The so-called Big Four agencies – HYBE, JYP Entertainment, SM Entertainment and YG Entertainment – have big plans for 2022. Above all, the growth of the Korean entertainment industry is expected to continue during this time period as the global adaptation to the COVID pandemic era is taking place.
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In 2022, HYBE will be active in core business in Korea and overseas. ENHYPEN will release their new album, “Dimension: Answer” on January 10. BTS plans to release a new album this year and hold an offline concert in Seoul in March. While the exact date and scope of the performance has yet to be announced, it is expected to be a large-scale event.
HYBE also has a new girl group under the independent label ADOR led by Branding Director Min Hee Jin, as well as a new girl group to be launched by Source Music. In addition, they are working with Universal Music Group (UMG) to plan a global female pop group that will audition around the world. In addition, HYBE is working with HYBE Label Japan to create a new boy group for Japan.
Weverse, the fan community platform, plans to launch an integrated platform with V Live in the first half of this year, and this is expected to be the birth of the largest entertainment platform. The non-fungible token (NFT) platform, which will be released alongside Dunamu, operator of Korea’s largest cryptocurrency exchange Upbit, is also slated to launch in the first half of this year. In addition, expansion of games and TV series using IP BTS is expected in 2022.
SM Entertainment has strengthened its position in the past year. The SMCU (SM Culture Universe) was also created, a future-oriented concept that led to the metaverse.
This year, SM will feature the expanded artist SMCU, recently named “Metaversal Origin Story” by executive producer Lee Soo Man. On January 1, “SMTOWN LIVE 2022: SMCU Express @ Wilderness” was released online for free worldwide.
Major artists such as NCT and aespa are expected to continue their activities this year. In particular, NCT is expected to set a record for album sales as they set the record exceeding 10 million copies in total album sales last year. In addition, SMTOWN is planning a second world tour to major cities around the world.
Last year, SM’s platform, DearU, went public on the KOSDAQ marketplace, and DearU Bubble’s paid subscribers reached 1.2 million. SM, which is the most active company in the metaverse industry, plans to release new NFT-related products this year.
JYP Entertainment will also expand its business beyond music. In June, JYP acquired 4.3 million shares of DearU from SM and became the second largest shareholder. In addition, this is the first time a major entertainment company has officially entered the NFT business. Last July, they decided to team up with blockchain specialists Dunamu to develop, distribute and operate a platform business that manufactures, distributes and trades digital NFT-related goods and a range of value-added services.
YG is also gearing up to form a new girl group. In the second half of last year, there were rumors about the tentative name of the group Baby Monster. For the first time in six years, the agency will launch a girl group since BLACKPINK debuted in August 2016.
YG Entertainment also began expanding their global fandom in the past year, with BLACKPINK and other artists joining the HYBE Weverse global fan community platform. The agency also partners with the ZEPETO metaverse platform. They created BLACKPINK House using IP BLACKPINK and opened SamE, a dedicated project space for YG artists and fans.