HYBE previewed their upcoming plans without boy band BTS, starting with a solo album by septet leader RM and followed by a new boy band and collaborations with other companies, during a online briefing held Thursday on YouTube.
“HYBE is a community, with each label having its own characteristics and competitiveness,” said CEO Park Ji-won. “Our community plans to work closely with fans, talented artists and partners in various related fields.”
RM will be the third BTS member to release solo music this year, following J-Hope in July and Jin in October. A date for RM’s new title was not specified, and CEO Park only said it would be “in the near future.”
The announcement came as the K-pop company continues to try to convince investors that its business is sustainable without BTS. HYBE made it official on October 17 that BTS members will perform their mandatory military service, starting with the oldest member, Jin.
After clearing up its biggest uncertainty, HYBE shares rose 4.8% a day after the announcement and have been climbing ever since. Analysts said the increase was due to HYBE diversifying its lineup of artists and reducing its reliance on boy bands.
“BTS accounted for up to 95% of HYBE’s revenue until 2019, but this percentage dropped to 70% in 2021 and 50% in 2022,” said Kim Hyun-yong, analyst at Hyundai Motor Securities.
“This percentage is expected to drop to 30% in 2023 when BTS’ hiatus really begins. On the other hand, other artists like Seventeen, Tomorrow X Together, Enhypen, Le Sserafim and NewJeans will be more active.”
Tomorrow X Together will release their fifth mini-album in January next year, while Seventeen and fromis_9 are also set to release new music early next year. Girl group NewJeans, the most recent group that debuted under ADOR, a music label under HYBE, will also release a single in January 2023.
&Team, a new boy group from HYBE and the agency’s first Japanese group, will debut on December 7, while another new K-pop boy group will debut in the first half of the year. next year.
A new girl group is also in the works. By auditioning for potential group members, HYBE was able to witness the expansion of K-pop onto the global stage.
“We received nearly 100,000 submissions from around the world at the HYBE Geffen auditions held in the United States,” said an official from HYBE America. “The [selected] the girls come from dozens of different countries and each has their own story.”
Collaborations with companies such as Universal and Big Machine Label Group are underway to branch out into more diverse musical genres such as R&B, hip-hop and country, according to HYBE.
The entertainment company also showcased new products and ways to grow its existing fan-based platforms. A digital collectibles platform, Momentica, is in development where artists’ voice recordings can be collected and preserved, while updates to Weverse, a mobile merchandise app, are in the works.
“We are a company that strives to continuously seek out the best content for fans to enjoy,” said Bang Si-hyuk, President of HYBE. “We now understand more than ever that everyone is curious about our next steps. It’s in our DNA to seek out challenges and new developments.
BY LIM JEONG-WON [[email protected]]