An alliance of music production companies has voiced their opposition to idol audition programs such as Produce 101 and upcoming show The Unit.
On August 9, the Alliance of Music Producers, consisting of the Korea Management Federation, Korea Music Content Industry Association, and the Korea Entertainment Producers Association, released a public statement against idol audition programs.
The association wrote, We oppose the advancement of broadcasting companies into the management industry through idol audition programs. First of all, major firms and broadcasting companies will become completely vertically integrated. Major firms and broadcasting companies already have a vertical structure that includes control over music distribution and sale, music production, and performances, and they have recently entered the management industry as well. This causes the entire entertainment industry to become vertically integrated and creates a structure in which fair competition is impossible. We are voicing our concerns about the sudden changes that will be brought to the music industry by the vertical integration of broadcasting companies.
The competition between broadcasting companies will give rise to several problems in the management industry. Short-term management companies that create profit by signing one-year or two-year contracts with artists from TV [audition] programs have already begun to emerge. Unlike the original purpose of giving equal opportunities to various trainees, this only puts the focus on maximizing profit. Moreover, broadcasting companies will no longer be fair as they should be, and the expansion of an unfair structure will cause the music industry to shrink.
They further stated that this new structure will cause small agencies to go bankrupt or turn into companies that simply introduce trainees to broadcasting companies that are recruiting idol candidates.
Lastly, they said, Programs of this format are the result of broadcasting companies attempts to break into the management industry and monopolize the entire entertainment industry. We ask broadcasting companies to join us in creating a fair industry in which we can all coexist.