Have you ever wondered why exactly do K-pop groups have so many members? While most of the K-pop groups have lesser members such as popular idol BTS (방탄소년단) and MONSTA X (몬스타엑스) with 7 members, BLACKPINK (블랙핑크) with 4 members, Red Velvet (레드벨벳) and (G)I-DLE (아이들) with 6 members respectively, there are several K-pop groups that consist over 10 members.
Some of the notable idol groups that have many members are Seventeen (세븐틴) which consist of 13 members, EXO (엑소) with 12 members when they debuted, girl group LOONA with 12 members, and the biggest one, NCT (엔시티) , which is made up of a total of 21 people.
Why do entertainment companies in South Korea find it beneficial to have more than 10 people as an idol group? Find out here:
1. Amazing choreographies and formation
- Majority K-pop groups regardless of their size are expected to have members who specialise in singing, dancing and rapping. With larger groups, they can afford to have multiple members who are skilled in these areas and amazed fans with their choreographies and vocal abilities.
- K-pop groups such as Seventeen and NCT often pull off amazing performances that wow fans every time.
2. Ability to showcase different talents
- Members of large K-pop groups can explore new fields such as variety shows or discover their passion in acting. Talented K-pop idol groups such as EXO and Seventeen are among the larger groups that have talented members exploring different entertainment fields.
- Not to forget the pioneer of a large K-pop group, veteran idol Super Junior, each member has become their own respected individual in the industry.
3. Fans get to choose their bias
- Having a large group can ensure that most fans can find someone who appeals to them. In fact, it has become a common thing for groups to have a member whose main job is to look good or become the visual of the group.
4. Companies can generate more income
- K-pop albums often include collectible exclusive photo cards of different members. Some fans can enjoy collecting the cards of every member in a group while there are certain fans who would purchase multiple copies of an album for the sake of their favourite member’s card.
- Large groups will attract more fans, and more fans equate to more income for the group and their companies as passionate fans tend to spend more as well.
5. Boy groups can remain active if some members enlist in the military
- Having a large group serves its perks as it can help soften the drought of military service. While a few members enlist, the others can still hold the band together and continue to make music and entertain their fans.
- Super Junior, who currently has nine active members, utilised this alternate technique for almost ten years while each of their members took turns enlisting in the military. Currently, EXO members have also applied the same technique as Suho (수호), Chen (첸), Chanyeol (찬열) and Baekhyun (백현) enlist in the service.
Here are some disadvantages of having many members in a group:
1. Uneven line distributions
- Line distribution is a common issue faced by the majority of K-pop groups. Even with groups who have 6 to 7 members, it is already difficult to navigate the lines to each individual member. Double the number of members and it certainly becomes more difficult to match the lines in the song to suit the large number of people.
2. Marketability and profitability
- Big groups can be profitable for entertainment companies in the long run but only if the group manages to achieve success in their early career. Many small entertainment companies often opt for debuting smaller groups as there are less expenses and costs to be handled.
- Smaller groups can allow members to shine more individually and they can have a greater share of the profits from their activities. It is tougher for the big groups financially as their earnings have to be split in more ways to accommodate every member.
After weighing both pros and cons on the subject, there seems to be more advantages in having big groups as compared to its drawbacks. What do you guys think?