HYBE, home of BTS, sees revenues grow to $226m in Q1 2022, up 59.8% YoY

K-Pop stars BTS

South Korea-headquartered music company HYBE, home of superstars BTS, has published its financial results for Q1 2022.

According to new investor filings, HYBE generated revenues of South Korea Won (KRW) 285 billion in the three months ended March 31.

That Q1 revenue figure converts to approximately USD $226 million at current exchange rates, an increase of 59.8% year-over-year.

The music company’s Q1 results follow a year in which HYBE broke the billion dollar annual revenue barrier for the first time, reporting revenues of 1.257 trillion South Korea Won (KRW) in 2021, approximately USD $1.098 billion at annual average exchange rates (per the IRS), and up by a whopping 58% year-on-year.

One key factor in HYBE’s 58% growth in 2021 was its $1 billion acquisition of Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings in April last year.

According to HYBE’s latest results, its second-biggest revenue driver in Q1 2022 was its ‘Artist Indirect Involvement’ business, which generated South Korea Won 131 billion (approx $103.8m ) up 17.7% YoY.

This line of business, which sees the company use the name and likeness of its artists, such as BTS, for advertising and branding exercises without requiring the band’s active participation, has previously been cited as one of the main reasons HYBE did well during the pandemic in 2020.

‘Artist Indirect-Involvement’ business activities became HYBE’s main revenue driver in every quarter of 2021, including Q1 (ending March 31), Q2 (the three months to the end of June), Q3 (the three months to the end of September) and Q4 (ending December 31).

It was also the company’s biggest revenue driver across the whole year, generating 733 billion KRW ($640m at annual average exchange rates) last year – up 72.8% YoY.

In Q1, 2022, however, HYBE’s ‘Artist Indirect-Involvement’ business line was overtaken by the company’s ‘Artist Direct Involvement’ business line, which generated South Korea Won 153.6 billion in Q1 2022.

Those earnings convert to $121.8 million and grew by 130.2% YoY (see below).




Digging deeper into the company’s financial results reveals that its album sales grew 18.5% YoY, from South Korea Won 54.5 billion ($43.2m) in Q1 2021 to South Korea Won 64.6 billion ($51.1m) in Q1 2022.

Meanwhile, the company’s merchandise and licensing revenues hit South Korea Won 68.2 billion ($54m) in Q1, up 5.4% YoY.

HYBE’s concerts business, meanwhile, generated South Korea Won 61.3 billion ($48.5m) in Q1, up 35.4% versus the prior quarter (Q4 2021).

Elsewhere, HYBE broke out the numbers for its fan-community app Weverse, which pulls together content made by and for Big Hit artists including music videos, teasers, movies, merch sales and live streams.

Weverse’s user numbers fell by 5% in Q1, to 6.4 million, versus the 6.8 million reported at the end of the prior quarter (Q4 2021).

The average revenue per paying user (ARPPU) for Weverse was up however, both year-on-year and quarter-on-quarter (see above).

HYBE’s Net Profit in Q1 2022 was South Korea Won 30.8 billion ($24.4m), up 78.7% YoY.Music Business Worldwide