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The Reason Why M Countdown's Conflict with YG is Like Punching a Wall

YG has been in conflict not only with KBS but also with Mnet. In September 15, 2015, iKON released its warm-up single “My Type,” and with the song the boy group dominated a variety of online music charts. However, the song was just excluded from the chart of Mnet’s “M Countdown,” and the incident triggered a conflict between YG and Mnet.

At that time, Mnet stated “The music chart of “M Countdown” only takes into account songs that are being promoted. iKON just dropped the warm-up single and didn't appear on music chart shows. That's why the song was excluded from the chart."

However, YG took a strong stand, saying, "It doesn't make any sense. We will consider whether iKON should appear on Mnet even after the group's mini and full album will be released."

Well, what do you think? Actually, there was something complicated behind the conflict between them. In 2015, there was an intense competition between YG and SM. YG’s BIGBANG made a comeback after its 3-year hiatus and caused a sensation in the k-pop world, while SM's various artists including EXO and SHINee released their new albums one after another to stop BIGBANG's winning streak. And around the same time as iKON, SM’s new girl group Red Velvet released its new song “Dumb Dumb.” With the song, the girl group gained great popularity and won No.1 trophy of “M Countdown” that was aired on September 24, 2015.

But, it was a matter of choice for Mnet. The show might have included iKON's song in its music chart if it had wanted to. And if iKON's song was included in the chart, it was uncertain whether Red Velvet could win No.1 trophy. I'm not saying that iKON should have won the trophy and Red Velvet had sufficient qualifications for No.1, but iKON wasn't even given the chance to compete against Red Velvet, and the whole situation was due to Mnet’s choice. Mnet certainly brought it on itself.

Korean broadcasting companies usually try not to upset big k-pop agencies, but at the same time, they try to hold a dominant position over the agencies. That’s why k-pop idols who do not appear on a TV music chart show usually can’t win No.1 trophy of the program. Yeah, like iKON. However, people in the k-pop world say broadcasting companies are misjudging the situation. Do you know why?

In old days, broadcasting companies were much more powerful than k-pop agencies because there were not many broadcasting companies in Korea, while there was no tool for k-pop singers to promote their songs except for TV appearance. However, the world has changed. They can now promote their songs through SNS, YouTube, web portal sites, etc. And the cultural contents produced by k-pop agencies and idols are being loved by k-pop fans all over the world. Of course, it’s true that broadcasting companies are still stronger than small and unknown k-pop agencies. But big agencies such as YG and SM are different. They have famous global stars like BIGBANG, Girls’ Generation and EXO, and they don’t need to depend on broadcasting companies at all because they have their own platforms to promote their artists.

Well, yeah, it would be better if the big agencies have a good relationship with broadcasting companies – that’s why Yang Hyun Suk tried to reconcile with KBS before YG’s rookie idol groups’ debut – but, I mean, they don’t need to be desperate to it either because as I said, there are so many broadcasting companies in Korea now and big k-pop agencies have their own platforms to promote their artists.

So, that’s why I’m saying Mnet’s conflict with YG is like punching a wall. Mnet just couldn’t accept that YG became more powerful than itself and had the temerity to tame the very influential k-pop agency. Do you know what happened in the end? YG’s BIGBANG won song of the year and artist of the year awards at 2015 MAMA, which was hosted by Mnet, while iKON became the winner of best new male artist award. Yeah, Mnet showed the white flag, eventually.

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