BLACKPINK's prolonged undetermined contract renewal plunges YG Entertainment stock prices by 16%

Featuring BLACKPINK (L-R) Jisoo, Jennei, Rosé, and Lisa. (Images via Twitter/ @spinorbinmusic @seouIsonyosound and @pinksIover)
Featuring BLACKPINK (L-R) Jisoo, Jennei, Rosé, and Lisa. (Images via Twitter/ @spinorbinmusic @seouIsonyosound and @pinksIover)

YG Entertainment's stock crashed by 16.3% on speculations that the BLACKPINK members' contracts had not been renewed with YG Entertainment yet. The music company's share price fell 13.3% on Thursday, September 21, and another 4.1% on Friday, September 22, 2023, due to a flurry of stories from the South Korean music industry.

Furthermore, the group raked in a staggering $265 million in revenue from their BORN PINK World Tour 2023, attracting 2.11 million spectators.

Prior to last week, YG Entertainment outperformed its K-pop rivals in share price growth, which was up 80.8% year to date. After the news about BLACKPINK's contract uncertainties broke out, YG Entertainment's stock price plummeted to 130,300 KRW ($97.56 approximately), bringing the company's year-to-date gain to 51.4%. YG Entertainment fell way behind JYP Entertainment's 55.6% growth and SM Entertainment's 69.9% year-to-date gain.

According to a report by the Korean news outlet Daily Sports Seoul, Jennie, Jisoo, and Lisa of BLACKPINK will reportedly depart from YG Entertainment and will only collaborate with the music company to promote the group for six months a year. As a result of that rumor and the ensuing barrage of media coverage, YG Entertainment released a statement regarding the debacle.

"Currently, BLACKPINK’s contract renewal has not been confirmed and is being discussed."

Jennie's appearance in Dua Lipa's At Your Service podcast podcast series aired on July 14, 2023. In the podcast, she mentioned her challenges, aims, and future aspirations. However, the highlight was the Solo singer's usage of the past tense to allude to YG Entertainment, which concerned her fans, who began to speculate about the contract renewal stance of the members.

"BLACKPINK's contract renewal is being negotiated," says YG Entertainment

Furthermore, during BLACKPINK's world tour finale in Seoul on September 17, the news of the four members not renewing their contract with their agency started circulating on the internet. These rumors drove fans to speculate in various ways. On September 15, the company's share price declined by 5.02% to 77,600 KRW ($58.10 approximately). However, YG Entertainment gave its official statement to Newsen.

"Nothing has been confirmed regarding Blackpink's contract renewal and discussions are ongoing."

However, on September 21, 2023, news emerged that Rosé had renewed her contract with YG Entertainment. Jennie, Jisoo, and Lisa were reportedly in the final stages of discussions about switching management companies while keeping up their BLACKPINK collaborations.

It is worth noting that the seven-year exclusive contract between the group members and YG Entertainment expired in August 2022. But there has yet to be any word on it in regards to its renewal, which is drawing interest from both inside and outside the music industry and has concerned investors.

In the previous seven years, BLACKPINK, who made its debut in August 2016, released songs that include Whistle, Boombayah, Playing with Fire, STAY, As If It's Your Last, DDU-DU DDU-DU, How You Like That, Kill This Love, Lovesick Girls, and many more hits that contributed massively in strengthening the group as a worldwide band.

BLACKPINK performed at Coachella for the first time as a K-pop girl group in 2019 and served as the event's headlining act in 2023 during their ongoing BORN PINK world tour. With its 2022 album Born Pink, the quartet became the first K-pop female group and the third K-pop group to debut at the top of the Billboard 200.

Fans have split opinions as some want them to switch to better agencies, while the rest are trying to come to terms with it

According to YG Entertainment, the BORN PINK world tour brought in 1.8 million fans over the course of 66 concerts in 34 cities across 24 countries, including 2.11 million during Coachella and Hyde Park shows. Such a high-performing group allegedly opting to leave the music label would definitely concern investors and fans.

While some fans are happy about the members choosing for a better future, others are overwhelmed with the entire situation and express their views on the matter.

Moreover, on September 20, 2023, the overseas news outlet Star.setn claimed that an American musical company reportedly offered Lisa $37.7 million in exchange for an exclusive deal with better benefits. The deal includes - copyright ownership of her songs, the establishment of her music studio, and an offer of the initial release of six albums in total.

On top of that, Jennie hinted at her upcoming solo project during her cover shoot for Harper's Bazaar October edition, while Jisoo is already discussing switching to another Korean agency.

Fans are still cheering for the BLACKPINK members' independent solo releases in the future despite the contract renewal complications that have provoked a greater storm for YG Entertainment than anticipated.

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Edited by Ivanna Lalsangzuali