SM Entertainment, one of the country’s leading forces in the K-pop industry, is adopting localization as its main strategy going forward, announcing its plans to launch new boy band NCT (Neo Culture Technology), which will break away from convention.
At a press conference at SMTOWN Coex Artium in Gangnam-gu, Seoul on Wednesday, SM founder Lee Soo-man presented the company’s new hallyu localization strategy as part of his “New Culture Technology” project. SM is looking to expand its footprint worldwide through new initiatives that include the debut of a new crop of international subunit groups and the expansion of its mobile and recording enterprises.
SM Entertainment founder Lee Soo-man speaks during a press conference regarding the company‘s ”New Culture Technology” project at the SMTOWN Coex Artium in Gangnam-gu on Wednesday. (Yonhap)
“SM will be utilizing standout cultural technology to forge hallyu and take K-pop to a new level of global creative content,” said Lee.
“The fans of the first idol groups that we debuted are now grown up and some of them even have children of their own. I’m thrilled that they enjoyed SM’s music and performances during that time,” he added. “But now SM and SM celebrities will be made anew through a variety of new technologies and culture.”
The upcoming string of NCT bands will mark the first boy band introduced by SM since hallyu powerhouse group EXO in 2011. However, unlike any other group in the company‘s history, NCT will not have a fixed number of members. Instead, it will be made up of multiple subunit groups each based in different cities worldwide, with each of the subunits producing music catered specifically to the preferences of their particular region.
The initial two subunits of NCT are slated to be launched in the first half of this year and stationed in Seoul and Tokyo, while the second batch of subunits are expected to debut in China. Lee also revealed his plans to have groups across Southeast Asia and Latin America.
“Our strategy is to release a single in each of the country’s native languages and continue to target current trends of the music market to further globalize hallyu,” he said.
“With this plan, SM’s coming-of-age story will take a leap into the future,” the SM founder added.
Lee also unveiled other hallyu expansion projects, including the company’s new digital music channel “Station,” through which SM artists will release a new single every week.
On the mobile front, Lee has his eyes set on further expanding its multichannel network content systems, including SM’s recently launched “Rookies Entertainment” app, which allows fans to share feedback and suggestions for new artists.
SM Entertainment will also be launching a new electronic dance music label, “ScreaM Records,” as well as organizing a new Asian EDM festival.
By Julie Jackson (firstname.lastname@example.org