The K-pop market has recently experienced unprecedented prosperity, with its influence and industry revenue significantly increasing.

However, the future outlook for K-pop is not so bright.

This is because a report has come out showing that the number of trainees aspiring to become idols is significantly decreasing.

Reporter Kwak Hyun-soo investigates the reasons behind this trend.

A practice room in Mapo-gu, Seoul

'PICKUS,' a group formed through a broadcast audition program last year, is in the midst of choreography practice.

This group, composed of multinational members, realized their dream of debuting after an uncertain period as trainees that lasted from a few months to several years.

[Park Mingeun / Group PICKUS: I started my trainee life at 19, so it's been about five years. Constant evaluations were a source of stress.]

The process of crossing borders and overcoming language barriers was tough, but they endured with hope for the future.

[Kotaro / Group PICKUS: After watching BTS senior's 'Dynamite' music video, I realized that there was such a cool and beautiful world. From then on, I started dreaming of the K-pop world.]

However, it has recently been revealed that the number of trainees who supported K-pop strongly has sharply decreased.

According to data released by the Korea Creative Content Agency, the number of K-pop trainees belonging to agencies, which was 1,895 in 2020, fell to 1,170 by the end of 2022.

This is a 38.3% decrease in just two years.

Not only has the number of aspiring trainees decreased, but the proportion of existing trainees voluntarily giving up has also increased.

The rate of trainees actually debuting as celebrities decreased from about 80% in 2016 to about 65% in 2022, a reduction of about 20%.

[Lee Min-woo / Kodata Solution Team Leader: As the rate of trainees becoming actual celebrities decreases, smaller agencies are increasingly giving up on training trainees.]

What are the reasons for this decrease in the number of K-pop trainees?

Industry insiders point to changes in the career preferences of teenagers as the main cause.

According to the annual career education status survey by the Ministry of Education, being a singer was ranked 6th among elementary school students' desired occupations in 2009 but dropped to 9th between 2019 and 2021. Among middle school students, being a singer was ranked 7th in 2009 but has been out of the top 10 since 2019.

Notably, for high school students, being  singer has not been included in the top 10 desired occupations since 2009.

[Entertainment agency official: Compared to the uncertainty of whether they will generate income after a long trainee period, becoming an influencer can create income in a shorter period and produce quick results.]

The K-pop market has experienced unprecedented prosperity in recent years.

However, the field is facing difficulties in securing future K-pop talent.

original post: here

1. Isn't it because the bubble has popped?

2. It's because it's not actually lucrative 

3. It's also because there were way too many trainees

4. I wonder what's in the top 10 now? Being a Youtuber?

5. This is why they're trying to push into China and Japan 

6. Rather than being an idol, they all want to become influencers

7. It's because the rate of success is so low 

8. Everyone is trying to be an influencer

9. It's honestly hard for small agencies to survive with KPOP now 

10. Doesn't this apply to all industries now?

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