'Blackpink Fourever': Blink rejoices as K-pop powerhouse renews contracts with YG

Girl group Blackpink during its tour in the Netherlands last December [YG ENTERTAINMENT]

“Blackpink Fourever” — It's a hurrah moment for YG Entertainment, Blink and the K-pop industry at large as all four members of Blackpink announced they have agreed to renew their contracts with the agency after four long months of keeping silent.

YG Entertainment said Wednesday that all four members — Jisoo, Jennie, Rosé and Lisa — agreed to renew their contracts with YG Entertainment and continue their activities as a quartet.

However, the four members' separate, individual contracts are still being discussed, meaning they could sign with other agencies for their solo careers but still continue their schedules as Blackpink under YG Entertainment.

Blackpink also promised a new album and world tour after announcing the renewal both in an online regulatory filing and press release. The dates of the album and tour are being discussed, YG Entertainment said.

From left, Lisa (Lalisa Manoban), Rose (Roseanne Park), Jisoo Kim and Jennie Kim, from the K-Pop band Blackpink pose with their Honorary MBEs, Members of the Order of the British Empire, awarded to them in recognition of the band's role as COP26 advocates for the COP26 Summit in Glasgow 2021, in London, Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2023.[AP/YONHAP]

"We are happy to continue our relationship with Blackpink," Yang Hyun-suk, founder and chief producer of YG Entertainment, said in a press release.

"We will provide our best support so that Blackpink may keep on shining as not only our company's iconic artist but also for K-pop. We send our unwavering support and trust in their paths to come."

Blackpink fans, also known as Blink, have been celebrating the news with the tag, “Blackpink Fourever” on X, formerly known as Twitter. “Contract renewal” and “Blackpink” were also trending keywords on X on Wednesday afternoon.

YG Entertainment's shares had been falling since late August when the agency failed to give a clear answer on the members' contract renewal — which should have come after the standard 7-year contract ended that month.

YG Entertainment shares soared immediately following the recent news as the agency promised a new album and world tour from the group.

Blackpink performs at the 2022 MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, U.S., Aug. 28, 2022. [REUTERS/YONHAP]

Shares had been falling from their peak of 95,200 won ($72.5) in May to reach 48,000 won as of Tuesday, but shot up to 61,900 won at around 9:25 a.m. after the news broke Wednesday morning. It peaked at 95,200 won during the day and closed at 60,300 won on Wednesday, 25.6 percent higher than the previous day.

The matter of Blackpink’s contract renewal had been a huge corporate risk for YG Entertainment, especially due to the absence of a different major K-pop idol — as the profession is referred to in Korea — from the agency to take the quartet’s place.

Analysts calculate that Blackpink makes up 75 percent of all of YG Entertainment’s performance revenue and 63 percent of its album sales, and that 85 percent of the company’s operating profit is generated by the girl group.

In fact, the agency’s stock prices failed to recover even after the debut of its newest girl group BabyMonster on Nov. 27. YG's shares slipped for seven consecutive trading days following the thought-to-be highly anticipated girl group’s debut, declining by 11 percent since the girl group’s debut, up until Tuesday.

Girl group Blackpink [YG ENTERTAINMENT]

“Regardless of Blackpink members’ contract renewal, the company’s revenue is still prone to fluctuation,” Daishin Securities analyst Lim Soo-jin said. “[The members] are expected to take time off in 2024 regardless of their contract status, which will inevitably lead to a decrease in the company’s bottom line.”

Wednesday’s news offers a sigh of relief for YG Entertainment, but not entirely.

Reports have been surfacing since September that the members were planning to sign with other agencies for their individual careers, especially since they are all esteemed artists with reputations in both music and fashion.

All four members were famed for becoming paid ambassadors for some of the biggest fashion luxury houses in the world; Jisoo was signed to Cartier, Jennie to Chanel, Lisa to Celine, Bvlgari and MAC and Rose to Saint Laurent, Yves Saint Laurent Beauty and Tiffany.

Girl group Blackpink [YG ENTERTAINMENT]

“We are in talks with members about their individual contracts,” YG Entertainment said, declining to comment further on the issue.

Blackpink debuted on Aug. 8, 2016, as YG Entertainment's second girl group, after 2NE1. It shot up to the top of the charts with its meteoric debut track "Whistle" (2016) and has been sitting on the throne as queen of K-pop ever since.

The girl group’s second full-length album “Born Pink” (2022) topped the Billboard 200 albums chart and the British Official Albums Chart, becoming the first K-pop girl group to top both.

The quartet’s world tour of the same title saw 1.8 million fans in attendance. It was held in 34 cities around the world from 2022 to 2023. Adding to that, Blackpink performed in front of 250,000 for the 2023 Coachella Music Festival and 65,000 at the Hyde Park British Summer Time Festival, bringing the total to 2.1 million concertgoers, according to the group's agency YG Entertainment.

To find out more about Blackpink, visit Celeb Confirmed