K-Pop Label JYP Entertainment Doing ‘Full-Scale’ Expansion Into US
North American arm JYP USA is the latest foray by a South Korean company into the U.S. market, following HYBE's new Los Angeles office last year.
One of K-pop’s biggest record labels is firmly planting its foot into the U.S. market in the latest move to indicate South Korean pop music is increasingly creating significant stateside business.
JYP USA, the North American subsidiary of JYP Entertainment, will focus on the U.S. development of JYP’s roster, as part of a “full-scale North American market development and global expansion maximization” by the South Korean label, Billboard has learned.
JYP Entertainment, one of South Korea’s publicly traded agencies, was founded in the late 1990s by musician-producer J.Y. Park, who created early breakout stars like Wonder Girls, the first K-pop act to enter the Hot 100 chart in 2009.
The North American launch follows last month’s news that JYP’s strategic partnership with Republic Records would grow to include boy band Stray Kids and girl group iTZY, continuing from what started as an initial collaboration for TWICE in 2020.
And it comes after HYBE, the South Korean label that is home to chart-topping boy band BTS, put in motion a restructuring last July that created hubs in the U.S. (Los Angeles) and Japan. HYBE also is partnering with Universal Music Group’s Interscope Geffen A&M Records to create a joint record label and a “girl group audition challenge” in the U.S. with Universal.
JYP USA will be based in Los Angeles initially, with plans to expand to New York City.
In addition to boosting its established chart-toppers, the new entity will also lay a foundation in the U.S. for the agency’s newest artists Xdinary Heroes, the six-member rock band that debuted in December, and NMIXX, the seven-member girl group whose Feb. 22 debut with the single “O.O” has garnered nearly 50 million YouTube views.
JYP USA also says it will “discover and foster local U.S. artists” — in a similar way to what the Korean label has done in Japan with its girl group NiziU.
Jointly produced by JYP Entertainment and Sony Music Japan, NiziU emerged from a 2020 competition TV show that whittled down 26 hopefuls to the eventual nine-member lineup that has landed two No. 1s on the Billboard Japan Hot 100.
The North American initiative will serve as an “international bastion of K-pop,” enabling JYP’s artist roster “to gain a greater foothold in the U.S. market,” Republic Records’ founder and CEO Monte Lipman said in a statement.
JYP USA is JYP Entertainment’s latest foray into the U.S. market. During Wonder Girls’ initial U.S. advancements, the agency had a joint-management arrangement with the Jonas Group and a New York office location that housed the Wonder Girls. Since that time, TWICE joined Wonder Girls with a single on the Hot 100. TWICE and iTZY have also landed multiple entries on the Billboard 200, with Stray Kids looking to be the company’s next entry with their upcoming Oddinary EP out Friday.