Rookie boy band Wanna One has beaten established girl band Girls' Generation in the charts and drew tens of thousands to their debut gig at the Geochok Sky Dome in Seoul last week.
Girls' Generation's latest song entered the Melon charts at 24th on Tuesday, while Wanna One's latest single grabbed first place.
Girls' Generation pulled only 3,000 fans at their latest event to celebrate their 10th anniversary, compared to 20,000 who flocked to Wanna One.
Girls' Generation released their sixth album last week, but the title song "Holiday" hasn't even made it into the top 10. A few days later, Wanna One made their debut with the song "Energetic," which quickly swept the major music charts.
Thanks to young fans who download songs via multiple music streaming apps or go through hoops to boost the online search frequencies of their favorite boy band to show their support, the boys with the broken English name were catapulted to the top of the charts almost immediately their first album came out.
"Energetic" was streamed by 98,000 people in one hour. A Melon staffer said, "Fans of boy bands tend to be more loyal than fans of girl bands, so even veterans like Girls' Generation don't stand a chance against newbies like Wanna One."
But the 11-member combo's success is mainly due to a massive promotional campaign by CJ E&M. The members created a sensation even before their official debut by appearing on talent contest "Produce 101" on cable channel Mnet.
By contrast the established talent mills now appear powerless. Aspiring singers and dancers are saying it is better to get picked up by CJ instead of SM Entertainment or YG Entertainment because the conglomerate can combine content production with providing the platforms to promote songs or albums.
This is why SM is joining hands with other production companies and YG is busy scouting talented TV producers. One staffer at a large talent agency said, "SM and YG are already transforming themselves to resemble broadcasters, so competition will intensify."