s (yohan94) wrote in omonatheydidnt,

Why do music shows hold so much power despite low ratings?

music shows inkigayo music core soompi music ban

Weekly music shows barely register in TV viewership ratings these days. Recently, SBS’s “Inkigayo” recorded 1.7 percent, MBC’s “Music Core” recorded 1.8 percent, and KBS2′s “Music Bank” recorded 1.3 percent. If they were any other variety show, they would have already been canceled. Yet, these weekly music shows, costly and exhausting to both the production and the artists who appear on them, continue to exist and their influence in the K-pop industry remains despite the proliferation of other media and venues for fans to listen and watch their favorite artists. Why?
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Local news source Ilgan paints a picture of a systematic abuse of power. Music shows are headed by a PD (producer), who is managed by a CP (chief producer), and a CP is in charge of three to four programs. To appear on a music show, you must negotiate carefully with these two. For example, an agency has a group that just debuted and that agency needs to put the group on the show; despite the proliferation of other media and venues, music shows still remain the best way for artists to get their names out there. The network plays this to its advantage – the CP will demand that a top-level star from the agency appear on one of his/her other programs so that the rookie group can appear on the music show. That’s when you see a top-level star randomly appear on a variety show like “Radio Star” or “Law of the Jungle.”

Tuesdays are the day a PD and the agency have some face time. Seventy to 100 managers may put their name down on a list and wait an hour or more to meet the PD. It’s basically up to the manager to get their artists on a music show. If they miss one show one week, fans will criticize the agency, saying, “You guys are so incompetent; you can’t even get our artist on a music show.”

Although the low ratings of music shows have decreased their power slightly, a network can still say to an agency that decides not to appear on music shows at all that no one from that agency can appear on any show on that network. If the agency wants their artists to get on shows that actually have higher ratings and more content power like “King of Mask Singer” and “Running Man,” the artists have to appear on music shows. It’s a vicious cycle.

Music shows are costly. For idols, it may cost them 3-5 million won (approximately $2,500-$4,200) for outfits just for one show. Adding the costs of hair, makeup, dancers, choreography, and meals, it can cost 100 million won (approximately $83,900) for four weeks of promotions.

In contrast, for many years now, groups only get 300,000 won (approximately $250) per appearance. Music shows can’t pay more since their low ratings mean they are not getting any revenue from ads. When a music show puts together a huge event once in a while, it is likely that it wasn’t funded by the network, and some networks even ask the agencies to pay for the production of a stage set.

One agency CEO commented, “The relationship between a network and a agency is that of a topdog and an underdog. Within that kind of relationship, there are many unreasonable situations. But the best way for a network to control a music agency is through music shows, so there is near zero percent chance of them disappearing. Unless ratings actually hit zero percent.”

1. [+184, -10] To regular viewers, it may seem like groups just come on to perform a song or two before leaving but these groups actually have to be there by early morning and are on standby for an indefinite amount of time until recording and the live broadcast. Then they have to stay for the live just to clap for everyone before leaving. The reason viewer ratings for music shows are so low is because fans don't have to actually watch the show to watch everyone else to wait for their favorite artist to perform. They can just grab a video link after the performance.

2. [+159, -4] The shows may not matter to popular groups but rookies or artists from weaker agencies need to pander to these music shows and it's so sad... They also wait up to 12 hours for these shows just to perform for a couple of minutes on stage. Even then, viewers don't watch anymore because it's easier to watch performance clips on Naver than sit through it all. Furthermore, music shows are heavily based around idols so people who aren't interested in that won't watch.

3. [+106, -3] I just find the entire concept of music shows so boring. Having two MCs try so hard to be funny when they're not at all is annoying.

4. [+17, -0] There used to be ballads and hip hop and dance performances back then... but now it's just the same old sounding songs... ㅠㅠ

5. [+15, -3] SBS Inkigayo is the strangest for me.. they're so biased towards YG, why is that???

6. [+12, -0] Music shows have always been known for abusing their power. Don't want to go on IAC? Well you can kiss your Music Core slot goodbye. If you piss any of them off, you can forget about being able to perform a full three minutes of your song ㅋㅋㅋ I also can't stand the camera work on these shows. Back and forth, swirling around ㅡㅡ Zooming in on the wrong member when someone else is singing... what is the point of having 3-4 rehearsals when they just broadcast the first one anyway... ㅋㅋㅋ

7. [+8, -0] These shows obviously put agencies at a loss but they have no option but to put them on them. I didn't know before but I found out that agencies have to pay for the stage setups too which is why there's such a stark difference in stage quality between all of the groups. That expense on top of all the hair, make up, different outfits for every stage, the fact that outfits are also produced by their own stylists or are luxury brands, on top of the 10+ hours of waiting so you can't schedule other activities...

8. [+8, -2] SM is even more powerful ㅋ Their rookies get the best recording schedule and get to perform two songs while other nugu agencies have to be there by early morning just to wait around to perform a 2 minute song.

9. [+8, -0] No one watches unless you're a fan. Poor sound quality and the camera work is head ache inducing.

10. [+8, -0] Video uploading has become so much faster that you can pick and choose who you want to watch right after the show so there's no reason to watch the live broadcast

source: Naver via Soompi, Nate via Netizenbuzz

i found this interesting, these agencies and artists are basically at the mercy of music shows that dont generate viewership or money...
Tags: inkigayo, mnet countdown, music bank, music core, netizens

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