Collaboration becomes new norm

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Collaboration becomes new norm

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.

The “Snowball Project” is the first music collaboration project between S.M. Entertainment and Mystic Entertainment. In it, 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 take part as singers.

“Collaborators 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 and ways of producing, you’ll see through this experiment that the collaboration can produce a totally different feeling.”

YG Entertainment, which manages Psy and BigBang, has recently garnered attention after announcing a plan to open its new television audition show, in an attempt 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,” said Cho Seo-yoon, a TV producer at YG 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.”

MBC’s “Semobang,” short for the program’s original Korean title meaning “All the Broadcasting in the World” in English, even blurred the barriers between television and Internet-based programs and between local and foreign TV programs in its 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 is 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.

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