As the K-pop girl groups of the so-called fourth generation continue to ride high on the wave of their success from last year, they are now gearing up for international tours and full-length album releases this year.

Industry insiders suggest that these groups, who have quickly risen to the top with their singles and mini-albums, are now looking to secure a stable income through concerts, after building their setlists with full-length albums.

According to music industry sources on April 16, aespa, a senior group among the fourth-generation girl groups that debuted in November 2020, is currently on a Japanese tour following a successful concert in Seoul. In August, the group is set to hold a solo concert at the famous Tokyo Dome, a "dream stage" for local artists, making them the fastest foreign group to perform there after their debut.

Aespa is also reportedly planning to release their first full-length album soon. During their first solo concert in Seoul in February, the group filled nearly half of the stage with new songs, raising expectations for their upcoming full-length album.

Winter, a member of the group, hinted at more concerts to come, saying, "Now that our first concert is over, we'll continue to show various sides of ourselves through more concerts." Karina also confirmed the album release, asking fans to look forward to their comeback and future activities.

LE SSERAFIM, HIVE Entertainment's first girl group and the sister group of BTS, will release their first full-length album, "UNFORGIVEN," next month. Last November, HIVE announced at a company presentation that L'éseraphim would embark on a large-scale world tour covering Asia and North America this year.

IVE, who has achieved four consecutive hits from their debut song "ELEVEN" to their recent first full-length album "I'VE IVE," is also expected to hold domestic and international concerts by the end of the year, considering their sky-high popularity.

At a recent press conference, IVE member Lee Seo expressed her enthusiasm for a concert, saying, "We have 11 songs on the full-length album, and when combined with our previously released singles, we have a lot of songs. If we get the chance, we'd really like to do a concert."

NMIXX, a fourth-generation rookie girl group under JYP Entertainment, is also preparing for an overseas showcase tour next month, visiting the United States, Thailand, Indonesia, Taiwan, Singapore, and the Philippines.

There is growing interest in whether NewJins, a group that has established itself as a next-generation music powerhouse, will hold a concert, but their agency Adore has yet to reveal specific plans. However, member Hani said at a press conference last month, "We're working hard to have the chance to meet our fans soon."

With all of these groups boasting high album sales of nearly one million copies per album and preparing full-length albums around the same time, they can fill their two-to-three-hour solo concerts with their own songs, as full-length albums typically contain more tracks than singles or mini-albums.

The main reason for these popular new girl groups planning back-to-back concerts is the massive revenue they can expect from successful tours, in addition to album and music sales. Last year was a time for these groups to reach the top with hit songs, and this year is considered a time to "harvest" through concerts.

As the global concert market reopens with the easing of the COVID-19 situation and the continuing Hallyu (Korean wave) craze worldwide, concert revenues have long been a major source of income for major music agencies. In fact, HIVE Entertainment's concert revenue in the last year was 258.2 billion won, a staggering 470.1% increase compared to the previous year, and nearly half the size of their album sales of 553.9 billion won during the same period.

An official from a concert planning agency said, "Once an overseas tour is held, new local fans are drawn in, and they become a loyal fan base. This, in turn, leads to a virtuous cycle where they purchase albums in the future. The additional revenue from merchandise (MD) sales during the tour is also considerable."

Moreover, the experience of holding concerts in front of large audiences for over two hours with their own dance and singing performances goes beyond just increasing revenue, as it becomes a valuable asset for the artists' growth into well-rounded performers.

An official from a major music agency said, "As K-pop receives love in the global market, the artists themselves have a strong desire to show their performances directly to overseas fans and communicate with them. Seeing the fans who fill the concert venues with their own eyes, along with the album sales figures, serves as another means of confirming their growth."

They added, "Expanding the scale and scope of tours is an essential part of a growing idol group's journey. The recent success of the fourth-generation girl groups has been tremendous, and I believe that solidifying their popularity through concert tours is the way to build on that success."