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(News Focus) Collaboration in vogue in Korean entertainment industry

All News 11:00 July 09, 2017

By Shim Sun-ah and Lee Jung-hyon

SEOUL, July 9 (Yonhap) -- K-pop agencies and television networks have recently been actively pursuing collaboration projects in their desperate efforts to create more fresh content.

From the cable TV channel Mnet's new variety show "Snowball Project" to MBC's reality show "Semobang," the collaborations vary in theme and format but have the same purpose -- practical synergetic gains.

Emcees of MBC TV's new variety show "Semobang" attend a news conference in Seoul for the program on May 24, 2017. (Yonhap)

The "Snowball Project" is the first music collaboration project between S.M. Entertainment and Mystic Entertainment. Yoon Jong-shin, famous singer-songwriter and the chief producer of Mystic Entertainment, teams up with S.M.'s singer-songwriter Henry to write a new song. Mystic's Jake Parc and Mark of S.M.'s boy band NCT 127 are taking part as singers.

"Parties of collaboration should be totally different with each other," Yoon said during a recent press conference to promote the show. "Since Mystic and S.M. are really different in their views on content and ways of producing, you'll see through this experiment that the collaboration can produce a totally different color."

YG Entertainment that manages Psy and BIGBANG has recently drawn attention after announcing a plan to open its new television audition show in preparation to mirror K-pop agencies taking advantage of the popularity of audition or singing competition programs.

"There would be limitation in producing such programs with only internal resources," Cho Seo-yoon, YG's TV producer who formerly worked for the major network MBC. "I think it is a good idea to work with other entertainment agencies in perfect harmony to draw a bigger picture."

This photo released by Mnet shows the cast and crew of "Snowball Project." (Yonhap)

MBC's "Semobang," short for the program's original Korean title meaning "All Broadcasting in the World" in English, even blurred the barriers between television and Internet-based programs and between local and foreign TV programs for collaboration. In only about two months since the show's premiere, its producers have already worked with a domestic YouTuber who runs a fishing program and the crews of Mongolia and Cambodian TV variety programs.

"There is no rank between TV broadcasters these days. Aren't practical gains more important?" said Kim Myung-jin, who co-directs "Semobang" with Choi Min-geun. "This program also intends to introduce broadcasting programs whose content is good but are not properly known. It's profitable in many ways."

Many industry insiders forecast that such collaboration projects will be in vogue for the time being.

"If you start a collaborative program led by an entertainment company rather than a broadcasting station, there will be a lot of ideas and rapid progress," said Lee Ye-ji, one of the two co-producers of "Snowball Project."

"There will be a lot of collaborative projects between K-pop agencies in the future," she added.

This photo released by Mnet shows Mark of S.M. Entertainment-managed boy band NCT 127 and singer Jake Parc managed by Mystic Entertainment. (Yonhap)


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