Riize, aespa figure big in SM Entertainment's 2024 blueprint

The poster for the SMTown Live 2024 concert, which will be held at the Tokyo Dome in February [SM ENTERTAINMENT]

Girl group aespa will be back with its long-awaited first full-length album before June, along with rookie boy band Riize's new single and EP that will also come within the first half of the year.

SM Entertainment announced its 2024 blueprint on Thursday, ahead of the Seollal holidays to celebrate the Lunar New Year.
Waiting on the roster along with rookies aespa and Riize are the agency's veteran bands SHINee and Red Velvet, as well as solo artists BoA, Hyoyeon from Girl’s Generation, Suho from EXO and Doyoung from NCT.

Naevis, the agency’s first virtual artist who featured in aespa's "Welcome to My World" (2023) will also make her debut, SM Entertainment said. A date was not revealed.

Concerts under the SM IP have also been under way. Boy band SHINee member Minho kicked off SM Town’s 2024 with his first fan concert, and bands NCT 127 and TVXQ with their third world tour and an Asian tour in January, respectively.

In February, Super Junior subunit L.S.S, comprised of members Leeteuk, Shindong and Siwon, will start its Asia tour, and NCT member Taeyong will hold his first concert as a solo artist. SM will also hold its companywide K-pop concert SMTown Live 2024 at the Tokyo Dome in the same month.

SM Entertainment attributes its smooth-sailing operations to the agency’s SM 3.0 business strategy, which emphasizes the involvement of five production “centers” under SM to utilize the company’s IP in various sectors of the entertainment industry by maximizing each of the agency’s artists’ individual talents and charms.

The SM 3.0 business project was launched in 2023, in line with the departure of SM founder Lee Soo-man from the company and acquisition by Kakao.

Each center is responsible for specific artists’ projects under the SM label. One Production, for instance, oversaw the production of NCT Wish and the band’s appearance in tvN drama series “Marry My Husband” (2024) as well as Taeyeon and aespa’s music releases.

Red Production, which supervised TVXQ’s Asia tour, is now preparing Red Velvet member Wendy’s EP release in March.

SM Entertainment saw a 12 percent on-year increase in the number of albums and soundtracks published last year and saw a record-high 20.1 million sales for newly released records, up 67 percent compared to 2022, according to the company. A total of 340 concerts were held by the company’s artists last year, 224 percent more than 2022.