Hybe grabs spotlight with plan for new music industry paradigm - The Korea Times
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Hybe grabs spotlight with plan for new music industry paradigm

Hybe founder and CEO Bang Si-hyuk speaks in an online message last week to announce his plan for debuting a new
Hybe founder and CEO Bang Si-hyuk speaks in an online message last week to announce his plan for debuting a new "global boy band" in collaboration with Universal Music Group at his office in Seoul, Feb. 18. Courtesy of Hybe

By Kim Jae-heun

Hybe Corporation founder and CEO Bang Si-hyuk said last week he will open a new paradigm in the music industry in a video message celebrating the successful acquisition of Ithaca Holdings.

"The combination of Hybe and Ithaca Holdings is a new challenge that nobody has expected. The two firms have achievements and know-how in the music industry, and based on our expertise we can create synergy by closely working together," Bang said.

Bang hopes to accelerate the global advancement of K-pop through Ithaca Holdings, which is the mother company of SB Project that manages global pop stars such as Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande and J Balvin.

It possesses strong networks and a thorough understanding of the U.S. music market that will help Hybe to increase its influence rapidly in the industry.

Bang also has plans to establish a top-tier multi-label system featuring international acts to utilize their intellectual property and expand the business.

Three acts under the companies ― BTS, Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber ― are in the top 10 list of artists for global record sales, according to the International Federation of Phonographic Industry last year.

Among pop stars globally, Justin Bieber's YouTube channel has the most subscribers at 62 million, follow by BTS and Grande with some 50 million each. Combining the three musicians' social media channels could massively increase their online influence.

Meanwhile, Hybe announced it took over 100 percent of Ithaca Holdings shares as of April 2. Bang invested 1.18 trillion won ($1.05 billion) to acquire Ithaca Holdings, which is recorded as the biggest acquisition deal by a local entertainment firm to date. It is also the first time for a local music label to acquire an overseas label.
Kim Jae-heun jhkim@koreatimes.co.kr


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