Big Hit Entertainment, home to global K-pop superstars BTS, has revealed its revenues for the first half of 2019.
The Seoul-headquartered company, led by CEO Bang Si-Hyuk, posted record revenues of 200.1bn KRW in the first six months of this year, equivalent to $166.3m at current exchange rates.
That number is close to the revenue figure that Big Hit generated in the whole of 2018, when it turned over 214bn KRW ($178m at current rates), which was itself up 132% year-on-year.
Big Hit has also today (August 21) revealed that its operating profit for the first half of 2019 stood at 39.1bn KRW ($33m).
In the entirety of 2018, the equivalent FY operating income number weighed in at 64.1bn KRW ($53m at current rates).
The new figures were announced by Bang Si-Hyuk at Big Hit’s ‘Big Hit Corporate Briefing With The Community’ event held today at the Korea Textile Center.
Approximately 200 guests from Big Hit’s affiliate and partner companies attended, which would have included Sony Music / The Orchard and Universal Music Group. The Orchard is a global distributor of BTS’s standard recorded music releases, while UMG handles the group’s Japanese-language tracks.
Bang Si-Hyuk said: “Big Hit seeks to spur on change in the process of value creation and expansion in the music industry, which will boost revenues, expand the market, and advance the system, and ultimately enhance the quality of life for all employees and all members of the music community.”
“The core of Big Hit’s IP business vision is to enhance of the brand power created through artists and secure powerful impact and influence, which can then be expanded into a sustained brand business.”
Bang Si-Hyuk, Big Hit (pictured)
He also commented on Big Hit’s mission to achieve innovation in ‘IP Branding’ and ‘IP Storytelling’. (As well as being BTS’s record label, Big Hit also manages the group’s IP rights, plus their live touring operation.)
Added Bang Si-Hyuk, “The core of Big Hit’s IP business vision is to enhance of the brand power created through artists and secure powerful impact and influence, which can then be expanded into a sustained brand business.”
To help achieve this goal, Big Hit plans to develop a drama production based on the BTS Universe (BU) with a “well-known drama production company”, slated for release in the second half of 2020.
There is also a new video game project using BTS storytelling IP in the works, in collaboration with Netmarble.
Big Hit this week announced that it had acquired Seoul-based music game company, Superb.
Other speakers at the ‘Big Hit Corporate Briefing’ event included CEO of Big Hit’s Business Contents, Lenzo Yoon (pictured above), who commented on the expansion of the company’s concert experience.
“Big Hit is committed to turning the hosting city of a concert into a festival, improving inconvenient and unfair elements and enhancing the overall customer experience,” he stated, noting that Big Hit is committed to challenging ticket scalping with its ‘ticket raffle system’.
Yoon proposed various measures to transform a Big Hit concert region into a ‘city of celebration’, including live viewing events near the concert venue; a ‘live streaming service’ of the concert via mobile and PC; plus offline events such as pop-up stores and exhibitions during the concert period.
“Big Hit is committed to turning the hosting city of a concert into a festival, improving inconvenient and unfair elements and enhancing the overall customer experience.”
Lenzo Yoon, Big Hit Entertainment
CEO Steve Seo of beNX, a subsidiary of Big Hit, discussed innovation in the customer experience via digital platforms.
Using fan community Weverse and commerce platform Weply as examples, he said. “It will be a ‘one-stop service in the music industry’ that can provide any music services by turning on Weverse and Weply. The entire process will be integrated for our customers, from ticket purchase to identity verification, special event participation , and merchandise shopping.”
Seo revealed that while 1.5 million people have registered for the BTS Fan Cafe over the past six years, the number of members who have signed up for Weverse since its launch in June has already reached two million.
Currently, 800,000 visitors from 229 countries around the world are actively using Weverse every day.
Also, in the case of Weply, overseas sale of a certain product rose from 20% to 48.6% after being sold on Weply. “This means that shopping is now much easier for overseas fans,” he added.
Big Hit announced earlier this month that BTS would be taking their first ‘extended’ break from recording and touring activity since 2013.
The firm said in a statement: “This period of rest will be an opportunity for the members of BTS, who have relentless[ly] driven themselves towards their goal since their debut, to recharge and prepare to present themselves anew as musicians and creators.
This will also provide them with a chance to enjoy the ordinary lives of young people in their 20s, albeit briefly.”Music Business Worldwide