You probably haven’t noticed, but since the end of May Seven Season’s calendar page (which has never been stellar) has looked like this:
And the Web site itself hasn’t been updated in a really long time.
Yup, the “New Videos” are from Very Good.
Something very new has happened, though: KQ Entertainment now has a Web site. (And now they’ve changed the logo and address on Seven Seasons’ Facebook page.) At the moment the site contains a message from CEO Kim Kyu Wook basically saying that they’re going to be more open with the structure that already exists: KQ Entertainment will be the parent company, and Seven Seasons and KQ Produce will be its subsidiaries. Seven Seasons will continue to run Block B exclusively; KQ Produce will run other acts (at the moment just Babylon, but that will probably change). ETA: Block B International has a translation up here–it’s technically a name change, but Seven Seasons will still exist as a subsidiary. Block B United has a chart, if you are more visual.
The only real issue that I can see is that I’m going to have to update the BlockB.com Links page, because the Seven Seasons’ Web site will be subsumed into the KQ Entertainment one. I’m not too torn up about it, in part because I’m hoping they’ll actually, you know, update the damned thing on some kind of regular basis.
Some people are kind of freaking out about this, though, which I feel is really premature. While I think Block B and its members will almost certainly have longer careers than the average K-Pop group (if they haven’t already), it’s most definitely in the interest of any corporate partner to diversify. The members’ contracts with Seven Seasons will expire in two to three years, and who knows what will happen after that. I certainly hope they stay together, but maybe Zico will decide that he wants to start his own label, U-Kwon will become a stay-at-home dad, Taeil will dedicate his life to fish, etc. Anything is possible.
Jaehyo could die of rage.
Indeed, now is a very good time for KQ Entertainment to start building its own brand and its own roster of talent. They’re still getting whatever they get from Block B, and they still have the cachet that comes from running a top group–honestly, I’d probably be doing the same thing.
But won’t Block B get screwed?
I think people assume that Block B MUST be getting screwed here, some way, because that’s what Stardom did–they took the money Block B earned, gave none of it to the members, spent it on other groups, misplaced some of it, and were just generally awful.
But changing a Web address or the heading on some stationary doesn’t change anyone’s contract. The members of Block B have obviously been doing pretty well on their current contracts, and those can’t be altered unilaterally by the company (at least not legally, and one thing we know for sure about the members of Block B is that they’re not afraid to sue). However big the cut of revenues that the members get, it’s not going to change because Seven Seasons now wants to call itself Seven Seasons: A Division of KQ Entertainment, Inc., or whatever.
If the restructuring does prove some huge distraction–CEO Kim doesn’t love Block B and won’t eat their soup anymore–guess what? Their contracts expire soon! They came out fine from a much more difficult situation, and they’ve only gotten more successful since then. Block B pretty much holds all the cards at this point, and if they part ways with Seven Seasons/KQ Entertainment it’s probably going to hurt the company a lot more than it will hurt them.
One thing definitely won’t change:
The Engrish. The Engrish will always endure….
ETA: I’m going to amend this to address some of the complaints I’ve seen about what’s going on. (Younger readers can consider this a valuable introduction to life in the working world, in which you will be expected to cope with repeated rebrandings and restructurings without sounding like you’re suffering from acute appendicitis.)
1. Why did KQ Entertainment take over the Seven Seasons social media accounts? Well, there’s the obvious reason–there’s a built-in audience there.
But the other thing is to remember that, with this restructuring, Seven Seasons will be managing Block B alone. Block B already has official social media accounts. So I guess people are expecting Block B to have a set of social media accounts, and then the division that only deals with Block B to have its own set of social media accounts, and then KQ Entertainment to have have its own accounts (and KQ Produce has yet another set of accounts).
Why? Why does Block B need two of everything? It makes much more sense to change the (corporate-oriented) Seven Seasons accounts over to the umbrella company–if you want only the Block B news, follow only the Block B accounts.
2. But Seven Seasons suxxx azzzz!!! They never update their stuff anyway! Block B Japan does a much better job!!! OK. It is true that Seven Seasons doesn’t update very often–I agree. Block B Japan definitely updates more.
However, when it comes to moving product, Seven Seasons clearly has the edge. All you’re proving is that updating social media frequently isn’t actually all that important when it comes to selling music.
And why is Block B Japan so much more efficient? Well, you do know that Block B Japan isn’t it’s own thing, right? It’s part of King Records. So those super-efficient Block B Japan employees are actually King Records employees, who most likely spend all day doing nothing but updating various Websites and social media accounts of the various acts under contract with them.
That’s exactly what KQ Entertainment would like to be doing. They would like to have multiple successful acts, and then they can hire full-time staff that will just sit around and update stuff all day. That’s the goal here with this restructuring.