IOI’s Post-Disbandment Groups Sadden Fans For Being No Longer Active: ‘Reality Of Small Agencies’

Project K-pop girl group I.O.I made their debut on May 4, 0216. The group was also formed by CJ E&M through the survival reality show “Produce 101” in 2016.

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(Photo : Instagram: @ioi_official_ig)

The contestant lineup contained trainees from various entertainment agencies. Eventually, the lineup consisted of 11 members, namely Kyulkyung, Nayoung, Mina, Yoojung, Doyeon, Sejeong, Yeonjung, Somin, Sohye, Chungha, and Chaeyeon.

However, since they were a project group, their contract was only limited. On January 29, 2017, I.O.I disbanded, leading the former members to return to their respective agencies. As they went their separate ways, they also explored opportunities in the music industry, with some having tackled an acting career.

On June 7, an online thread titled, “The groups I.O.I Members Debuted In After Disbanding Are Now Almost Non-Existent.

The author enumerated each of the groups some former I.O.I members were in and pointed out how each group was either disbanded or inactive.

“Gugudan – debuted in 2016 with ‘The Boots’




DIA – debuted in 2015 with ‘Will You Go Out With Me?’




Weki Meki – debuted in 2017 with ‘Picky Picky’



WJSN – debuted in 2016 with ‘As You Wish’


They haven’t released a song in 1 year and 11 months.

PRISTIN – debuted in 2017 with ‘WEE WOO’




It’s already been 8 years since Produce 101 was aired in 2016, so this might sound like a natural outcome.”

K-netz expressed sadness over the current status of the groups.

  • “PRISTIN, seriously.”
  • “The importance of a company.”
  • “Gugudan, Jelly Fish, F**k
  • “Seeing it like that, IZ*ONE is so fascinating.”
  • “I hope they can go back to IOI, with a good song.”
  • “The idols industry too, only the top 1% will remain.”
  • “I didn’t know there were WJSN members in IOI?”
  • “Please reunite IOI again.”
  • “The reality of small agencies.”

In a separate platform, international netizens mentioned the reality and struggles of smaller K-pop agencies. They also vented regarding K-pop’s fierce and competitive nature.

  • “I blame the companies because most of them could have amazing careers yet they put them in nugu groups with hundreds of members and gave them shi**y songs. The only one who survived well is Sejeong.”
  • “The way half of the IOI members have pursued acting careers now. Only Chungha has continued her path as a singer.”
  • “The reality of small/medium agencies. They can’t handle sudden fame.”
  • “More than IOI members or anything, it’s the fact that they are all mostly from small companies. If it wasn’t for the IOI members in them, they would’ve just been another small company group that quietly disbanded without anyone even hearing about them.”
  • “They are nugu companies, what did you expect? These Big 4 privilege fans have a distorted view of how brutal the K-pop market is. It’s actually the standard.”
  • “Because back then, their companies were being greedy as well. During IOI’s promotion period, these companies started pulling off members from their schedule to promote their own groups.”

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