Big Hit Entertainment, home to the likes of BTS and TOMORROW X TOGETHER (TXT), held a corporate briefing Tuesady (Feb. 4) at Seoul’s Dongdaemun Design Plaza to present an overview of the last year and its plans for 2020, including its “winning formula.”
The event featured presentations from Big Hit’s co-CEO’s Bang Si-Hyuk and Lenzo Yoon as well as representatives of Source Music, which Big Hit acquired last year. During the session, the company spent time sharing its business model, and shared several important updates, including the expected launch of a boy band, a planned girl group and an upcoming world tour for TXT.
During the briefing, Big Hit announced that revenue doubled 2018 to 587.9 billion KRW (494.6 million) in 2019, and reached annual operating profits of 97.5 billion KRW (82 million).
According to Bang, last year saw the company begin to change its structure and begin to develop to become a multi-tiered business and label, acquiring Source Music and establishing Belift, a co-venture with CJ ENM.
The company also looked towards diversifying its business ventures, launching new projects including apps like Weply and Weverse, and expanding its concert and touring experiences. Live streaming and cinematic events were major factors in enabling 5.5 million people to witness elements of BTS’ tours, Big Hit explained, beyond the 2.06 million who physically attended BTS’ Love Yourself and Speak Yourself world tours. Pop-up stores accompanying the tours and experiential spaces, such as the House of BTS pop-up, also supported the company’s growth, and Big Hit will continue to expand on the concertgoing experience.
Lenzo Yoon used the event to discuss how the company is exploring the “Big Hit Winning Formula,” which is said to further expand the success of artists’ under the company’s labels by utilizing business modularization to enhance the customer experience and value chain expansion. This includes moving beyond Big Hit artists, with Yoon announcing that boy band Seventeen, which is managed by Pledis Entertainment will be “the first of many” to enter Weverse, an app through which fans and artists can interact, as well as through which fans can engage with a variety of purchasable content.
According to a press release from Big Hit, Yoon stressed that “‘fans’ are the centerpiece of the ‘Big Hit Winning Formula,’ that they are at the center of the music industry and are indeed the core value of the Big Hit business model.”
Several other major announcements regarding upcoming and rising acts were also shared during the corporate briefing.
Young Jae Shin, Vice President of Big Hit Labels, announced plans to launch a new boy band in 2022, and shared plans for an upcoming world tour featuring TXT. Another boy band is planned to debut within the year under Belift, a male act featuring multinational members that will help bring about the brand’s aim to bring “K-pop into the mainstream.” According to Yoon Hyuk Choi, Belift vice president, he hopes to introduce K-pop’s incubation system for artists into the global market.
So Sung Jin, president of Source Music, said a previously-announced grl group had been formed, and is expected to be presented to the world in 2021; the company aims to become the leading girl group label in the world, and already houses GFriend.
There also are plans for the release of diverse BTS-oriented creative contents, including a “Mic Drop” music video featuring BTS characters such as the ones featured in a cartoonish remake of “IDOL,” a second The Notes book, and a a series of “graphic lyrics” picture books based on The Most Beautiful Moment of Life that will feature five of BTS’ songs based on the act’s songs and its fictive narrative, known as the BU or Bangtan Universe.
The company also shared an update on the BTS- themed television drama created in collaboration with Chorokbaem Media and written by Kim Su-jin, which will feature “a coming-of-age story about how the seven boys in the Bangtan Universe met and embarged together on their journey of healing.”
Additional content, such as “Learn Korean with BTS” and a game by Superb Corp.are also in the works.
The event also featured the news that design team STUFISH will work with Big Hit on BTS’ upcoming world tour, which will also feature festival-like zones — previously limited to Seoul stops — to help enhance the atmosphere.
“Big Hit will ensure that fans, artists and the company which constitute the X, Y, Z axis of the music industry can grow fairly together,” Bang said during the closing of the event. “Big Hit will constantly put efforts into making Big Hit’s model and methodology the industry’s standard.”