The Blackpink and YG Entertainment Contract Negotiations, Explained

The months-long Blackpink contract negotiations have been quite the saga, but things hit a fever pitch when the global stars started shifting South Korea’s entire economy. On September 21st, it was reported that shares of YG Entertainment (the record label that represents the group) have fallen over 13% amid ongoing negotiations with the four global stars. Per Korean media, the tumbling stock was largely due to reports that three of the four members will not sign new contracts with the label.

Sports Seoul reported that “multiple music industry officials” have said that, while Rosé will renew her contract with YG, Jisoo, Jennie, and Lisa will consider offers from other labels specifically for their solo career. The members of BTS recently renewed their contracts with YG competitor HYBE, so needless to say, the end of the Blackpink era would be quite the shock for the company.

Following the plummeting stocks, Reuters reported that YG has remained firm in their stance that negotiations are “ongoing” and “nothing has been confirmed.” Below, here’s everything we know about the contract negotiations between Blackpink and YG Entertainment.

Why are Blackpink’s contracts ending?

K-pop groups typically sign seven-year contracts with their labels. And since Rosé, Jisoo, Jennie, and Lisa debuted in 2016, their contracts with YG were expected to expire in August 2023. It seems, though, that they may have signed some sort of extension with the company as they continue to negotiate their contracts and explore their options.

Will the group stay together?

It remains to be seen whether the group will stay together or disband to focus on solo projects. In July, it was alleged via Chinese social media platform Weibo that Jennie would be leaving the group.

“Jennie will not be renewing her exclusive contract with YG Entertainment,” an unidentified source wrote. “The company is still in discussions with Lisa, but [she] has intentions to leave. Rosé is confirmed to sign on with [YG subsidiary] Black Label. Jisoo will continue with YG Entertainment or sign with Black Label.”

And in a September interview with Harper’s BAZAAR Korea, Jennie said that the word that best describes her now is “Le départ” (start/leaving), which caused fans to speculate that she is in fact leaving YG.

There have also been sources alleging that Lisa turned down two offers from YG which, again, caused the company’s stock to plummet on September 15th. According to South Korean outlet Munhwa Ilbo, the Thailand-born rapper and the entertainment powerhouse had “Not been able to find an agreement” as “the difference between the two sides is quite large.”

On one hand, all four members have wildly successful solo careers that they seem intent on pursuing. However, they are undoubtedly the biggest girl group in the world, arguably, at the pinnacle of their careers as a quartet—so it remains to be seen which route they will go.

Are there offers from other labels?

Given the global power of the four musicians, it’s no surprise that offers from entertainment companies are rolling in. According to sources, Lisa rejected two contract offers from YG totaling 50 billion South Korean won, or $37.6 million. The company went on to say that they are “Discussing renewing our contract with Lisa,” and that “the rumor has not been officially confirmed.”

While Rosé has reportedly renewed her contract, Jisoo, Jennie, and Lisa are in talks for a “separate yet together strategy,” which will allow them to spend six months of the year with Blackpink while also signing onto other labels.

Jisoo, in specific, is reportedly looking to expand her career as an actress. Though not much is known about what is actually going on behind the scenes, the crux of the negotiations seem to be about finding a balance between their group and solo projects (and also making sure that, well, the price is right).

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