BNK48 (pronounce B.N.K Forty-eight) is a Thai Idol Group and the 3rd international sister group of AKB48, After Indonesia's JKT48 and China's SNH48. BNK48's logo features the orchid color (bright rich purple color) a popular flower in Thailand.
The creation of BNK48 was announced at the Takahashi Minami's Graduation Concert, Shuku Takahashi Minami Graduation "148.5cm no Mita Yume" in Yokohama Stadium on the 1st day. The first round auditions starts from July 29, 2016- August 31, 2016. 2nd round audition has held on September 17-18, 2016. Due the official period of mourning following the passing of Thailand Majesty King, they postponed all activities and start the activity with on February 12, 2017 with announcing the names of the members of the 1st generation.
According to BNK48 Office chief executive officer Jirath Pavaravadhana, the company would invest ฿200,000,000 for the group during the years 2017–18 and expects to regain the invested capital by 2019.
Jirath said the group would mainly be promoted through social media and its primary sources of revenue would be commercial products, appearances at commercial events, and sponsors.
The group is also financed by the Cool Japan Fund.
On 18 November 2017, it was revealed that the theatre, named "BNK48 the Campus", will be located on the fourth floor of The Mall Bang Kapi, occupying a 1,000-m2 area. It will accommodate 350 people and will include a shop, a café, and an office within its precincts. The theatre will be inaugurated in February 2018. In addition, it has been announced that the first theatrical performance of the group will be held in April 2018.
Shows and events
The group has its own digital studio, colloquially known as "fish tank" (Thai: ตู้ปลา), at The EmQuartier, where its members periodically make a live appearance on Facebook and YouTube holding discussions on various topics.
To support its debut single, the group held its first handshake event in Bangkok on 27 August 2017. The event attracted almost 4,000 fans. The second handshake event took place on 18 November 2017 in Bangkok and drew almost 5,000 fans.
Also, the group has launched its own television shows, such as BNK48 Senpai, a 13-episode-long documentary aired every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, from 1 March 2017, and BNK48 Show, a 26-episode-long variety show aired every Sunday from 9 July 2017, both broadcast by Channel 3.
Some critics have raised doubts and questions as to the company's aim to achieve mass market, citing its poor management of the group and lack of clear future plans.
Critic Nutthapong Chaiwanitphon viewed that the company is "unready" for business, citing its weak media planning and production and its inability to plan activities or announce their details beforehand due to its need to ascertain the number of visitors first. He also pointed out that the total amount of sales of the group's first single, that is, 13,500 copies, is a low figure and commercial events that are deemed one of the key sources of income of the group have been very limited. According to Nutthapong, the heavy risk that arises from the company's burden to simultaneously take care of as many as thirty artists will prevent the company from surviving in the business world for more than two years.
Musician Chalermpol Soongsak added that one of the weak points of the group is that the same criteria are applied to the differently talented members when they are selected for various activities, which results in unfairness and inequalities.
- Lets go Tokyo (2017/02/13 ~ )
- Lets go Okinawa (2017/02/16 ~ )
- BNK48 Senpai (2017/03/01 ~ )
- BNK48 SHOW
- เพื่อนร่วมทาง The Journey