Shin Dae Nam, the CEO of Cube Entertainment, recently spoke about the future of the company.
On April 3, the CEO spoke with MK News at the agency’s headquarters, one day after the agency released its business performance report for the year.
According to the report, Cube Entertainment recorded sales of 24.4 billion won (approximately $22.8 million) last year, marking 25 percent in growth. It also made operating profits of 211 million won (approximately $196,230) and was successful in making a surplus, unlike 2016 when it had a deficit of 5.7 billion won (approximately $5.3 million).
Many in the industry point to the new CEO as the turnaround for the company that previously suffered from financial difficulty and internal troubles. Unlike CEOs of other entertainment agencies who began as managers or producers, Shin Dae Nam started his career as a journalist.
After serving as the CEO of ETN TV and Yedang Media, he was appointed as the CEO of Cube Entertainment at the end of 2016. He joined the company with the hope of regaining its position as one of the top agencies alongside SM, YG, and JYP Entertainment.
Shin Dae Nam said, “I can’t personally compose songs or write lyrics, but I thought that I’d try to fulfill my long-held philosophies at Cube.”
Established in 2006, Cube Entertainment once housed some of the most popular idols such as 4Minute and BEAST. However, internal management troubles led to a decrease in its artists’ popularity, departure of artists from the agency, and group disbandments. These naturally led to a loss of 5.7 billion won (approximately $5.3 million) that year.
When Shin Dae Nam was appointed as the new CEO at the end of that year, the agency’s situation was worse than he thought. He recalled that the biggest problem was the low morale of the employees who had suffered from internal issues and various incidents for a long time.
He rejected the company’s plans to hold BTOB’s concert at a 3,000-person venue and booked the 12,000-seating KINTEX Center instead.
“I said it’s okay if we don’t fill it,” recalled Shin Dae Nam. “[I said,] have faith in our artists and songs, and go for it. Everyone will like to see it.” The concert ended up selling out all of its 24,000 seats during its two-day run.
Cube Entertainment’s idols are mostly regarded as artists. The CEO said that he encourages composing, writing, and recording lessons for members who aren’t directly involved in writing songs or lyrics. He explained, “A person who knows how a song was written is better at interpreting when singing other people’s songs.”
After the agency regained confidence, its artists have been thriving with active promotions. Last year, BTOB’s “Missing You” was loved by teens to people in their 40s, and won No. 1 on music programs for two weeks. CLC and PENTAGON are experiencing popularity abroad in Brazil and Japan, respectively.
However, Cube Entertainment still has a long way to go. Although it turned a profit last year after some difficulty, its net profit is still negative 979 million won (approximately $915,658).
Shin Dae Nam explained, “We took on a lot of deficit after merging with Star Line that year. This year, we’ll promote domestic and international performances of idol groups, with PENTAGON in the lead, in order to get better results.”
The CEO stated, “I want to show Cube fans an all-star stage where they can have fun all day. My goal is to hold the Cube Concert for a long time and turn it into a world tour.”
Edit: A previous version of this article contained an error in one of the USD conversions.