K-pop superstars BTS have signed a new deal with Universal Music Group/Interscope for distribution and marketing in the United States and other regions.
The new deal means that the band, signed to HYBE-owned label BigHit Music in Korea, are exiting their deal with Sony Music‘s Columbia Records and distribution partner The Orchard.
In an official statement provided to MBW today (October 22), a HYBE spokesperson said that the deal forms part of a “continued effort to expand the strategic partnership” with Universal Music Group announced in February.
Billboard first reported the news of BTS’s exit from Columbia, and citing sources, said that the deal ‘is the result of a years-long effort’ by UMG Chairman & CEO, Sir Lucian Grainge and Interscope CEO John Janick.
Speaking in February, Sir Lucian Grainge called Big Hit “one of the world’s most innovative music entertainment companies, having achieved phenomenal global success by demonstrating that great music can overcome language and cultural differences”.
Bang Si-Hyuk, then Chairman & CEO of Big Hit Entertainment, added at the time that “UMG’s influence [and] expertise accumulated in the world’s music market, coupled with Big Hit Entertainment’s pioneering ideas and innovation, will enable previously unimaginable feats”.
The following month (March), Big Hit Entertainment officially rebranded as HYBE, and in July, Bang Si-hyuk stepped down from his role as CEO as a part of a major leadership shakeup at the company.
According to Variety, BTS’s deal with the Orchard was based on ‘a month-to-month contract’, with the new UMG deal to be effective, from December 1.
Two of the group’s biggest hits, English language singles Dynamite and Butter went through Columbia in the US, with the latter track breaking the all-time record for day-one streams on Spotify on Friday May 21 this year, racking up 20.9 million global plays in its first 24 hours on the platform.
This record was shattered by Adele‘s new single Easy on Me on Friday October 15.
Butter was co-written and co-produced by Columbia Records Chairman and CEO, Ron Perry.
BTS’s latest single is the Max Martin produced My Universe, a collaboration with Coldplay (Parlophone/Atlantic), which hit No.1 in the US at the start of the month.
“While we greatly appreciate our time with Sony (Columbia/Orchard) and will forever be grateful for all they have done and will continue to do, we look forward to our new chapter in partnership with Universal.”
In a statement sent to MBW today, a HYBE spokesperson, said: “We have decided to sign a new deal with Universal Music Group/Interscope regarding distribution and marketing in the United States and other regions.
“It is our continued effort to expand the strategic partnership with them, announced last February.
“While we greatly appreciate our time with Sony (Columbia/Orchard) and will forever be grateful for all they have done and will continue to do, we look forward to our new chapter in partnership with Universal.”Music Business Worldwide