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Knetz Criticized SM For NCT’s Infinite Expansion System

SM announced their plans to launch the ‘Welcome to the Neo City’ global audition. SM revealed that individuals who pass the audition will be offered an exclusive contract with SM, and get a chance to possibly debut as a NCT member in the future


In June, news that shook the K-pop market once again was reported. It was news that ‘2022 Welcome to the Neo CiTy’, a large-scale global audition of SM Entertainment (hereinafter referred to as SM), will be held.

The reason that the holding of ‘Welcome to the Neo City’ drew the attention of global music fans was because of the unprecedented debut opportunity that will be given to new faces to be discovered through the audition. The challenge of those who dream of becoming the next K-pop stars continued as the story told that the final successful candidates who passed the 1st and 2nd auditions will be provided with an exclusive contract with SM as well as an opportunity to debut as an NCT member in the future.

However, the reaction of NCT fans when they heard the news of the audition was not very pleasant. The reaction of the fans was natural. This is because, in a situation in which NCT unit groups, which have already been derived in various ways, have succeeded in solidifying their position by achieving a series of achievements after a long period of activity, it is not a welcome situation for new faces to be selected through auditions to suddenly join the team.

Of course, this is probably part of the move in line with NCT’s group color, which has been set up with the concept of ‘infinite expansion’ and ‘infinite openness’ from the beginning of their debut. However, at this point in the 7th year of their debut (based on the debut of the first unit), and at this point in time when groups that have even entered Jamsil Main Stadium are being born one after another, it is a question to think a little more about whether the system that recruits new members indefinitely will produce positive results. . NCT, which started in earnest in 2016, received great attention from the beginning of its debut with a unique structure that applied an ‘infinite open/infinite expansion system’ focusing on openness and expandability.

Within the framework of NCT, a large number of unit groups exist within NCT due to the nature of the system to freely organize members and present units for each album and activity. NCT U, a united unit that selects suitable members according to the song’s concept, genre, and balance between members regardless of unit, NCT 127, which started with the direction of promoting in Seoul, NCT Dream, which started as a youth united team, and activities based in Greater China The colors and members of the team, such as WayV, which is the centerpiece, are different. In addition, SM has even announced plans to launch NCT Hollywood (tentative name) focusing on local activities in the United States in the future.

From the agency’s point of view, NCT’s system is quite efficient. The fact that you can create a ‘new edition’ by adding new members at any time is because it is a pretty strong card for the agency in the K-pop market, which has various elements of anxiety. It is also attractive in terms of reducing human and material costs for launching a new group. It is a system that can expect high returns with low risk.

However, now that NCT U · 127 · Dream has reached their 7th year of debut, questions are continuing as to whether it is appropriate to continue ‘infinite expansion’ by pursuing only the efficiency of such a system. The question is not simply because each unit has been active for a long time since their debut, but because of the changes that have come as each team has firmly established its position in the domestic and overseas K-pop market.

In fact, NCT Dream recently entered the Jamsil Olympic Main Stadium, which is considered the best stage for domestic singers, and wrote a new history in their career. NCT 127 is also expected to achieve its dream of entering the main stadium at the end of this month. His record sales career is also strong. NCT Dream sold over 3.6 million copies with its 2nd regular album and repackaged album in the first half of the year, and NCT 127 also set a record of breaking through 1.54 million copies in the first week with the 4th regular album ‘Sprint’ released last month. This is a result that is at the top even compared to the groups that are currently in the K-pop market.

This means that each unit of NCT has succeeded in establishing a series of positions in the K-pop market. At the beginning of their debut, they struggled to expand the fandom due to graduation regulations and member changes, but they have entered the current growth trajectory through the abolition of graduation regulations and stabilization of member composition. This is the reason why it is questionable whether NCT’s constant new member recruitment system will be able to play the same role as it is now, with each unit already achieving results and solidifying its position.

The vacancy of Sungchan and Shotaro, who were the last to join NCT, also raises questions about the effectiveness of this system. Shotaro and Sungchan, who joined NCT in October 2020, are participating in NCT group activities, but they do not have any units as of yet. Due to this situation, the two members have no choice but to have an unavoidable gap in NCT’s activities, which are actively showing unit activities rather than group activities. In a situation where the activities of the already-debuted members are not being carried out properly, it seems necessary to think a lot about whether the plan to put the new faces discovered through auditions into NCT is the right direction to draw a bigger picture than the launch of a new group.

Knetizens Reactions:

1. There are too many members.. I don’t know their faces, I don’t even know their names

2. Just debut a new boy group

3. Since the time Mark rejoined Dream, the system seems to have been ruined

4. It’s not good for the fans and singers, but it’s good for the company, so I don’t think SM will give up on this system

5. I don’t think it’s a bad system, but the problem is SM can’t manage

6. I really don’t understand the system, there are too many members

7. I haven’t understood this system for 7 years

8 .Please, please debut a new 4th generation idol boy group

9. When will you form a new group with Sungchan and Shotaro?

10. Please take good care of the kids right now… Seriously


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