The Ningin Round Table is a new feature in which we pose an Asian entertainment news-related question to Ningin writers and they give us their colorful opinions and thoughts on the matter. Given recent news of the debut of a 21-membered boy group called A-Peace, we asked our writers, “Which do you think is better, big KPOP bands, or small bands? Which is better in terms of market success? Which is better in terms of making good music? Which do you prefer personally?”

Victoria Huynh: With so many rookie KPOP bands out there nowadays, you most likely don’t recall the super big group A-Peace, or if you do, you probably lost interest in them quickly after having the thought of trying to remember 21 different names and faces. Contrast to groups with an enormous amount of members, like A-Peace, I think smaller KPOP bands will be able to do better and will be more successful. With big groups, it’s more difficult to shine as a star. A song is typically around 3-4 minutes long, which also means the bigger the group, the less time each person has to sing. In A-Peace, I highly doubt every single member has more than one line. This goes for the music videos as well. I think the music would be pretty messy and the quality wouldn’t be as good.

Not only are their names, faces, and talents are masked behind the intimidating label of being a 21 member group, but they will hardly get any profit in return. Entertainment companies need to provide idol groups money for dorms, hotel rooms, clothes, stylists, managers, food, transportation and a lot more. With big groups, that’s a whole lot of money for all the members combined. The members also have to split all their earnings between themselves, which leaves A-Peace very little to live on. Going on variety shows, having good teamwork, and even fitting on stage would be problems for big groups like A-Peace. Luckily for A-Peace, they will soon be splitting into three sub-groups of seven. Being split into smaller groups will definitely allow them to shine and show their true abilities for their fans.

Sharmaine Mendoza: So which is better, big Kpop bands or smaller bands? Since that question is very broad let us better take a look at it in different aspects. In terms of what you call market success, I guess big Kpop bands are better. Though I’m not generalizing that small bands don’t do well because I know a lot of them are topping charts as well. Let’s take SNSD as an example. This group is undoubtedly very talented and skilled in various areas. So whenever the group takes a hiatus in the music scene, the girls can still be seen in other fields such hosting, acting, modeling and such. In short, more people = more promotion. Regardless of how, everything really boils down on how the company handles the band and how the fans respond as the success is totally dependent on them (fans). That’s why netizens have so much power in the industry. Now, when it comes on the topic of which makes better music, I’m going to say that it’s either of the two. Even though some of the members of SNSD only had few lines on ‘Gee’, the song is unquestionably very addicting and just good. It also depends as all of us have different preference. Maybe the song that’s good for me sounds bad for you and vice versa. Personally, I like smaller groups, not just because each member gets to have more spotlight, but it’s simply because there are less to memorize.

Ivy Wong: Super Junior, a name that may sound like a joke at first, has now progressed to being one of the top Asian male groups in the world. With 14 members in total (from the main group and sub units), it’s a group with many talents in dance, acting, singing, music composition, and many more. That is one of the many reasons why I prefer bigger Kpop groups. One may argue with the memorization of names is difficult in itself for the general public, but Super Junior has overcome that obstacle by being involved in every aspect in the entertainment industry. For example, Eunhyuk, Leeteuk, and Shindong are regulars on many shows like Star King and Strong Heart. Yesung also recently replaced Eunhyuk as a DJ on Kiss The Radio. But it doesn’t end in Korea. With the sub-groups like Super Junior H, T, KRY, and M, Super Junior has been able to reach out to different levels of audience in many Asian countries. SJM’s promotional activities in Taiwan are very successful at the moment, and the fact that Donghae and Siwon are acting in a Taiwanese drama makes Super Junior that much more well-rounded.

In terms of their music, one could say that “Sorry Sorry” is basically the nucleus of the Hallyu wave effect. Every time a song is produced by Super Junior, the music charts around Asia is bound to be dominated by that song. The group focuses not only on hip pop or “addictive” song, but a variety of ballads, of which really showcase their vocal talents. Also, with more members, their songs are able to have more layers of voices, which I personally find is a very positive aspect for their music.

And now you all have the floor — tell us do you agree or disagree with round table? Which is better, big or small idol groups?


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I guess it has nothing to do whit the amount of the members in one group
they just need to Have talents
As long as they are talented enough nothing else matters
Personally I don’t Mind if they are 10+!!
I love 4men (3members) Because their voice are just amazing each time I hear their voices it gives me goosebumps Their voices are just waaaaaaaaaw :D
I also Love Super Junior (13 members) they are not just Singers!! They are talented in many ways not just singing
I do love SNSD(9 members) too . I don’t know why many people says they are too Overrated I think they deserve The fame the have now!!


When I first saw the question, my initial reaction was: smaller groups appeal to me more. My main reasoning for this is that, not only are there fewer names to memorize, but it gives each member more opportunities on their own. If you have a lot of members, then each member only gets, like… one line - and there are, like… three to five lead dancers. It gets confusing.

And even if you have a group with few members and only one or two sing most of it, at least the other members do have reason to be there. All idols usually branch off into other areas. As usual, I’ll be using U-Kiss as my example:

Alexander, Kevin, and Eli (being the English-speakers that they are*) hosted Pops in Seoul for a little while. They’ve had MULTIPLE variety shows of their own. They appear on shows like Star King, SGB, etc… DongHo does a lot of acting, and also promotes the group a lot by appearing on most of those shows.

In a (*vague*) sense, it’s also easier to become “close” to the members of smaller groups because… well, it’s like getting to know a huge group of people. At some point, you start to narrow it down to handful. It’s better to start off with a handful of people, in my opinion. It saves you time and a headache. :/


I prefer small idol groups..the best is with 5 members


I like both. But if there’s a group that’s bigger than SUJU, I don’t like it. I think 13 was already a really big group. But then AK48 came out. And that was like “No. There’s no point in a 48 member girl group.” And then A-Peace came out and it was another big no-no. Like seriously guys… If you have a big group of singers, they’re not technically singers cuz you can’t evenly distribute who sings what in a song. It’d be like a person per line per song if you tried to do that. And, there’s no way you can all dance on stage together if the stage isn’t big enough.


I like both types (:


I prefer smaller group which contains 4-6 member,it’s easier to remember them,especially the girls XD (I’m so hard to remember girl group’s name,till now I still don’t remember all the name of SNSD members)
and I think they can show off their skills more in a small group than in a big group


i like both big and small group!!
but apeace has to much member i can’t even remember their name of their faces~


I like both !
Like I’m a big fan of big and small groups like SJ and B1A4.
For me it doesn’t matter if they have many members in a group or whatsoever.
But for A-Peace , mannnn 21 members is just so shocking .
I mean it’s hard for us to memorize all their names LOL and knowing them one by one.
But in the other side , I think being in a large idol group has an advantage in terms of promotions.
Like in Super Junior.
^,^


It depends in terms of marketability. With more members, you are able to better sell the group because of all the different personalities and talents they each bring to the table. However, with more members, it’s more imperative that they be able to find something outside of singing to showcase their talents since they’re not all going to have equal singing times. There are also more names to remember and sometimes, members look alike, so in the beginning, it’s harder to differentiate.

However, with small groups, each member is given more time to shine on stage, but there is a caveat - they have to work harder to get their name out there. This is why solo singers have it the hardest - they are only one person out there, trying to show themselves to the world.

For me, it doesn’t matter - if I like their music, I will follow that group. Simple as that. 


i personally like smaller groups better because you get to know each member more than in a large group


I don’t mind large groups but yeah, it’s just hard to remember all of their names. Plus each member has less time to shine during their song promotions because lines will be very limited.

I also think the ideal group number is 4-5 members.


Which is better in terms of market success?
Larger groups. I agree with Sharmaine Mendoza about larger groups meaning more promotions. With more members, they can be divided into all sorts of different fields, which means they’re bound to get noticed more.
Which is better in terms of making good music?
Well, with a lot of members, like say 21, then it’s going to sound awfully messy if they don’t know how to harmonize. Also, even in a five member group, there’s always at least one member who is useless (no talent). With more members, that useless member count goes up. 
Which do you prefer personally?
It actually doesn’t matter because as long as they make good music, then I’ll like them. 


don’t mind if it’s big e.g. snsd and suju… but 21????!! that’s too extreme.
so i think 13 is the max for me....


I think 5 is the perfect group member number but 10-13 is fine too just hard to learn all the names.


I don’t mind if the group is big but I think Apeace has tooo much members lol
If a group has too much members then not all the members can have long parts so yeah..
thanks for sharing :D


I actually think that big groups are a little more interesting and it’s awesome how all of their voices come together. I personally LOVE Apeace, lol


There’s an extent to how big a group should be to be successful, I think. I agree with all the points stated that there are the good and the bad points in big and small groups. But having a 21-member group, I think is a bit too much. Like 20Star struggled to manage all 20 members and ended up having 14 drop out before debut. I think it was just lucky that all the members from Super Junior all get along so well with one another which resulted in their amazing music being produced.
There may be difficulties for A-Peace but it would be good to see them succeed. 


You guys make really good points. I mostly agree with Ivy and Sharmaine, but Victoria also makes a very good point.
But anywho, I agree with this fact - More members can promote easier, like what Sharmaine said.  ^_^
Plus, with more members, they’re all very loveable in their own way. There’s more personality in it~ ‘3’


at first i would have said smaller groups definitely. seven and under the ways to go. but after reading the opinions above, that changes a little. true smaller groups lead to more showcasing of individuals in performances and mvs and such, but larger groups find it easier to promote. im really unsure about this one. i fond that memorizing of names really has nothing to do with it i guess, they are all learned eventually, if you commit to be a fan of the group


I am not sure, it’s easier to remember all the members if their are less but some people may like that their are many guys to chose from. Eventually you will get to know all their names but it’s pretty much the same as a small group, they are both doing the exact same thing just with more people.


i think both groups are equally the same!
i mean each and every group no matter how big or small has different talents!


i agree with Ivy Wong, but i think small and big groups both have their good and bad points
its just that bigger groups like A-Peace might have some difficulty working things out, like 20Star 14 out of 20 dropped out even before debut.
good thing SuJu and SNSD worked out


I think the smaller ones make more sense.  The larger ones are great and i love the larger ones, but i feel like the smaller ones highlight the talents of each member more.  Still love SUJU and SNSD though!


If you want to be remembered and recognized by your fans, then I think small groups are much better. For example, for big groups like SNSD and SuJu I don’t tend to remember all their names...but for small groups like Big Bang, Beast, SHINee I could easily remember their names ^^ Not that I don’t like big groups...I do love SuJu as well ♥


ty for sharing!
i think both have their benefits
big groups have more variety
small groups more tight knit



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