YG Entertainment, Inc.
- Type: Private Industry Music and entertainment
- Genre: Record label, talent agency
- Founded 1996 (1996)
- Founder(s): Yang Hyun Suk
- Headquarters: Seoul, South Korea
- Key people: Yang Hyun Suk: CEO
- Revenue: 35.7 billion won (2009)
- Owner(s): Yang Hyun Suk (47.9%), Korea Investment M&A Union (20%), Yang Min-seok (11.2%), Mnet Media (5.4%),
- Subsidiaries: YG Entertainment Japan, YG Underground
- Website: http://www.ygfamily.com
YG Entertainment is a record label and talent agency founded by Yang Hyun Suk and based in Seoul, South Korea. The label is one of the “big three” record companies of Korea along with JYP Entertainment and SM Entertainment because of strong market share and international operations. Records release through YG Entertainment’s distributor, Mnet Media. An international subsidiary exists in Japan under the name YG Entertainment Japan. YG Entertainment music is noted for a strong hip hop and R&B feel.
In March 1996, Yang Hyun Suk, a former member of Seo Taiji and Boys, founded YG Entertainment. The first group to debut on the label was Keep Six, with their only album Six in tha Chamber released in May the same year. Jinusean was the next artist to debut on the label and was the first to achieve mainstream success. Group 1TYM followed along with CEO Yang Hyun Suk’s album release. 1TYM and Jinusean are often credited with bringing hip hop to the mainstream Korean audience. In 1999, the company’s artists created a collaboration album under the name YG Family. The label soon released albums by artists Perry, Swi.T, Wheesung, and a second YG Family collaboration in the following years. In 2003, Big Mama debuted as the first group famed for their voices as opposed to appearance. Se7en debuted after, along with Lexy and Gummy. In 2005, the YG Underground label was created and grew to contain the artists 45RPM and Stony Skunk. In addition, Se7en began to go abroad to sell records in Japan in a joint effort between YG Entertainment and Nexstar Records. Big Bang debuted in 2006 and was the company’s first idol group. Big Bang skyrocketed in popularity from the time of their debut to the release of their second Korean album, Remember. 2008 was also marked by new releases from Gummy and Uhm Jung Hwa. In 2009, 2NE1 debuted and also quickly became one of the K-pop industry leaders. Big Bang branched out into Japan during this time and released their first Japanese language album, Big Bang. G-Dragon, leader of Big Bang, released his solo album in Korea and it became the highest selling album of 2009. Psy, an already renowned rap artist, signed onto the label in 2010 and released the album Psy Five. In addition, the company applied to the stock exchange but was rejected. It is estimated that the reason was because YG Entertainment had too few music groups and an unstable cash flow, despite increasing earnings in Korea and Japan in 2009. YG Entertainment passed the Stock Exchange Commission’s screening to go public on the KOSDAQ. The stock price is anticipated to be set around 24,600~28,800 WON (around $22 – $26 USD with a face value of 500 WON). Around 35 billion won (around $33 million USD) will be up for trade on the initial public offering
Domestically, YG has had partnerships with M-Boat Entertainment and EunGun Entertainment, Yamazone Music, and Booda Sound. After the contracts for Big Mama and Soul Star ended, EunGun and M-Boat have ended their activities with YG Entertainment. Starting in 2005, YG expanded into the foreign market. Se7en is the first YG artist to expand into the rest of Asia. YG has partnerships with Nexstar Records, a Nippon Columbia label, to manage Japanese releases for Se7en. Universal Music Japan manage Big Bang’s Japanese activities, and Avex Group manage 2NE1’s Japanese records. YG Entertainment releases its Korean albums under 21 East Entertainment in China, GMM International in Thailand, and Universal Records in the Philippines.
In 2011, YG Entertainment partnered up with S.M. Entertainment, JYP Entertainment, KeyEast, AMENT and Star J Entertainment to create United Asia Management in an effort to promote Korean pop music internationally.
Last March 2010, KMP Holdings was established via a joint venture between YG, S.M., JYP, Star Empire, and other companies. KMP is the official distributor of releases from these companies. KMP stands for Korean Music Power.
United Asia Management
SM Entertainment, YG Entertainment, JYP Entertainment, KeyEast, AMENT and Star J Entertainment will be joining forces to create a huge Asian management agency named ‘United Asia Management‘! This joint investment corporate body was created in an effort to develop an industry that will push ‘Hallyu’ to ‘Asianlyu’. United Asia Management aims to pioneer a global market, and all artists under the six agencies will be under a database system that manages intellectual property rights. A new contents production system will be utilized as well for movies, dramas, and other media. UAM will also be acting as the global agency for artists planning to advance, or currently promoting, overseas. UAM will be officially established as of April 2011.
YGEX was established as a partnership between Avex Group and YG Entertainment for the promotion and release of YG artists’ materials in Japan. Current artists under YGEX include all active YG Entertainment artists. YGEX operates as a joint-label venture between the two companies.
YG Entertainment is heavily involve in charity work, creating their community service campaign WITH. They donate 100 won for every album sold, 1% of all merchandise sales, and 1,000 won for every concert ticket to charities. In 2009, they raised USD$141,000. They surpassed it the following year with USD$160,000. Of the total, USD$87,000 were towards a scholarship for Holt Children’s Services while USD$69,000 were towards children with rare diseases. YG Family have also directly delivered USD$4,400 worth of charcoal to families in need during the winter time. The company has also announced that it would be donating around USD$500,000 for disaster relief to Japan after the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami
- 1TYM (Taebin, Teddy, Baek Kyoung, Jin Hwan)
- 2NE1 (Bom, Dara, Minzy, CL)
- Big Bang (G-Dragon, T.O.P, Taeyang, Daesung, Seungri)
- Masta Wu
- Yang Hyun Suk
- Big Mama
- Huh E Jae
- Jung Sung Il
- Soul Star
- Stony Skunk
- Jung Hye Young
- Go Hye Sun
- Kang Hye Jung
- Sandara Park
- Choi Seung Hyun (T.O.P.)
- Kang Daesung
- Lee Seung Hyun (Seungri)
- Yoo In Na
YG Family Concerts and Tours
- One Concert 2003 (South Korea)
- Color of the Soul Train (South Korea)
- One Concert 2004 (South Korea)
- Thank U Concert 2005 (South Korea)
- One Concert 2005 (South Korea)
- 10th Anniversary World Tour 2006 (South Korea, Japan, and U.S.)
- One Concert 2007 (South Korea)
- Concert 2010 (South Korea)
- YG Entertainment Official website (Korean) http://www.ygfamily.com
- YG Japan Official website (Japanese)
- YG Entertainment channel on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/YGEntertainment
- YG Entertainment Official blog http://www.yg-life.com