Why can’t K-pop girl groups last? 

Cover - Why can't K-pop girl groups last? 

Why can’t K-pop girl groups last? I believe you guys will be surprised when knowing that! Get ready to discover with Xenews!

Last week, Sojin of the K-pop girl group Girl’s Day decided she is leaving the Dream T Entertainment label when her contract expires in February.

The announcement left fans in shock, with many questioning whether this was a prelude to the disbandment of the 9-year-old four-piece act. Though the agency denied it, other members Yura, Minah, and Hyeri are reportedly connected with other agencies about pursuing individual activities as their contracts are set to expire later this year.

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But Sojin’s impending departure wasn’t entirely unexpected. Girl’s Day, which debuted in 2010, is one among those rare girl groups to own survived the notorious “seven-year curse,” so called because that’s when idol groups tend to disband or lose a member. 2NE1, 4Minute, and Sistar disbanded after seven years together, and it had been within the seventh year that Jessica left Girl’s Generation and Sunye and Sohee parted ways with Wonder Girls.

Unlike boy groups, which frequently stay long-term despite the fact of mandatory military service for men in an Asian countries, few girl groups stand the test of your time.

What’s behind this? Industry watchers say age is a vital thing about an industry where “the younger the better” is quite just a slogan.

“Considering the common age of girl groups and also the plethora of groups making their debuts each year, once the group hits certain age their popularity tends to wane,” said Lee Taek-gwang, a culture critic and professor of worldwide communication at Kyung Hee University. “This is (especially) the case for girl groups because many of them became popular thanks to their young, cute, innocent image. And once the women mature, that image is difficult to keep up and (they are) replaced by younger groups.”

Pic 2 - Why can't K-pop girl groups last? The average age of the Wonder Girls band members was 16 when the band made its debut in 2007; the identical year, the common for Girl’s Generation was 18. Twice had a mean age of 18 in 2015 and April’s average age was 16, with the youngest member, Jinsol, being only 14 at the time. Red Velvet and Blackpink had a mean age of 20 in 2014 and 2016, respectively. With few exceptions, female K-pop stars are 20 or younger once they enter the scene.

While boy groups tend to create their debuts at similar ages, they last longer. As attested by groups like the 20-year-old boy band Shinhwa, 14-year-old Super Junior, 13-year-old explosion, and 11-year-old SHINee, age seems to matter less for all-male acts.

The short period of a successful girl band — usually not quite five to seven years — means members must find ways to become relevant within the industry afterward. Vocalists tend to interrupt away and go solo, as within the cases of Bada of S.E.S., Lee Hyori of Fin.K.L., HyunA of 4Minute, Sunmi of Wonder Girls, Hyorin of Sistar, and CL of 2NE1. Many of those singers thrive in their solo ventures on the strength of their singing skills and also the loyal fans that support them.

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Pic 4 - Why can't K-pop girl groups last? Another popular choice is acting. Turning on the TV, it’s easy to identify idol group members within the latest dramas and films. Girl’s Day members Hyeri and Minah have both built successful acting careers since “Reply 1988” in 2014 and “Beautiful Gongshim” in 2016. Meanwhile, Uee of After School and Suzy of Miss A is among the foremost sought-after actresses.

That’s why big-label agencies recruit multitalented trainees — girls who can sing, write songs, dance and act. a mess of skills allows them to seamlessly shift careers within the future.

The infamous “seven-year curse” coincides with the age when most girl band members reach their mid-to-late 20s. The seventh-year is additionally the time when most contracts expire, in line with a 2009 rule from the Fair Trade Commission stipulating that contracts between artists and agencies cannot exceed seven years.

After seven years, the artists can decide whether to renew or leave. Often, one or two band members find better terms with another label — and that’s one reason many girl groups separate.

“If a lady group reached its peak within three to 5 years of its debut, the agencies try their best to renew contracts within the second round, giving better profit distribution to popular members individually,” an industry insider said on condition of anonymity. “Due to the profit gap, some members plan to leave the agency or find better offers with other labels, causing the band to separate.”

Boy groups tend to remain together in spite of such disparities because they’re aware they’re better together and since they need stronger and bigger fan bases, Lee added.

That’s because boy groups profit mainly from concerts, album sales, and merchandise, all of which require the participation of all members.

Larger and more devoted fan bases are another major factor behind their longevity. within the K-pop industry, where female fans are within the majority, boy bands have a bonus.

There are girl groups with large fan bases, like Girl’s Generation and Twice, but even their fandoms fall behind those of boy groups in terms of sheer size, money spent, and devotion — though fans’ devotion is tough to live.

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Die-hard K-pop fans don’t just watch their favorite bands on TV, but drop bundle to travel to concerts frequently, get ads in subway stations across Seoul and Times Square in NY City, buy albums and merchandise and do philanthropy. They also tend to remain loyal, making a lifelong commitment to follow their favorite groups as they grow up.

Taking their lead from these loyal followers, boy bands unsurprisingly tend to remain around longer. whether or not they disband, they could still commit to making a surprise comeback after 10 years, as within the case of veteran boy group g.o.d, which is dropping a 20th-anniversary album and holding concerts for fans that have pledged their allegiance to the group since 1999.

Why can’t K-pop girl groups last? Don’t forget to catch up with the latest Korean entertainment news with us every day!