In the past, entertainment companies in Korea working together was near non-existent, especially among the Big Three. Though said entertainment companies would express decorum to one another mostly for the K-pop fans, the only times their K-pop idols would collaborate would be through the silver screen (K-movies), small screen (K-dramas, special stage shows on variety music competition shows), and possibly during award shows.
As years went by, entertainment companies have changed in ways that differ from what they used to be. YG Entertainment seems to only care for trampling on other entertainment companies in the process. This was seen when a couple of their K-pop acts had conferences or fan meetings set to coincide with those of other entertainment companies who were already set. YG Entertainment’s inconsideration forced the other companies to reschedule for their fans.
On the other hand, both JYP Entertainment and SM Entertainment seem to really be pushing friendliness and personal collaboration with other entertainment companies, which has hit a high point in 2016.
For JYP Entertainment, they express their friendliness best with Source Entertainment through what may be the new “K-pop BFFs,” Twice and GFriend. As a matter of fact, JYP Entertainment offered Source Entertainment the use of their New York branch’s studio so GFriend could practice for their first shows in North America.
SM Entertainment is showing their friendliness and collaboration work through SM Radio. According to SM Entertainment founder Lee Soo Man, SM Radio would become a platform for releasing new songs every single week by SM Entertainment artists. He also said it will also be used as a platform for collaboration with overseas artists, producers, and brands. For example, SM Entertainment soloist Boa collaborated with Beenzino, a Korean rapper signed to Illionaire Records (as pictured above). Nevertheless, SM Entertainment now has an expansive role in Hallyu because of SM Radio.
Though JYP Entertainment and SM Entertainment have been making major strides to see other entertainment agencies as partners instead of competition, most would never think any of the Big Three would collaborate openly with each other. That changed this year with JYP Entertainment and SM Entertainment.
The first time JYP Entertainment and SM Entertainment worked with each other is technically not a collaboration, but in a variety reality show through the Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) titled Unnies’ Slam Dunk. In it, the initial six female cast members — Ra Mi Ran, Kim Sook, Hong Jin Kyung, Min Hyo Rin, Jessi, and Tiffany — follow and attempt to fulfill each others’ dreams using a budget of about 2,196,000 won which is about $2,000 USD. Hyo Rin’s dream was to debut as a girl group member in which they enlist the help of J.Y. Park as producer. Tiffany worked directly with J.Y. Park at JYP Entertainment to make this happen.
Unfortunately, Tiffany’s Japanese flag scandal forced her off Unnies’ Slam Dunk, but prior to that, the two working together was the key that opened the door for SM Entertainment and JYP Entertainment to collaborate together on a new song for SM Radio.
Word of the collaboration between JYP Entertainment and SM Entertainment garnered plenty of chatter among the K-pop community, especially when J.Y. Park visited SM Entertainment for the very first time, as reported by AllKpop. He was accompanied by JYP Entertainment K-pop idols, Jo Kwon of 2PM and Min of Miss A, for a song with Hyoyeon of Girls’ Generation titled “Born to be Wild.”
Eventually, the K-pop community got to see the fruits of labor between JYP Entertainment and SM Entertainment when “Born to be Wild” released on midnight, Friday, August 26, as reported by Soompi. Min, Jo Kwon, and Hyoyeon were dubbed a brand new K-pop unit known as Triple T. Their song is aggressive, catchy, and thoroughly highlights the musical talents of those that many say are the least popular members of their respective groups.
Unfortunately, the times that JYP Entertainment or SM Entertainment worked with each other this year were through a third party (KBS for Unnies’ Slam Dunk) or believed to be a one-time thing (Triple T). However, is it possible that both companies’ new direction in working with other entertainment agencies directly creates the possibility of the first K-pop group created under two of the Big Three labels? SM Entertainment might be the biggest entertainment agency in South Korea right now, but there are some benefits that JYP Entertainment has that SM Entertainment lacks. As for JYP Entertainment, they might have access to a plethora of benefits working alongside the biggest entertainment agency in South Korea right now.
The opportunities seem boundless if JYP Entertainment and SM Entertainment created a cross-label K-pop group, but it is best for both of them to get more of a feel for each other. It is best that they actually continue working together with the new K-pop unit they established with Triple T. If they can make Triple T big and just as popular as K-pop groups like Girls’ Generation, EXO, Twice, or Got7, they’ll be able to utilize that knowledge if they do decide to create a K-pop group that marries SM Town to JYP Nation.
[Image via SM Entertainment]