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Thursday, March 14, 2013

What managers actually do behind the scenes


Article: Do you know how hard it is to get on a music program?

Source: OSEN via Nate + Naver

Detailed look at the role that managers play in securing singers slots on music shows.

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There are a string of rookie idols that always open up every music show. The public, however, remains cold. The music is all the same, they all look the same, and they're easy for the public to ridicule for coming out in groups with no distinction from the other.

But if you look at the reality they face, they actually beat the odds closely comparable to a sperm meeting an egg in order to stand on that very stage. You're not guaranteed a spot on a music show just because you've released an album. It's all in how fast and how hard your manager can peddle for you.

Every Monday morning at around 10 a.m., the coffee shop in front of KBS is bustling with managers from the nation's top agencies. Some are at CEO level while others already have seven to eight years of experience stashed under their belts. From top agencies to 'nugu' producers, there's a wide array of them gathered and it's all for none other than to meet the 'Music Bank' PD.

The PD himself is busy dashing in and out of meetings and sitting down with producers so the managers end up waiting an average of three hours in the coffee shop. If you're a senior in the industry, you get the perk of being able to meet him first... but three hours of waiting will barely get you five minutes of a face to face chat. Even managers from bigger companies aren't an exception.

Even if their artists are already confirmed for a slot on the show, they'll still make sure to be there 'out of respect'.

Bigger companies can easily secure a slot for both their regular and rookie artists for up to 7~8 weeks of straight promotions. They've already developed a friendship with the PD and they can use their regular artists as leverage to strike up a deal for their rookie artists.

The problem is with the smaller agencies. They have no foundation and thus must rely on shelling out big money to hire expensive managers who have more experience in the field. PDs have caught on to this tactic, though, and have started to call them 'promotional managers'. They reject to see them outright.

Starting Tuesday, the battle officially begins. 'Music Bank' sets up the foundation for the rest of the week as music shows confirm who has earned a slot and when. Middle to lower end agencies can't do anything but wait by their phones. They'll hear of another company receiving the long-awaited call, and if they don't receive that same call, it means they didn't land a slot on the show.

The question most often asked among managers is, "Did you get the call?"

Managers pay the most attention to 'Music Bank', 'Music Core', 'Inkigayo', and 'M! Countdown'. All week long, they're basically focused on grabbing a chance to meet with the various PDs. Articles about artists performing on such and such show may seem frivolous to the public, but it's basically a show of power within the industry.

The bigger companies don't have it that much easier just because they've secured a slot. Their managers must now fight to earn more minutes for a comeback stage and in which order they'll be able to perform. This is considered the barometer that measures just how well a manager performs his job.

If you see a top star who is producing his own rookie group suddenly come out on variety shows, it's 100% because he hopes to secure a slot on a music show for them. The TV shows can make much use of his top star image, just like how he himself can use the TV show to promote his group. Even musicians who've never been on TV out of shyness or pride will succumb to the system and perform as asked for the camera.

As for the producers? Their dilemma is with time. There is only a limited amount of time and they have to work to ensure that they can show as many groups as possible, which sometimes means taking cuts out of other songs. It's also become increasingly difficult to invite top artists, on top of the stagnant viewer ratings posing a problem. One program even resorted to bringing back its ranking system.

It's understandable that the public would feel tired with the constant rush of new singers who look the same as the last. But it's worth at least acknowledging the obstacles they had to go through to even get to stand on that stage. Think about the manager who's standing behind that stage, shedding tears of joy as he finally gets to watch his artist perform. Who knows, you might be able to come away with a new favorite singer or two.

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1. [+673, -13] Are the idols the only ones that have it hard? Non-celebrities have it hard too. Everyone works their butt off for opportunities but the article makes it sound as if idols are facing some life crisis. We all suffer to achieve our dreams.

2. [+583, -34] That's why YG just doesn't go

3. [+519, -9] Sperm and an egg ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ

4. [+509, -9] We can't help it if the songs suck

5. [+395, -2] We cherish the 90s idols and are nostalgic for them now only because there weren't that many idol groups back then. Now, it's become much too common and none of the songs stand out. That means years from now, we won't remember or care about them anyway.

6. [+324, -9] It's because they get on shows by bribing and sucking up to PDs that the shows are filled with dancers and lip syncers. Don't bother... there are many indie kids who are more talented.

7. [+252, -4] I highly doubt any of them actually dreamt of becoming 'singers'... More like instant entertainers.

8. [+179, -5] Kind of hilarious to me that the show barely records 3% in viewer ratings and yet the PD acts like he's some big shot, getting his dinners paid for, accepting bribes... Ugh.

9. [+129, -8] I was always curious about how the system worked... This article explained it well.

10. [+74, -1] The lyrics of the older idol songs really felt like they represented the teen generation... but these days, lyrics are nothing but let's date, i love you, let's break up, oppa this, nuna that...

-


77 comments:

  1. PDs are the Gods of the Korean Music Shows. Everyone would kiss their toes if they have to.

    ReplyDelete
  2. 6. [+324, -9] It's because they get on shows by bribing and sucking up to PDs that the shows are filled with dancers and lip syncers. Don't bother... there are many indie kids who are more talented.



    says the netizen who has probably never bought a indie artists cd...

    ReplyDelete
  3. PDs are gods of every show in every country..

    ReplyDelete
  4. 4. [+509, -9] We can't help it if the songs suck.

    One way to put it.

    ReplyDelete
  5. 10. [+74, -1] The lyrics of the older idol songs really felt like they represented the teen generation... but these days, lyrics are nothing but let's date, i love you, let's break up, oppa this, nuna that...



    Kinda agree....that's why I can listen to kpop
    If I actually understand the lyric I probably realize my ipod is full of cheesy love songs :\

    ReplyDelete
  6. "3. [+519, -9] Sperm and an egg ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ"
    12 years old netizen.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Not surprised...

    ReplyDelete
  8. 10. [+74, -1] The lyrics of the older idol songs really felt like they
    represented the teen generation... but these days, lyrics are nothing
    but let's date, i love you, let's break up, oppa this, nuna that...

    Hm... That's because they can't really afford to step out of line? Won't the songs be banned if they have suggestive lyrics or even slang? I'm sure they would be able to make some more meaningful songs if those restrictions were lifted. Plus I don't think some k-netizens actually listen to the all songs on the albums.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Boo hoo idols suck, they aren't ~real artists~, I am gonna make complaining comments while doing nothing to change the industry and never buying music. They truly can never give a positive comment to anything idol related huh lol.

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  10. was referring to this article.

    ReplyDelete
  11. These days, you can just take the lyrics of one song replace the bgm tune and whoa-la~ a new kpop song to promote argh..

    ReplyDelete
  12. even with only 3% rating the problem is there are no other place for promotion, variety show only want popular singer and actor

    ReplyDelete
  13. [+74, -1] The lyrics of the older idol songs really felt like they
    represented the teen generation... but these days, lyrics are nothing
    but let's date, i love you, let's break up, oppa this, nuna that...

    lmao it's like this even in the western pop industry :/

    ReplyDelete
  14. 3. [+519, -9] Сперма и яйцеклетка ㅋ ㅋ ㅋ ㅋ ㅋ ㅋ ㅋ ㅋ
    LMAO

    ReplyDelete
  15. 2. [+583, -34] That's why YG just doesn't go



    First thought on my mind. People used to give YG so much shit because he didn't let 2NE1 attend these shows. They kept calling him cocky and whatnot. Now the truth is out.

    ReplyDelete
  16. what if the majority of the netizens commenting on articles WERE as young as 12 years old? that would explain why some are so irrational

    ReplyDelete
  17. true. sometimes I wonder if the lyricist for all the current songs is just one person.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Now I understand why YG doesn't go to music shows...

    ReplyDelete
  19. Must be nice to be a PD you get everything

    ReplyDelete
  20. 6. [+324, -9] It's because they get on shows by bribing and sucking up to PDs that the shows are filled with dancers and lip syncers. Don't bother... there are many indie kids who are more talented.

    I for one, have tried listening to K-indie music and it's such a refreshing change from the current songs. I got into Korean music because of the catchy tunes but indie has a characteristic staying quality to it.

    ReplyDelete
  21. The problem with the Korean entertainment system is that everyone is stuck in a box. If companies used their time creatively to think about other ways they could promote their artist, they wouldn't have to be trying to squeeze into all these music shows. But then again, if they were more creative, there wouldn't be like a hundred idol groups all singing the same song and wearing the same outfits.


    If I was YG, I wouldn't go either.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Yeah but he still is a bit cocky either way

    ReplyDelete
  23. hmmm Taylor Swift comes to mind.

    ReplyDelete
  24. [+74, -1] The lyrics of the older idol songs really felt like they represented the teen generation... but these days, lyrics are nothing but let's date, i love you, let's break up, oppa this, nuna that...

    Wat. Seriously, what do they mean by the older generation? Half of Shinhwa and H.O.T.'s songs were all like "the world sucks don't become a gangster grow up well" (Like Shinhwa's Solver or Yo!) And what werent were just as cheesy as modern day lyrics (Shinhwa's T.O.P. and H.O.T.'s Candy) I will admit the majority of modern kpop is the most shallow stuff ever, but there is good music lyric wise being made. (GLAM, Sunny Hill, Brown Eyed Girls anybody? Heck, even FIESTAR's Vista could be considered lyrically good imo) and I don't see how the older stuff was any better....

    ReplyDelete
  25. Alright, being a PD is much better than being an idol. Imagine all the celebs that are kissing your feet & vying for your attention. So much win!

    ReplyDelete
  26. because idols.

    I'm assuming that because of the amount of idols available you see on TV, its like the dance crews you see on variety shows everywhere else. You start to blur them out subconsciously. They don't really have a name. Just a bunch of people dancing in the background.

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  27. Korean Music Show Sucks.

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  28. lol they will start appearing on shows soon when that rookie group of theirs debut.

    And YG artists appear on variety shows too when they're promoting. But not the rest of the time. Like its been said on other articles, some managers get their talents on variety so that the other groups they manage can have a chance.

    Some people have discussed that the reasons GD and Seungri scandals have gotten out because they didn't have enough friends in the industry to block the articles out.

    ReplyDelete
  29. There's a few groups who have more versalite lyrics. One of the reasons I like 4Minute so much is because most of their title songs have great lyrics.

    ReplyDelete
  30. 10. [+74, -1] The lyrics of the older idol songs really felt like they represented the teen generation... but these days, lyrics are nothing but let's date, i love you, let's break up, oppa this, nuna that...



    But isn't that the type of thing a lot of teenagers care about? Also, the reason the songs sound the same is because if anyone tried to be even a little bit creative about it the MOGEF would find an excuse to ban their song anyway

    ReplyDelete
  31. Right. I've caught many people saying this and they bowed their head for not actually buying anything Indie. Complaining about Indie groups getting no spots at the top when they aren't helping lol. Then i have friends who actually do buy indie but they also appreciate pop idols and don't complain.

    ReplyDelete
  32. 2. [+583, -34] That's why YG just doesn't go
    xD way to go, huh?



    But yes.. oppa this, nuna that... it's true. xx

    ReplyDelete
  33. Seriously, this doesn't only happen in the entertainment industry but also in the business industry where anyone needs to work make connections to the one at the top of the food chain to get a job. It's hard but if you want it then you have to work for it. (As long as there are no dirty consequences or exchange needed)

    ReplyDelete
  34. Is it just me, or do these PDs have a god complex. Plus the ratings suck, so why would you work so hard to get them on those shows?

    ReplyDelete
  35. Giving kids what they want isn't always what they need.


    Its like, a lot of teens use to read the classics which had a lot of substance, moral lessons, and were above their level but teens today only read "teen lit": Harry Potter (loved it), Hunger Games, Twilight (bwahaha). They're fun to read every once in a while but they are at your level. I don't think reading things that are at your level does anything for you. Your reading comprehension is going to be stagnant and you typically aren't left questioning anything.

    "The lyrics of the older idol songs really felt like they represented the teen generation... but these days, lyrics are nothing but let's date, i love you, let's break up, oppa this, nuna that..."
    These older songs took on more mature, real world themes. Maybe songs about unemployment, depression, war, a longing for something more from life and so on. Their 'level' was higher than the majority of songs today which are at a high school level.


    Of course, maybe the majority of songs back then were teeny pop songs but only the great songs that really spoke to the generation stood out in their memories? Probably not. I think the music back then was probably dominated by ballad and mature singers, and definitely not these sparkling, teen-targeted idol groups.

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  36. Yep lol, I thought of "Call me maybe" and all of the typical love/breakup songs. Then I thought back to the 90s and the first songs I thought of were "Semi charmed life", Radiohead's "Creep", and TLC "Waterfalls"

    ReplyDelete
  37. omg! I agree with you so much. 4minute's lyrics are so unique and original and they're such an awesome and versatile group<3 4MINUTE FIGHTING<33333

    ReplyDelete
  38. 2. [+583, -34] That's why YG just doesn't go



    THIS!

    ReplyDelete
  39. iamnotbiasedatallMarch 14, 2013 at 3:34 PM

    Was the opinion of idols from K-nets this bad before the flood of idols in the past 2 years? I read an article that said that over 120 idol groups debuted in the last 2 years... I only know about 8 idol groups in general o_O

    ReplyDelete
  40. Because these music shows are a way for groups to set a stage, instead of them spending a ton of money to set up their own individual shows. As to why would they work so hard to get on these shows, well it must be effective in promoting a group or Korean industry professionals wouldn't be scrambling to get a spot wouldn't they?

    ReplyDelete
  41. the things that go on behind the scenes...

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  42. Isn't buying music digitally enough...? Digital K-charts are pretty diverse. And indie artists are doing quite well. Just because you've never heard of them doesn't mean they're not thriving in Korea. And Busker Busker achieved mainstream success in 2012 by selling 70,000+ albums and having 13 million+ downloads. Besides, idol album sales are inflated b/c foreign fans can buy albums from Korean providers, which count on charts. Also, in Korea, if you're over the age of 20, you're probably going to legit rock/hip hop/indie concerts, not kpop concerts. That's the main source of income for "indie" groups.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Because if all the k-netizens complaining about idols were actually buying indie artists cd, then indies would be ranked higher on the charts.

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  44. I'm glad I'm not the only one thinking that way^^ It's such a shame that most i-fans don't even look up their lyrics but immediately label them as sluts because of their image without knowing anything. Well, it's their loss^^

    ReplyDelete
  45. Or YG has foes. I know it's hard to believe. Everybody love this company.
    Especially that part when GD stole victory from SNSD at the times of Heartbreaker And do you remember that Fall of 2011 when SNSD - Boys came out? GD was rumored to have second solo comeback. But then BAM - info about a marijuana scandal that took part at Summer. After three months someone brings it up.
    That is not a statement. Just my thoughts. I have nothing personal about SNSD as members or a group, but from my perspective nothing like this happens without a reason.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Yea but those are always so catchy!!! ;-;
    and the ones that don't talk about all that stuff isn't all that catchy.
    a part from the annoying fandom thats why I hate being a fan of SNSD at times

    ReplyDelete
  47. YG-stans loving that comment. On the other hand, all he does is media play and go on interviews being all cocky and higher-than-thou. He just doesn't want to feel beneath the PDs even when he'll need them for his rookies, he'll probably use BB and 2NE1 as bait.

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  48. I still bawl like a baby when listening to GOD's To My Mother.

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  49. It isn't. Busker Busker is an outlier. It's like using Lil Wayne's sales to make a statement about unsigned rappers. Most artists, and their labels/companies, only see a miniscule fraction of digital sales because the online stores eat up most of the profit. Instead indie artists get a much bigger fraction in album sales. IA about concerts being the main source of income for indie groups but that isn't saying much.

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  50. I wonder if the PDs have even seen the viewer ratings themselves, considering they act like almighty gods. Either that, or they're just delusional and blind as a bat, seeing 3% as 30%

    ReplyDelete
  51. 1. [+673, -13] Are the idols the only ones that have it hard?
    Non-celebrities have it hard too. Everyone works their butt off for
    opportunities but the article makes it sound as if idols are facing some
    life crisis. We all suffer to achieve our dreams.
    True however non celebrities dont have the entire nation hunting them and hating them, i know kpop nowadays is full with the same everybody wants to get a piece of the cake and they keep debuting groups but give the idols some credit they r also doing their best

    ReplyDelete
  52. it used to be bad but not as bad as it is now

    ReplyDelete
  53. But 4minute aren't the one writing the lyrics, right?

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  54. Wow... But to boost viewer ratings, couldn't they just give the public what they want? I might be missing something here but why not just fill the shows with only popular groups, talented groups, and indie groups? I would personally appreciate less of the random horrible random idol groups and more of the random singers that actually make distinctive music.

    ReplyDelete
  55. I don't think this really applies to SM artists, since they have the biggest artists = higher ratings

    ReplyDelete
  56. It just depend on how the composer arrange the song. It can be catchy with good lyrics too
    Nuest Face talked about bullying...I think the lyric can be better because they were still too "cool" looking talking about a serious subject but still a catchy song...
    Not Kpop but I like how this came from an female idol group, especially the wtf/awesome factor in the first song and it's catchy too.

    http://jpopsuki.tv/video/AKB48---Beginner-%2528eng-sub%2529/368079ec58dd52173e8733d2cff92360

    http://jpopsuki.tv/video/AKB48---Kaze-wa-Fuiteiru-%2528eng-sub%2529/a308d63480f0769e3a5c0ee87b5bf552



    I mean pop isn't all that seriously...If I want better lyrics, there are acts like Epik High but it's nice to see a idols switch it up and do somethings different once in a while.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Ignoring the usual bashing over idols...but i laughed at "that's why YG just doesn't go", sorry but since when don't they go to music shows ? I saw Psy, Big Bang, 2NE1 Epik High and Lee Hi during their comebacks. Did i hallucinate ? They promote exactly like the others.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They do go but only like once or twice a week and usually inkigayo. The don't go on music bank and rarely on mcountdown. And the only reason they go to inkigayo is bc YG is really close with sbs and the pd. and usually their promotions are short compared to other groups.

      Delete
  58. Lol i'm pretty sure i saw them too ! You are not crazy ^^
    Sometimes YG stans are just in their own world

    ReplyDelete
  59. kpopwillneverstopMarch 14, 2013 at 9:34 PM

    Which is probably why on YouTube, there's videos of 50~100 kpop songs mashed up together into one.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oz2P11-uU2s

    ReplyDelete
  60. exactly...i saw them almost in very music show broadcasted because every company always release an album in order, and never failed to see YG. psy even went for 15 weeks or so, GD solo in 5 weeks, Bigbang, 2ne1 neck to neck with SJ and so on..
    yeah...their fans are always in their own small world

    ReplyDelete
  61. But 2NE1 Flop?right

    ReplyDelete
  62. "The lyrics of the older idol songs really felt like they
    represented the teen generation... but these days, lyrics are nothing
    but let's date, i love you, let's break up, oppa this, nuna that..."


    Well idk about the older idol songs but these days if a idol's song doesn't have lyrics like oppa this, let's date, and etc then it would get banned and people would be saying how they have young fans and should think about them and stuff.

    ReplyDelete
  63. 7. [+252, -4] I highly doubt any of them actually dreamt of becoming 'singers'... More like instant entertainers.



    THIS^

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  64. Cuz the 1st Show that the article mention was "Music Bank" So yea~

    ReplyDelete
  65. u are dreaming... heartbreake r= florida crappy copy= shit since both are pure shit

    ReplyDelete
  66. Best thing that has happened to Music Core was when Yulti were PD for a day

    ReplyDelete
  67. 6. [+324, -9] It's because they get on shows by bribing and sucking up to PDs that the shows are filled with dancers and lip syncers. Don't bother... there are many indie kids who are more talented.

    This!!!

    ReplyDelete
  68. but these days, lyrics are nothing but let's date, i love you, let's break up, oppa this, nuna that...

    THIS!

    ReplyDelete
  69. I can't believe you would even bring this up again! Flo-rida came out and said Heartbreaker wasn't a copy, he even did a Heartbreaker remix with GD. You've probably heard this a million times though.

    ReplyDelete
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