09.July.2020 – Korea

Sincerity, hardworking attitude and humility make JYP Entertainment the best K-pop Entertainment to invest


My encounter with JYP Entertainment started with it leader, J.Y. Park. He is musically talented, sometimes eccentric in his behaviors yet had maturity and passion for music. I have long been his fan because of his talents, passion, self-discipline and good personality.


My love for JYP Entertainment, however, started with the idol group called TWICE in 2015. This multinational girls idol group—comprised of 5 Koreans, 3 Japanese and 1 Taiwanese—has been a mega hit since their debut through audition program called “Sixteen”. Now the group is undoubted one of the most well-known idol groups not just in South Korea, but in the world.


JYP Sixteen

Source: Sixteen, JYP audition program


What has made this idol group so much special when there are more than hundreds of idols groups debuting in a year in South Korea?


There are many reasons as to why people love this group, such as their pretty outlook and music, but I personally feel that their personalities in being kind, sincere and humble have a far-reaching appeal to the public. In short, unlike some of their peers who appear to be living in their own world, they appeal to the public very much because they are very humble, feel like a normal teenage girl, and make people grin when they interact with their fans.


Then, how could every single member of the group be consistently good-tempered, personally attractive and humble? This, I believe, is what differentiates JYP Entertainment from its rivals and has been the secret recipe for success in the very competitive environment of entertainment industry in South Korea.


During Sixteen audition program, J.Y. Park gave a lecture to TWICE members on what kind of person, not just being a musician or celebrity, JYP entertainment strives to foster. In his lecture, he pointed out three virtues—sincerity, hardworking attitude and humility.


In short, he believes celebrities must have these qualities to succeed in music entertainment industry in the long run, because those who are musically talented yet neglect to practice, drink beer and smoke all day will eventually be surpassed by people who practice every single day. He said “talents do not make people successful, but efforts do” in the recent audition program the NiZi Project mentioned in the previous article.


At the same time, all artists inevitably face downturns, and no other people around them would be willing to help them out if they showed arrogance and condescending attitudes when they are hot-shots. He emphasizes that this is precisely why they need to be sincere, humble and hardworking all the time.


JYP lecture on personality
He is emphasizing humility, sincerity and truthfulness

Source: Sixteen, JYP audition program


J.Y. Park’s philosophy in these values are reflected in choosing his artists. He said in an interview that “no matter how good someone is at singing and dancing, if they are not bright and healthy people, I can’t bring myself to produce them. I don’t know why I would want to help achieve such people’s dreams. Making money is important but I want that process to be happy. If someone is lacking in either skill or character, I help them as much as I can. But my real dream is to grow people who have both.”


Reflecting J.Y. Park’s philosophy, JYP Entertainment’s well-known policies include:

1) kicking out artists if they show signs of potential bad behaviors

2) making sure that their artists finish at least their high school degrees (he mentioned that this is because not all can debut as successful musicians, and therefore, they need back-up plans for their life when JYP Entertainment cannot take care of them)

3) educating its artists on a variety of manners and etiquettes, including proper sex education

4) letting its artists choose their own path after their contracts end, and helping them even when they leave JYP Entertainment


All his policies show that the company cares about its talents not just for their musical talents, but their development as a person as well. It is rather surprising that this is quite rare in other companies in South Korea.


Meanwhile, no company can grow on its own without its rival, as healthy competition brings growth. This has been the case in the Korean entertainment industry, in which the Troika of SM, JYP and YG have been dominant all along in Korean celebrity market. Among those three, JYP and YG had quite a good rival relationship and competed for many years.


In contrast, YG’s CEO and founder, Hyun Suk Yang, has a very different approach in choosing his artists. He prefers talents over personality, and believes that having good talents is the most important quality to succeed in the long run. He said in an interview that “J.Y. Park prioritizes people’s kindness but I’m the opposite. If I were to put priorities it would be talent, work ethic and then kindness. Having worked as a producer for 20 years, I have developed an eye much like someone who can tell a female chick from a male one in a second. When it comes to picking out future stars, I have developed such an eye.”


So whose philosophy is right?


YG’s stock price has plummeted with recent numerous scandals involving its famous group, Big Bag and CEO himself. Dubbed as the Burning Sun Scandal, the scandals have engulfed entire group and elicited negative responses from not only the public, but also boycotts from long-time fans. The chart below only lists out a few recent scandals.


YG Entertainment stock price

Source: Capital IQ


In fact, this is not the first time YG has been embroiled in scandals and public outrage, as many of YG artists showed disrespect for rule of law and committed a myriad of crime in the past. I will not go ahead to name each allegation; the point is to show that emphasis on talents over personality may have caused moral hazard among these artists as Hyun Suk Yang only cared about their music talents and gave a letter of indulgence for meritocracy.


On the other hand, JYP’s stock price has skyrocketed with the debut of TWICE and other idol groups. Although it is not accurate to attribute JYP Entertainment’s success solely to CEO’s philosophy, it is undeniable that his choice in who gets to debut gave a birth to some of the most famous groups in Korean music industry. The fact that JYP Entertainment has had the least noise and scandals compared to its competitor companies is no coincident and most likely to be a byproduct of J.Y. Park’s philosophy and belief in personality over talent.


I remember that I bought JYP Entertainment stock and recommended it to my friends in 2016, saying that JYP is greatly undervalued, less risky compared to its peers, and has potential for up-side with the debut of TWICE. The stock price has more than quadrupled since I bought the share, but its competitors have plunged in the meantime. You can find my article for recent recommendation here.


JYP’s personal inclination for good personality and kindness may not simply be just a personal preference. From the point view of investment, investing in often scandal fraught entertainment industry requires the gut to stomach volatility and take risk, as one big wrongdoing by musicians may cause huge drop in revenue and profits. However, JYP’s selection of good artists with good personality greatly reduces such risks as they are less prone to make troubles.


In the past, JYP Entertainment lagged behind its competitors who focused on talents and getting the money first. Right now, however, JYP Entertainment has not only outpaced them in market capitalization and business size, but also won over the hearts of K-pop fans who want healthy and sincere artists, not scandals and crimes.


I personally liked J.Y. Park for his love and passion for music. Now, I am his fervent fan for his philosophy, humane treatment of his artists, vision and leadership for his company. I am pretty sure that JYP Entertainment’s fans also like its artists not necessarily because they are musical genius (of course, they are good musicians), but because they are kind and humble people.


As much as I have been a fan for J.Y. Park, I also firmly believe that JYP Entertainment will thrive and lead K-pop songs and music in the future.


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This article is an update from previous stock article on Macrotrend.

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