Safe to say, Hybe is having a pretty good year. The entertainment conglomerate behind BTS took home first prize in Fast Company’s ranking of 2022’s most innovative media companies, and placed at No. 11 on their list of most innovative companies.
Recognized for “finding new ways to release content, reach listeners, and cultivate fandom worldwide,” Hybe made huge strides last year by merging with Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings. Since their deal — which ended up having a $1 billion price tag — Hybe has worked on Justin Bieber‘s concert film, Ariana Grande‘s R.E.M. Beauty line and the CBS drama series Scorpion. “The new entertainment behemoth creates a diverse, global entity that puts a focus on brand management and multimedia entrepreneurship as it scales,” says Fast Company.
While the merger was essential for Hybe’s ambition to lay down roots in the United States, the company certainly hasn’t slowed down on the K-Pop front either (though the imminent conscription of some BTS members to the South Korean military is likely to pose a challenge in the near future). In 2020, they partnered with cloud-streaming service Kiswe on a virtual BTS tour, which raked in nearly 1 million viewers, and the global boyband phenomenon has scored six Hot 100 No. 1s in less than two years.
Hybe’s placement on the “Most Innovative Media Companies” list is a fitting testament to the enterprise’s mission. Their motto is clear and simple (“We believe in music”) and a statement on their website reads: “We bring change to life by creating resonance across the world and innovation throughout industries.” Those industries span gaming, education, film, television, technology, concerts, fan experiences and more in addition to music.
Founded in 2005 by Bang Si-Hyuk (one of Billboard‘s 2021 International Power Players), Hybe started out as Big Hit Entertainment. It’s the parent of seven record labels, including BTS’ label BigHit Music, Enhypen‘s Belift Lab and Seventeen‘s Pledis Entertainment. Last year, the conglomerate announced its first ever global search for members of a U.S.-based all-girl group in partnership with Geffen Records.