Entertainment companies in the Korean Pop (K-pop) music industry plays a huge role in the production of idol groups and have been the main stakeholder in the idol production with a created trainee system. However, the entry of a new stakeholder – broadcasting companies into the idol production system, alters the trainee system as well as the market power entertainment companies have always enjoyed. The objective of this study is to map out the reasons that triggered and allowed the entry of broadcasting companies into the idol production system and problematized this new phenomenal, guided by a list of research questions. Through research done on the American recording industry, parallels were drawn with the Korean entertainment companies, as well as the comparison between reality show American Idol and Idol Production Survival Show – Produce 101. This showed that the entry of the broadcasting company into the idol production system is not triggered by a lack in supply of idol groups, but the ability to respond to the demands of their audience. As such, this new phenomenal in Korea is not a new phenomenal, but a repeat of what has previously happened in the America music industry.
Hence, through this change in the idol production system, entertainment companies have faced opportunities and challenges which encouraged the progression of the entire K-pop music industry to go beyond just providing music. However, this also brings us to the bigger problem of both entertainment companies and broadcasting companies treating idols as money-making products.