Fans and industry insiders have long speculated about the differing internal dynamics and philosophies of Korea’s leading entertainment companies. Sooyoung, a beloved member of Girls’ Generation and an industry veteran from SM Entertainment, recently shed some light on this often-debated topic while hosting HYBE‘s latest girl group reality survival show.
Serving as the host for this highly-anticipated show, Sooyoung had the unique opportunity to observe HYBE’s workings up close — all while already having experienced everything about SM firsthand. Known for being candid and straightforward, she shared her observations on the differences between her home agency, SM, and HYBE.
Her words spoke volumes about the differing ethos of the two K-Pop giants. Sooyoung’s remarks hinted at a deep level of respect for HYBE’s focus and dedication towards their artists, suggesting a high level of artist-centric management and training.
When speaking to the media, Sooyoung revealed that, though admittedly she has never experienced HYBE as a trainee, that didn’t stop her from noticing the level of care the company has for its trainees.
I have never experienced HYBE. If I ever experienced it, I could compare it, but the mindset of thinking about artists and the concentration level is good even when viewed from outside.
— Girls’ Generation’s Sooyoung
It’s worth noting that Sooyoung’s comments don’t necessarily reflect negatively on SM Entertainment, where she was nurtured into the accomplished artist she is today. Sooyoung, like many others, appreciates the love and support she received from her home company. However, her observations highlight a difference in the approach toward artist development and management at SM and HYBE.
Although I received a lot of love from a big company like SM, I thought a company leading the K-Pop industry was different.
— Girls’ Generation ‘s Sooyoung
SM Entertainment, known for its systematic and methodical approach to talent cultivation, has been an industry leader for years, giving us many successful acts like Girls’ Generation, Super Junior, SHINee, Red Velvet, and more.
On the other hand, HYBE, formerly known as Big Hit Entertainment, has gained tremendous global recognition, largely thanks to their flagship group, BTS. HYBE’s commitment to artist authenticity, storytelling, and maintaining a personal connection with fans has set them apart in the industry.
Interestingly, Sooyoung’s observations provide an insider perspective on the unique characteristics that make these companies the powerhouses they are today. It is further proof that despite the competition, each company brings a different approach and strategy to the table, thereby contributing to the diverse and continuously evolving landscape of K-Pop.
While Sooyoung’s comments sparked considerable chatter among fans, they also painted a picture of mutual respect between these two industry titans. At the end of the day, Sooyoung’s perspective reveals that both SM and HYBE share the same goal — to nurture artists and bring exceptional music to fans worldwide.