In July 2005, Yasushi Akimoto held an audition for a new theater based idol girl group. Of the 7,924 girls that applied, 45 passed the first round of auditions, detailed screening of the application documents. Finally, only 24 girls were chosen to be in the group.
On December 8, 2005, the group debuted in the theater with only 20 girls, later known as Team A. A new audition was announced, this audition was held in cooperation with Japanese telecom company NTT DoCoMo. It was the first audition ever where the applicants had to send in their audition video with their mobile phones. 19 of the 11,892 applicants were chosen to join AKB48, but in the end only 18 girls joined the group to become Team K in April 2006.