Big Hit reports record H1 results amid future plans
The first half of 2019 has proved extremely profitable for Big Hit Entertainment, the company behind K-pop stars BTS, generating revenues that almost surpass last year’s total.
The Seoul-based company reported record revenues of KRW 200.1 billion (US 166.4 million) in the first half of 2019, not far from the KRW 214bn ($178m) generated in the whole of 2018. Operating profits were also up from the same period of last year, at KRW 39.1bn ($32.5m).
Speaking at the company’s ‘Big Hit corporate briefing with the community’ at the Korea Textile Centre, Big Hit CEO Bang Si-Hyuk said that enhancing brand power through artists such as BTS was at “the core of Big Hit’s IP [intellectual property] business vision”.
Big Hit plans to develop a new TV drama series based on the BTS Universe (BU), a fictional storyline told through the band’s music videos, for the second half of 2020.
The company is also working on a new BTS-themed game project in collaboration with Korean game publisher Net Marble, adding to its growing presence in the music gaming sector.
Bang also stated that new kinds of customer experience would help boost revenues and expand the whole market further. Part of this strategy includes changing the way fans experience concerts.
“Big Hit is committed to turning the host city of a concert into a festival, improving inconvenient and unfair elements and enhancing the overall customer experience,” explains Lenzo Yoon, chief executive of Big Hit’s business contents.
“Big Hit is committed to turning the host city of a concert into a festival, enhancing the overall customer experience”
The company plans to expand its ticket raffle system to counter touting, facilitate quick-and-easy merchandise sales and establish a ‘play-zone’ for concertgoers to pass the time before music begins.
For those not attending a show, Big Hit intends to put on live viewings near concert venues, introduce real-time streaming and set up pop-up shops and exhibitions on concert days, to turn the area around a venue into a ‘city of celebration’.
Fan community platforms, such as Weverse, Weply and BTS Fan Cafe, are another area with potential to improve customer experience, according to Steve Seo, chief executive of Big Hit subsidiary Benx.
The platforms can serve as a “one-stop service in the music industry”, integrating the whole process for customers, “from ticket purchase to identity verification, special event interaction and buying merchandise.”
Two million people have signed up to Weverse, which facilitates fans-to-artist interaction, since it launched in June.
Currently on an “extended” break, BTS return on 11 October, with a show in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, before a three-night run at Seoul’s 69,950-capacity Olympic Stadium. Tickets for the Korean shows are available here for KRW 110,000 ($91).
Big Hit acquires music game company Superb
Big Hit Entertainment, the agency behind K-pop stars BTS, has acquired Seoul-based music game company Superb.
Superb will retain its management team and “maintain its unique colour and independence as a game company.”
Through the acquisition, Big Hit expands its reach into music-based game development and services. Superb will capitalise on the entertainment company’s music and intellectual property to create games.
Big Hit chief executive Bang Shi Hyuk says he believes that the gaming industry “will create a strong synergy” with the music industry.
“We believe that Big Hit will especially thrive in the two industries, so we have been looking into many different opportunities. We believe this acquisition will bring a positive value and more possibilities for both companies, as well as the multi-labels that Big Hit is expanding into,” says Bang.
“We believe that Big Hit will especially thrive in the two industries, so we have been looking into many different opportunities”
Bang adds that Big Hit will continue its partnership with Korean game publisher Net Marble, which developed the game and mobile app BTS World.
Superb’s co-chief executive Kim Sun Haeng states that Big Hit is “revolutionising the music industry’s business model” and believes the deal “will be a new opportunity” for the gaming company.
“Superb has been focusing on creating new ways of having fun by combining music and games,” says fellow co-chief executive Oh Min Hwan, “through both parties’ revolutionary content and development ability, we will work to create content that lives up to expectations of global users.”
Founded in 2016, Superb has released rhythm-based game Pianista for mobile and Nintendo Switch and Yumi’s Cells with Naver Webtoon.