Following reports that veteran group BTOB and Cube Entertainment were at an impasse in contract renewal talks, it was revealed that the group would be leaving the company after spending 11 years there.
Ahead of the expiration of BTOB’s second exclusive contracts, the agency carried out careful discussions with the members over a long period of time, and as a result, we decided not to renew by mutual agreement.
Thus, Cube Entertainment and BTOB’s Seo Eunkwang, Lee Minhyuk, Lee Changsub, Im Hyunsik, Peniel, and Yook Sungjae wrapped up our 11-year-long journey together.
Fortunately, this doesn’t seem to be the end for them, as the two sides are currently engaging over their trademark.
Back on November 1, reports emerged that as BTOB approached their second contract renewal with Cube, the group had been approached by other agencies who offered them a group contract fee of 6 billion won (approximately $4.6 million). By November 6, Sports Chosun reported that although all BTOB members were committed to keeping the group intact and had been negotiating contract terms with Cube Entertainment up to the final stages, the renewal negotiations fell apart when Cube requested a portion of the group’s total revenue in exchange for granting them the trademark rights to use the group’s name.
In response to the reports, Cube Entertainment clarified, “The contract fee that has been repeatedly mentioned in the articles was not a matter that was discussed with us, and we also don’t know the source of such information.” They further explained, “Regarding the group name BTOB, we are positively discussing with the members concerning trademark rights. We will provide further information once we have reached a final decision. Currently, we are unable to provide specific details and verify the source of the information mentioned in the articles.”
This continues a trend of veteran groups successfully continuing on with their original names, whether due to winning legal battles against companies, buying them out, or having it given to them.
The two sides to the narrative here are that reports said BTOB was undecided and Cube just got jumpy by trying to secure a bag via trademark when they leave, whereas Cube is saying it’s just an ongoing negotiation. Seems like both are most likely to be true.