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The "Big 3" Kpop Entertainment Agencies

Updated on January 18, 2016

The "Big 3" Agencies in the Kpop Industry are: SM Entertainment, JYP Entertainment, and YG Entertainment.

SM Entertainment

EXO | Source

Let's start with the biggest of the three: SM Entertainment. SM was founded by Lee Soo Man in 1989. The acronym "SM" originally stood for the founder's name but now stands for "Success Museum". The current CEO of SM is Kim Young Min. SM houses some of the biggest names in the Kpop industry. The current roster includes Super Junior, Girls' Generation, SHINee, Exo, f(x), and Red Velvet. The company is also sometimes credited as the creator of Kpop. SM is sometimes looked down upon because of their "salve contracts". They're called slave contracts because most of them last up to or even over 10-13 years. They also have been said to give their artists no freedom. A huge controversy occurred in 2009 with boy-group DBSK. Three out of five members submitted an application to the Seoul Central District Court saying that their 13 year contract was too long and that the earnings were not fairly distributed to the members. The court ruled in favor of the members and now they are two separate groups: TVXQ (Max Changmin and U-Know Yunho) and JYJ (Junsu, Yuchun, Jejung). The name for SME's project group is "SM Town".

Below are a few music videos of SME:

EXO's "Love Me Right" MV

Red Velvet's "Dumb Dumb" MV

SHINee's "Everybody" MV

[VER.2] Who is your favorite artist in SM?

See results

JYP Entertainment

GOT7 | Source

Next, we have JYP Entertainment. JYP Entertainment was founded in 1997 by Park Jin Young. Par Jin Young, or "JYP" is also the CEO. The current roster includes, 2PM, GOT7, 15&, Wonder Girls, miss A, TWICE, DAY6, and JYP himself. Although the JYPE doesn't have nearly as many artists as SM, their artists have been hugely successful. JYP is known for being quite harsh and strict with his artists during training. He is also said to have made 2AM's Jo Kwon and 2PM's Wooyoung cry. Although he is strict with his artists, they have said that it is only because he wants them to be strong enough to take the criticism they will get when they become idols. He has been said to be like a father to his artists. The name for JYPE's project group is "JYP Nation".

Below are a few music videos from JYPE:


GOT7's "If You Do" MV


[VER.2] Who is your favorite artist in JYP?

See results

Who is your favorite artist in JYPE?

  • 35% 2PM
  • 5% 2AM
  • 35% miss A
  • 12% Wonder Girls
  • 9% JJ Project
  • 1% 15&
  • 1% JYP
  • 1% Baek Ah Yeon
  • 0% JOO
1089 people have voted in this poll.

This poll is now closed to voting.

YG Entertainment

iKON | Source

Last but certainly not least, is YG Entertainment. Founded in 1996 by Yang Hyun-Suk, YG is the home to many artists such as PSY, Epik High, BIGBANG, 2NE1, WINNER, iKON, Akdong Musician, and Lee Hi. The name "YG" is an abbreviation for the CEO (Yang Hyun-Suk)'s nickname "Yang Goon" Three of it's artists, BIGBANG, PSY, AND 2NE1 are considered the most internationally known artists. PSY's song "Gangnam Style" was a huge international success even being called the "King of YouTube". YG artists are know for their unique sense of style which makes them different from the rest. They are also know to do many collaborations. YGE is also known to look for artists based purely on talent. The name for YGE's project group is YG FAMILY.

Below are some music videos from YGE:


iKON's "Rhythm Ta" MV

2NE1's "Come Back Home" MV

[VER.2] Who is your favorite artist in YG?

See results

Who is your favorite YGE artist?

  • 3% Lee Hi
  • 52% BIGBANG
  • 38% 2NE1
  • 3% PSY
  • 2% Epik High
  • 1% Kang Seung Yoon
1232 people have voted in this poll.

This poll is now closed to voting.

Favorite out of the "Big 3"?

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Well, I hope you all learned something about kpop today. :) Now go watch kpop videos!!!


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      Felipe Sousa 11 months ago

      Where is Girls' Generation? They shold be here too...