Which agency took Korean by storm this year? For the year 2013, we have chosen the entertainment company that dominates with much hot issues, best Hallyu contents as well as results achieved by singers, celebrities and their activities abroad. In the contents production category, we decide their scores based on viewers rating, and audience’ perspective as well as focusing on the diversity of contents productions and planning skills they have offered. We have also seen a mushrooming trend where small-medium agencies merged or signed a strategic partnership so as to obtain a stable profit structure. In this evaluation, we will also take a look at the company’s ‘crisis management skills’ when artists’ personal lives are exposed through the internet. TenAsia compiled and had chosen Top 15 Entertainment Agency that rocked the entertainment industry for the year 2013. And our first runner that we will discuss about is Cube Entertainment (in no particular order).
(Clockwise from top: Planning, Public Relations, Global, Business Management, Rookie Management)
So how did Cube Entertainment fare this year?
Cube Entertainment established by co-founder of JYP Entertainment Representative Hong SeungSong in april 2008, and is a house for BEAST, 4minute, G.NA, BTOB and gagman Kim KiRi. Subsidiary Cube DC includes soloist Rain, Roh JiHoon, and Shin JiHoon. Cube Entertainment specializes in album and contents production and artist management. In year 2011 and 2012, they had recorded 3.33 billion Won and 0.97 billion Won of operating profit respectively. The company is expected to make about 2.5 billion Won in 2013.
Cube Entertainment’s label company, A Cube houses girl group A Pink and male soloist Huh Gak, and is operated as a separated entity from Cube Entertainment. Artists under Cube Entertainment often comes together for their branded concert ‘United Cube’. In December 2013, all artists under Cube Entertainment came together to release their first ever Christmas carol.
This year, Cube Entertainment’s talent management for rookies stayed stagnant, but the agency came strong as we see Trouble Maker’s success and BEAST as well as other artists’ overseas concerts. Overall, their planning skills and overseas promotions are some of the aspects worth noticing.
First of all, in the planning section, 3-years-old unit group ‘Trouble Maker’ has once again charted its success with its extraordinary one-of-a-kind male-female duo group, hence, placing Cube Entertainment itself in the ‘example of good entertainment’ position.
On the downside, management overseeing rookies tend to see a dropping trend. BTOB who had debuted last year, despite having full force promotions, the performance reaped was unlike what had been expected. For other rookies as well, their promotions were not eye-catching, which is an unfortunate down point for the company.
In the businese management category, Cube Entertainment has taken a huge leap through their strategic partnership with IHQ. Partnering up with a company that specializes in movies and drama productions, we will soon see a variety of roles taken up by Cube Entertainment’s artists in the near future.
Public relations which is vital for artists’ image sees a stable trend for Cube Entertainment this year. There isn’t any external incidents and the company scored a pass for its crisis management skills.
In the overseas expansion (global) category, 5-years-old BEAST accomplished their Japanese concerts as well as signing a contract with Japan’s largest advertisement company, Hakuhodo DY Media Partners (subsidiary of Hakuhodo DY Group), which is a great achievement by Cube Entertainment.
This year’s results
In the digital category, for the first half of 2013, 4minute recorded strong results digitally, whereas in the second half year, Trouble Maker (Beast’s Hyunseung and 4minute’s Hyuna) took over the baton. In May, 4minute released title track ‘What’s Your Name?’ under their 4th mini album ‘Name is 4minute’, and had dominated various charts, becoming one of the most prominent girl groups in the first half year.
In particular, ‘What’s Your Name?’ fought off strong competitors such as Cho YongPil and Lee MoonSei. Even after a month after its release, the track recorded #1 on May monthly charts, showing off its amazing longevity. ‘Trouble Maker’ which was formed in 2011 December came back with a new title ‘Now’ in October, yet another hit song to prove their unstoppable popularity.
BEAST’s Yong JunHyung (tvN drama ‘Monstar’), Yoon Doojoon (tvN ‘Let’s Eat’), Lee Kikwang (CJ E&M ‘Twenty Years Old’) and more broaden their activities as an actor. Moreover, Rain who had officially signed with subsidiary Cube DC will soon carry out rich activities. In November, Rain performed on Mnet ‘Asian Music Awards’ while hinting a comeback after 3 years of blank period. Movie wise, he will once again return to big screen with Hollywood movie ‘The Prince’, 5 years after his last movie role.
In terms of business, Cube Entertainment signed a strategic partnership with IHQ. The synergy effect between two entertainment agencies could have a positive impact for both, in terms of artists management as well as drama productions.
Star of the Year
The hit duo that rose the sexy wave in the entertainment industry last year end, Trouble Maker, has once again return to the music scene with another successful story. Trouble Maker’s ‘Now’ MV is made from the concept used in movie ‘Bonnie and Clyde’. The sexy choreograph performed by both starlets further became a hot topic immediately after its release. The project group gained mixed reactions, as some condemned the ‘repeated sexy concept’. Despite these criticisms, ‘Now’ is still undeniably a popular hit for the second half year. In fact, it dominated the nation’s largest music site ‘Melon’ November monthly chart. On Youtube, the MV’s popularity spanned to audience abroad as well, with more than 10 million views and still counting.
Plans for 2014
Having set on their goals to be listed next year, Cube Entertainment will place even more emphasis on planning skills for their artists. First runner for 2014 would be soloist Rain, who will be making his comeback to the music industry in January. After his comeback, G.NA, Beast and 4minute will follow suit while more focus will be given to rookie group BTOB’s promotion activities. Cube Entertainment also plans on providing more composing or acting opportunities to each artist. Business wise, they are planning on establishing self-operated ‘Cube Cafe’ branches around South East Asia, after branches in Seoul MyungDong and Japan Osaka.
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