SM Entertainment is a South Korean entertainment agency founded by Lee Soo-Man on February 14, 1989, in Gangnam-gu, Seoul, with SM Studio. Some prominent K-pop idol groups such as SHINee, SUPER JUNIOR, EXO, Red Velvet, Aespa, NCT, Girl’s Generation with other solo artists are under the label. SM Entertainment is one of the most successful agencies in Korea and is a competitor of the Big 3 agencies, including YG Entertainment and JYP Entertainment. The company has a record label, talent agency, music production, event management company, concert production company, and music publishing house.
In 1995, the name of the label was changed from SM Studio to SM Entertainment, and Jung Hae-ik was assigned as the CEO. In the 1990’s SM Entertainment was responsible for forming the major K-pop music industry. Kim Kyung-wook replaced Jung Hae-ik as the CEO in 1998. In March 2020, Lee Sung Soo was announced to be the current CEO of SM Entertainment.
Legacy and Expansion of SM Entertainment Globally
The company faced a decline in the early years of 2000 when H.O.T. disbanded in 2001 and S.E.S. in 2002. They expanded their company internationally for the very first time in 2001 by setting up SM Entertainment Japan. Their renowned K-pop group Super Junior debuted in 2005, and since then, several artists debuted and gained recognition under the label of SM Entertainment. In 2008 S. M declared that they would make their group BoA debut in the United States under the label SM Entertainment USA.
Lee Soo-Man, by then, already has that golden opportunities are waiting for S.M Entertainment outside of Korea, and they should focus on the expansion of their label globally as well. Many artists and groups that debuted and trained under the scrutiny of SM Entertainment have talked about how the agency knows to bring the inner potential and talents out of an artist. SM Entertainment is the agency that has helped in creating the K-pop wave and made the gates of the international markets open for K-pop. SM Entertainment has currently gone through a restructuring, and they are managing their subsidiary companies. This will help them manage their artists, groups, and content globally and nationally.
SM Entertainment establishes a new subsidiary called SM Studios
On April 5, 2021, SM Entertainment announced that they are reorganizing their subsidiary companies. They have created a new subsidiary company named SM Studio, owned wholly by the same. The SM’s shares of SM C&C (SM Cultures and Contents, advertising and video creation company), KeyEast (management agency for actors and drama production company), DEAR U (mobile application developer), Mystic Story (manages actors, musicians, and content) will now be solely invested in SM Studios.
SM Entertainment has promised a better and responsible management system in the future via SM Studios. They have stated that they will be focusing more on the music business, which is the heart of SM Entertainment, and they will have more bargaining power and gain market competitiveness. It is formed to create efficiency and sustainability for the agency. It is expected that SM Studio will have collective bargaining power in drama, music, and other entertainment content. In recent years SM Entertainment has been facing a lot of struggles in the business. They have a decline in sales and earnings. There is a decrease of 83.9% in the profits of SM Entertainment. With the launching of SM Studios, it is expected that there will be a boost in the profits, sales, and earnings of the agency this year. SM Entertainment is investing around 5 billion won (4.4 million USD) into the subsidiary company SM Studio, and they will be acquiring the stocks on June 4, 2021. There is no doubt that the stakes are higher this time, but they have to leap in their step to bring back the agency’s glory.
SM Studios will even manage the revenues that come from non-k-pop content. The target of SM Studio goes beyond the horizon of music. They will include content creation, designing, etc. To stay updated with the groups and artists of SM Entertainment, you can check out their official YouTube channel named SM Town and their official website.
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