A Visual Analysis of Girl Group Music Show Wins Throughout All Four Generations (or: How the 4th Generation Really Does Have It Tough)

  • For my latest music show analytics thread, I decided to look at how music show wins have risen and fallen over time for each generation of girl groups. What inspired this analysis was seeing numerous posts like this one by salem9, all discussing how older groups are still dominating and not making way for Fourth Generation groups to rise up.


    Methodology: As some of you may already know, I've created a large database of music show wins, which I update regularly. For this analysis, I first assigned a generation to each girl group win, based on the classification schema described in this AKP article (I combined ".5" generations with their main generations). With that done, it was easy to filter the data by year and generation to come up with a table of wins for each generation, broken down by year. Then, I just had to present the data in chart form, the result of which is shown below. Note that my numbers are up to date as of the end of 2020, and the chart starts in 1998 since that's when S.E.S. recorded their first win.


    GGWinsGens.png


    As we can see, there was a rather "clean" hand-off between the First Generation and the Second Generation. The transition between the Second and Third Generations wasn't quite as sharp, but still, there is a clear "changing of the guard" between 2015 and 2016.


    However, the Fourth Generation is starting out at a time when older groups are still performing very strongly, which is unprecedented. I do believe that the Fourth Generation will eventually come to dominate, but it will be a slower process compared to what we have witnessed in the past.

  • One thing about 4th generation.


    Another possible interpretation is that fans and commentators and the general consensus may have jumped the gun in defining a generational split between 3rd and 4th.


    I'm not sure what mechanism this methodology used by the particular schema you linked to used to delineate. But usually in defining generations it seems to follow an event or major shift. The debut of a new group that marks a shift or the expansion of a market or rise of a company.


    The claim is all these new groups are 4th gen. But why? What event separates them from 3rd.


    I'm not claiming they're necessarily not. I'm just looking for an explanation for the motivation to make a distinction so soon in a cycle.


    Is there a reason we are separating "4th gen" groups from 3rd gen?


    Anyone is welcome to answer me. I'm not necessarily asking the OP. More a general question to anyone.

  • That's why I don't believe in the 4 generations narrative, this generation feels like when groups like f(x), t-ara, beast, infinite etc... Deuted between 2009 and 2011 a time where second generation was still dominating , and these groups couldn't beat the success of the gen2 even though they maid names for themselves, but they never achieved anything ground braking.

    People jumped quickly to lable these new debuted group as 4th generation but to me the title generation can only be giving to groups who surpass the current generation and they creat new standers.

  • I wonder about this also. "4th" gen starting a mere 4 years after 3rd when apparently it took 8 years for 2nd to release to 3rd. It seems like "4th" gen groups may be miscatagorized. In truth the whole "generation" thing seems rather arbitrary, considering groups have been coming and going the entire time. If the generations are divided based on "culture shifts" of some sort, then it would seem too early to decide when 4th gen culture shift takes hold, or maybe it hasn't yet.

  • That's why I don't believe in the 4 generations narrative, this generation feels like when groups like f(x), t-ara, beast, infinite etc... Deuted between 2009 and 2011 a time where second generation was still dominating , and these groups couldn't beat the success of the gen2 even though they maid names for themselves, but they never achieved anything ground braking.

    People jumped quickly to lable these new debuted group as 4th generation but to me the title generation can only be giving to groups who surpass the current generation and they creat new standers.

    4th gen will probably be the last. but the problem is the split.


    afaik exo is 3rd gen, and they debuted in 2012, so with that logic, 4th gen being 2018/19( i think 19 is more realistic but w.e) doesnt seem so far off. even BTS was 2013.


    But for girls, RV/BP/TWICE are all 14-16, so its like pushed back.


    like, of you took 2012 at start of 3rd gen, then current 4th gen, would be in the same place 3rd gen was with 2nd gen

  • I think Its a way of people not being able to see certain groups being categorized in the same category as 3rd gen groups. Eg. Saying TXT and BTS are the same generation is a bit idk how to put it uncomfortable or like odd I guess.


    Another thing is most of the 4th gen debuted when there was an overall change in the K-pop landscape to more focus on the international/US market (which is a big reason why many 4th gen groups are struggling in Korea).


    It's this shift by K-pop companies starting mainly in 2018 where there was this focus on US market compared to 3rd gen groups that debuted pre 2018 that were mainly focused more towards the Korean and Asian Market in general that to me does show a difference in the groups considered as 3rd gen (BTS, EXO, BP, Twice) who didn't target the US at their debuts (i.e.. didn't sign with US labels immediately), compared to 4th gen debuts like TXT, Ateez, (G)I-DLE who all signed to US labels within their first year or two.


    But I can see what you mean about it maybe being too early.

  • It's this shift by K-pop companies starting mainly in 2018 where there was this focus on US market compared to 3rd gen groups that debuted pre 2018 that were mainly focused more towards the Korean and Asian Market in general that to me does show a difference in the groups considered as 3rd gen (BTS, EXO, BP, Twice) who didn't target the US at their debuts

    That's exactly the point for me that separe 3rd et 4th gen. 4th gen start for being global and not just Korean/Asian, they really want to get a global presence like BTS and Blackpink. Now 4th gen groups are really better in English than their senior, and are made by the company for target a global market (Not only USA, but the whole world).


  • So 7 years between gen 1 and gen 2

    8 years between gen 2 and gen 3

    Only 4 years between Gen 3 and Gen 4.



    Almost like Gen 4 should not exist yet :whistling:

  • That's why I don't believe in the 4 generations narrative, this generation feels like when groups like f(x), t-ara, beast, infinite etc... Deuted between 2009 and 2011 a time where second generation was still dominating , and these groups couldn't beat the success of the gen2 even though they maid names for themselves, but they never achieved anything ground braking.

    People jumped quickly to lable these new debuted group as 4th generation but to me the title generation can only be giving to groups who surpass the current generation and they creat new standers.

    if we go by shift in target audience, it might make more sense to label these new groups as 4th Gen. They are now mainly targeting the west, which is a drastic shift from previous gens (bar a few groups which tried or managed to breakthrough)



  • Well there is a timing difference between boys and girls in terms of generations.


    Usually SM was the company that marked those splits, but perhaps in the future it will be Big hit for boys and who knows for girls.


    if JYP debuts a new GG, will that be a new generation? I doubt it, JYP did debut Wonder girls and Miss A, both are considered 2nd generation.


    So should BTS and TXT be considered the same generation? who knows.


    If we go by girls, it should be 2021-2022 when generation 4 starts to debut, if we go by SM marks the Generations, then AESPA is the dividing line between 3rd and 4th, or we could argue that Aespa is just the FX to Red Velvet and we are still in the 3rd generation for Girl groups.

  • That's exactly the point for me that separe 3rd et 4th gen. 4th gen start for being global and not just Korean/Asian, they really want to get a global presence like BTS and Blackpink. Now 4th gen groups are really better in English than their senior, and are made by the company for target a global market (Not only USA, but the whole world).

    But this would mean that BTS and Black pink are the start of 4th Generation.



    Or arguably, they are the start of 3rd generation, any boy group before BTS is 2nd generation and any girl group before BP is also 2nd generation.


    That would mean, no 4th Generation.



    Realistically speaking, only BTS and BP are "global groups".

  • But Blackpink and BTS debut long ago before their WW success, so it is hard to classify them as the 'start of the 3rd gen' when groups like EXO and Twice existed before.


    BP and BTS are influence of the blueprint for 4th gens, i would put it that way. TXT, Aespa, ITZY are all clearly product of this blueprint - with english spoken member(s), songs in English or western influenced songs, targeting the western audience

  • But this would mean that BTS and Black pink are the start of 4th Generation.

    Not at all.


    First the Kpop song that really made a world impact first is PSY's Gangnam style.


    Second, it would be a lie to say that BTS is a group that was formed to be internationally successful when no one predicted such a career for them to begin with, or even eventual success in Korea. This can be debatable with Blackpink or YG knew how to realize the way opened by PSY and knew how to take the opportunity to be part of the precursors of Kpop on the international scene.


    Like i said in my post 4th gen group are MADE for Global kpop scene, just take a look at Stray Kids, Itzy and Aespa. SM and JYPE ambition are very clear, they want to export their groups everywhere.

  • But Blackpink and BTS debut long ago before their WW success, so it is hard to classify them as the 'start of the 3rd gen' when groups like EXO and Twice existed before.


    BP and BTS are influence of the blueprint for 4th gens, i would put it that way. TXT, Aespa, ITZY are all clearly product of this blueprint - with english spoken member(s), songs in English or western influenced songs, targeting the western audience

    But they are not global, only BTS and BP are global.

  • But if other groups fail to be global like BTS and BP, then would you say 4th generation failed?


    Is not like Gen 2 did not try to make it in English language, they just did not have success.


    Wonder girls tried and failed, 2NE1 tried and failed.


    BTS succeeded and even BP is succeeding.


    So if 4th Gen is success in the west, then BP and BTS are the dividing line, because as of today, they are the only groups that have not failed.



    Something else to take into account is China.


    China was not as big in terms of revenue potential for 2nd generation as it is today.


    BP huge international success is in China, BTS a bit more balanced with their success in the west.

  • But if other groups fail to be global like BTS and BP, then would you say 4th generation failed?

    You didn't understand what i say at all. :peperain:


    What I mean is the 4th gen group are made before they debut to be successful on the international stage. This is not the case with BTS, and even less with 2nd generation. This is debatable for Blackpink, but I think YG was aiming more at an Asian scene than truly international.

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