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WINNER and iKON target separate goals

By Park Gyu-oh

  • Published : Oct 27, 2014 - 18:54
  • Updated : Oct 27, 2014 - 18:54

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WINNER (YG Entertainment)

K-pop boy band WINNER and iKON have different overseas target markets although the two are brother groups under YG Entertainment, show biz watchers said.

WINNER, which debuted in August in 2014, is aiming the Japanese music market, while iKON, which will debut in January next year, is eyeing the Chinese market, the watchers said.

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WINNER (YG Entertainment)

The two groups first appeared on TV in the 2013 survival program “WIN: WHO IS NEXT.” After winning the competition, team Win A members became WINNER and the other team, Win B, had to be trainees once again. Win B members have been struggling to be chosen as the final members of iKON, in another survival TV program in 2014, “MIX & MATCH.”

The WINNER group has held their promotion in Japan since September. They even held their concert in Japan, right after the album release. It was possible since the group had appeared as the opening show of Big Bang’s Japan tour, making their name known to K-pop lovers in Japan.

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WINNER - (YG Entertainment)

The group held “WINNER 1st JAPAN TOUR 2014” in five cities in Japan -- Tokyo, Sapporo, Fukuoka, Nagoya, and Osaka -- from Sept. 11 to Oct. 11.

They are preparing for their next album.

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WINNER (YG Entertainment)

“WINNER aims not just at the Korean market. It will be active both in Korea and Japan. There is no limitation for the group. Also, their music will feature all genres. They will evolve just like YG’s successful senior group, Big Bang, someday,” YG chief Yang Hyun-suk was quoted as saying.

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MIX & MATCH's final match poster - (Mnet)

Meanwhile, only the final steps remain for iKON before their debut. It is the selection of their final group members. The final match of the competition was held at Hwajung gymnasium of Korea University in Seoul on Oct. 22. About 15,000 people have participated in the raffle for the final match tickets proving fans’ great attention for the group.

iKON members have already met their fans in Poly Theater in Beijing in China. About 60,000 people had applied for the meeting. According to its agency, the Beijing airport was jammed with fans when the group arrived there.

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MIX & MATCH - (Mnet)

“The response from the fans in China was amazing. iKON is aiming at the Chinese market, but they won’t go to China right after their debut. The group will enter China only after it gains unbreakable popularity in Korea. It takes enough time to return the fans love who have been waiting for iKON’s debut,” Yang was quoted as saying.

By Park Gyu-oh (q5park@heraldcorp.com)