or future activities.” This has left fans feeling exhausted and wondering when the contract situation between BLACKPINK and YG will finally be announced.
The Korean securities industry affected by BLACKPINK’s contract
Financial experts in Korea seem to be on edge as YG has yet to officially announce the final situation of BLACKPINK’s contract.
According to the Korea Exchange on September 21, after it was reported that Rosé had re-signed while the other three members would leave YG while maintaining the BLACKPINK brand for 6 months a year, YG Entertainment’s stock price dropped by 13.28% on that day, closing at 69,200 won.
At the same time, the stock prices of the three major entertainment companies in Korea were also seeing a downward trend even before the issue of BLACKPINK’s contract renewal emerged. HYBE’s stock price fell by over 5%, and SM’s also experienced a roughly 3% drop.
Although market adjustments for growth stocks are ongoing in the securities industry, investor sentiment toward entertainment stocks appears to be rapidly declining. This is believed to be due to concerns about the contract renewal of famous idol groups. Many speculate that HYBE’s announcement to extend BTS’s contract beyond 2025 was intended to boost its stock price.
YG’s stock price continued to plummet by 18.43% over four consecutive trading days when news broke that Jennie and Jisoo would be starting their own companies. Despite all the attention, YG’s response remained, “Nothing has been confirmed,” leaving many Korean financial investors dissatisfied.
A securities industry official told Tenasia: “Because there is a belief that the entertainment industry is rebounding, stock prices have been re-evaluated. However, looking at the actual situation between YG and BLACKPINK, the contract renewal issue will affect the overall picture. This is really bad news.”
YG is finding it difficult to reveal its stance as BLACKPINK is “carrying” the company at the moment
Since the release of the full album BORN PINK in the second half of 2022 until now, BLACKPINK has had a huge year with a world tour of the same name and achieving many historic milestones. Of course, YG benefits greatly from the success of the group.
As evidence, just up to June 2023, Touring Data reported that BLACKPINK’s world tour BORN PINK had generated approximately $163.8 million in revenue with over 900,000 tickets sold. This also made BLACKPINK the girl group with the highest concert revenue in history.
Looking at the overall situation, YG’s other artists, such as BIGBANG and iKON, are no longer active. WINNER currently has members in the military. After BLACKPINK’s world tour, YG immediately focused on preparing concerts for TREASURE and AKMU but they are unlikely to make as big of an impact as BLACKPINK. Additionally, BABYMONSTER’s debut has indefinitely been postponed. Therefore, in the grand scheme of things, only BLACKPINK is “carrying” YG at this moment.
Korea’s Sports Chosun wrote, “It’s very difficult for YG to reveal its position. The company has earned over 350 billion won (approximately $265 million) in profits from BLACKPINK’s world tour, including merchandise sales. At this point, if YG fails to convince BLACKPINK to renew their contract, the company will be heavily affected. In fact, YG’s stock price is plummeting because it’s uncertain whether BLACKPINK’s members will renew their contracts.”
Is the delay in announcing BLACKPINK’s contract and the indefinite delay of BABYMONSTER’s debut related to Yang Hyun Suk’s trial?
On September 27, 2023, former YG CEO Yang Hyun Suk participated in the fifth trial. Notably, the prosecution expressed their stance, “We will maintain the original sentence.” In the first trial, the prosecution had requested a 3-year prison sentence for Yang. The sentencing date has been reportedly set for November 8.
The impending sentencing of Yang has raised suspicions that this may be one of the reasons for the delay in announcing BLACKPINK’s contract and the indefinite postponement of BABYMONSTER’s debut.
Regarding BABYMONSTER’s debut, a YG official declined to comment and only said, “It was planned for September, but due to some circumstances, it couldn’t proceed and has naturally been pushed back.”
Therefore, many are concerned that only after Yang Hyun Suk’s trial concludes will any information about the announcement of BLACKPINK’s contract be made.
Will there actually be any announcement regarding BLACKPINK’s contract?
In reality, management companies are not obligated to disclose the contract status of their artists to the public. However, due to significant interest, a sort of unwritten rule has been established where companies often announce when their artists re-sign or leave the company.
YG was previously silent about the expiration of G-Dragon‘s contract. On January 1, 2023, both G-Dragon and YG teased a long-term project to be released during the year.
However, by mid-2023, when the list of artists who had renewed their contracts with YG until the end of the first quarter of 2023 was announced, G-Dragon’s name was nowhere to be found, leading to speculation that he had left YG. However, because of the project announced earlier in the year, some fans believed it was a misunderstanding, and G-Dragon is still under YG.
Nevertheless, on June 5, YG completely denied rumors that G-Dragon was no longer under their management. Yet, by the morning of June 6, YG issued a new statement confirming that the exclusive contract of G-Dragon with the company had expired.