While YG, JYP and Big Hit were all preparing to launch “new weapons”, SM remains unexpectedly “silent”, especially when SM has never missed the previous big battle between the companies. What is the reason why SM is absent in the fiercest rookie battle among the rookies in early 2019?
Full focus on NCT
If following the plan, in the next two years, the members of SM’s main boy groups, EXO and SHINee, will enlist in turn. It also means that EXO and SHINee will not be able to promote regularly but will focus more on individual activities, so it can be seen that SM is pushing up NCT’s promotional activities in Korea and the whole Chinese market to strengthen the influence as well as boost trade in both markets. Currently, NCT’s stand on Kpop map is not really solid, so SM’s strategy is to continuously promote NCT until the group is as influential as the seniors and be stable when SM has a new group.
It can be seen that SM is showing its effort in promoting NCT through units. The small groups of NCT constantly made their comeback relentlessly throughout the year. The first is the NCT U “Boss” which was released on February 19, 2018, followed by NCT Dream’s “Go” released on March 5, 2018, followed by “Touch” by NCT 127 released on the 13th of March, 2018, continuing with “Black on Black” with all 18 NCT members called NCT 2018 released on April 18, 2018, returning to NCT Dream with “We Go Up” released on August 30, 2018, and ends with “Regular” of NCT 127 on October 8, 2018.
On 26/27 of January 2019, NCT 127 also successfully held its first career concert called “NEO CITY – The origin”.
It can be seen that most of SM’s activities in 2018 are focused on promoting public awareness of NCT. 2019 will probably be the year SM’s total push to bring NCT up completely as the usual strategy for the previous groups.
Also, about 6 months ago, the plan from 2016 – 2020 supposedly by SM was leaked on many online pages.
It can be seen that SM has no plans to launch a new group in 2019 – 2020, but instead is the launch of NCT China. And exactly on 17 January 2019, NCT China was launched as WayV according to the plan in 2019, which makes this plan more reliable than ever. Looking at the “silent” situation when it comes to debuting new group, it may not be the time for SM to “launch its new weapon” even though it has been hinted for a long time.
Focusing on the Chinese market
SM has expressed its ambition to conquer the Chinese market by signing a contract with Tencent – one of the leading Chinese corporations. It is known that in early 2018, China canceled the Hallyu ban and SM immediately went to launch a new group in this huge market. A year later, WayV also officially “attacked” the Chinese market on January 17, 2019.
By signing a contract with the big man in China, fans can see SM’s serious and ambitious investment in the development of the Chinese market in the near future. From February 1, 2019, all music products of SM artists will be exclusively distributed in China via Tencent Music. Certainly, in the future, SM will also focus on promoting more activities of its artists in this “lucrative” market and SM’s new group project in Korea is likely to remain silent at the moment.