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Big Hit Entertainment and Universal Music Group Collaboration to Enhance Artist-to-Fan Experience

“Big Hit Entertainment and Universal Music Group announced on February 17 that they are planning a strategic collaboration to provide more opportunities for artists of both companies.

Details about the Strategic Collaboration

Big Hit and Universal Music Group

In a global press conference, the two companies revealed that they have plans for both companies to work closely together in the future. The four major players of both companies are Bang Si-Hyuk, Chairman and CEO of Big Hit Entertainment, Lenzo Yoon, CEO of Global & Business at Big Hit Entertainment, Sir Lucian Grainge, the Chairman & CEO of Universal Music Group, and John Janick, the Chairman & CEO of Interscope Geffen A&M. They hope to expand music across all borders. 

This collaboration can provide artists from both companies access to technologies and opportunities to connect to their fanbase. With K-pop idols’ success with connecting to their fans, UMG artists will grow their fanbase through Big Hit Entertainment’s Weverse, a global platform dedicated to fans’ and artists’ interactions. Similar to Twitter and Instagram, Weverse will enable American artists to share content and merchandise directly with their fans. Some UMG artists have already been using Weverse, such as Gracie Abrams, New Hope Club, and Yungblud. In the upcoming months, UMG officials say that more waves of artists will join the platform. 

The collaboration announcement came out days after UMG took part in investing in KBYK’s VenewLive premium live-streaming platform. Big Hit Entertainment, YG Entertainment, and Kiswe are other investors. 

New K-pop Debut

A large part of this collaboration between Big Hit Entertainment and Universal Music Group is the debut of a new K-pop boy group in 2022. Geffen Records, owned by UMG, will work closely with Big Hit Entertainment on this debut. The new K-pop group will debut under the JV label, a joint project between Big Hit and Geffen Records. 

Both companies envision the group to be a “global” K-pop ensemble. Members of the group will be chosen through a global audition program, similar to that of MNET’s Produce 101 and Big Hit’s latest project, I-Land. ENHYPEN, the group that came out of I-Land, saw immediate popularity after the show ended. Their debut album entered the music charts in Korean, Japan, and the U.S. Big Hit Entertainment hopes that a global audition program will have the same effect for this new boy group. 

Big Hit Entertainment will use its innovative management skills and outreach and take charge of discovering talent. After the debut, Big Hit Entertainment will also be in charge of the group’s activities. Geffen Records will work with U.S media to produce the global audition program. The audition show will air on major U.S networks and Big Hit Entertainment will still take part in the production of the group when it comes to music, clothing, music video, etc. The group will still have the essence of K-pop that fans love. This is a major accomplishment for Hallyu because the program will be spread Korean culture and entertainment across the U.S and the world.

Why is this Global Collaboration Happening? 

It was only a matter of time before the South Korean powerhouse finally makes its mark in the U.S music industry. While BTS has signed with Columbia Records, Universal Music Group is the music powerhouse in the U.S. It is home to notable K-pop acts such as IU, GOT7, SHINee, and Momoland. The collaboration just makes sense to expand K-pop. 

In the global press release, Big Hit Entertainment CEO Bang Si Hyuk explains his thoughts on the collaboration. “Our two companies indeed share values and visions in that we both pursue constant innovations,” he says. “And are committed to providing our fans with genuine music and content of the highest and uncompromising level of quality.” Sir Lucian Grainge of Universal Music Group added that this partnership will bring K-pop into the mainstream with the hope of making it breaking barriers such as borders and language. 

Background on Big Hit Entertainment

BTS

TXT

Aside from being the home of the Grammy-nominated group, BTS, and the new generation group TXT, Big Hit Entertainment is also a successful and expanding business. At the beginning of the month, Naver announced that it would invest $371 million USD into Weverse Company Inc. In addition to the investment, Never and Big Hit also planned on merging the VLIVE platform with Weverse to create a new fanbase platform. 

Big Hit Entertainment also invested $63 million USD into its rival company, YG Entertainment. They hope this will bring in collaborations and opportunities for both their artists in the future.

Background on Universal Music Group and Geffen Records

UMG Artists

UMG is home to popular American artists such as Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Kanye West, and many more. They are one of the leading entertainment companies with business expansion across the globe in more than 60 countries. They provide music production, merchandising, tour management, and many other services for their artists and fans. 

Geffen Records is home to some of the most iconic faces in music like Cher, Aerosmith, Elton John. Some newer artists include Avicii and Olivia Rodrigo, the singer behind the viral break-up song, “Driver’s License”. 

The Future of K-pop

K-pop doesn’t have to stay in South Korea. Thanks to Big Hit Entertainment and Universal Music Group, K-pop and the Korean culture have expanded on a global scale. In the very near future, the K-pop section at the music store will be just as big as all the other genres. 

You can watch the video of the press conference buy Big Hit Entertainment and Universal Music Group collaboration below.

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