Can K-pop Idols be in Two Agencies? EXO Members Reportedly Sign New Contracts

EXO members Sehun and Chanyeol reportedly signed with the new agency for solo activities

The system of the K-pop industry is changing, with idols taking the lead in deciding the future of their career. They take the liberty of picking the best offers from the companies, scouting them without sacrificing the legacy they built over the years. As per recent reports, EXO members Sehun and Chanyeol will reportedly join this trend by signing with a new label for their solo activities while continuing as a group under SM Entertainment. Read ahead to learn about K-pop Idols with dual agencies and the complete details of EXO members’ contracts.

Are EXO members Sehun and Chanyeon leaving SM Entertainment?

On Tuesday, October 17, SBS Entertainment News reported that EXO Sehun and Chanyeol are going to sign new contracts to pursue their solo activities. The site didn’t mention the name of the new agency but stated that it was founded by Jung Hoon Hak, who is the former CEO of the agency iHO. The report also noted that this decision was taken with discussion and mutual agreement with their agency, SM Entertainment.

Due to the lack of clarification, the rumors that EXO would disband or lose its members started to surface on social media. To clarify the reports, SM Entertainment released a statement refuting that any of the members are leaving the agency or the group is disbanding. They also shared that the new contract members signed with the company at the end of last year will continue accordingly.

However, SM Entertainment also mentioned that all the group members are legally allowed to establish their companies if they wish and pursue solo activities as long as it is within the terms of their existing contract with them. This gives a green light to the possibility of Sehun and Chanyeol signing a new contract with a different agency for solo activities.

Can K-pop Idols be in two companies?

K-pop idols having more than one company isn’t a new trend. Even in the past, many agencies joined hands in creativity and/or funds to debut a group. All the project groups formatted from survival shows like Produce 101, including I.O.I, IZ*ONE, WANNAONE, and X1, are formed with the collaborations of two or more agencies.

The companies also often collaborate with their subsidiaries to manage a group such as ENHYPEN and WJSN. ENHYPEN was initially formed by BE:LIFT Lab (a collaborative agency of BIGHIT MUSIC and CJ E&M) before HYBE fully acquired the agency. Meanwhile, WJSN is managed by Starship Entertainment and Yuehua Entertainment.

Recently, the third-generation boy group INFINITE also joined this trend by forming the INFINITE Company to manage their group activities while pursuing solo careers under various labels.

However, the general preference of K-pop idols is to continue collaborating as a group while staying in individual agencies such as GOT7, who terminated their contract with JYP Entertainment but kept the rights to their brand and all the social media pages.

EXO members Sehun and Chanyeol venturing into different labels to manage their solo activities while continuing as a group under SM Entertainment is a possibility in the future.

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