Big Hit Entertainment, the South Korean company that introduced BTS to the world, and Universal Music Group today announced an expanded strategic partnership that will see the two companies working together to “increase opportunities for artists through innovation. and technology, while expanding the global reach of K-pop music and culture around the world, ”according to the announcement. The partnership includes a newly formed label that will operate out of Los Angeles and work closely with teams from Big Hit America, Geffen Records and UMG to kickstart this project.
Artists on UMG – the world’s largest music company – will explore enhanced ‘direct to fan’ communications via Big Hit’s Weverse, a community platform that allows loyal fans of artists to engage and interact , see and hear new content, and buy new products. Weverse is already used by UMG artists Gracie Abrams, New Hope Club and Alexander 23, with Yungblud being part of the next wave of talent joining Weverse in the coming months. This follows the announcement last week that UMG has become an equity investor alongside Big Hit, YG Entertainment and Kiswe on KBYK’s premium live streaming platform VenewLive.
The two companies also announced details of a plan to assemble and launch a new global K-pop boy group in the United States for the first time.
The new artist project will be released under a new JV label that will be created between Big Hit, the world power team behind the Grammy-nominated group’s phenomenal worldwide success BTS, in partnership with UMG’s Geffen Records, which was home to Nirvana and Guns N ‘Roses but more recently Avicii and Olivia Rodrigo little.
The members of this new boy group will be selected as part of a global audition program, which is expected to begin airing in 2022 and will be launched in conjunction with a major US media partner. The World’s First Act will operate on the basis of the K-pop system – A complete production that combines music, performance, fashion, music video and communication with fans.
Big Hit will use its global expertise to lead the discovery, training and development of new artists, the production processes of fan content, and the management of fan communications through the Weverse platform. In addition to working closely with an American media partner to produce the audition program, the Geffen Records team will draw on its extensive industry network and partners to oversee music production, marketing and distribution operations. global.
Bang Si-Hyuk, CEO of Big Hit Entertainment, said, “Our two companies indeed share values and visions as we pursue constant innovation and are committed to providing our fans with authentic music and content. of the highest level of quality without compromise. . He added, “In that sense, I firmly believe that UMG and Big Hit will create a synergy that will rewrite the world’s music history.”
Lenzo Yoon, CEO Global & Business, Big Hit Entertso said: “We will strive to ensure the leadership of the competitive platform and develop a group of top artists through the close partnership between our two companies, allowing K-pop to transcend all borders and all languages. He added, “This project is particularly important because it will apply the Big Hit ‘success formula’ established over the past 16 years in the United States, the center of the global music market.”
Sir Lucian Grainge, President and CEO of Universal Music Group, said: “With their innovative approach to artist development and the adoption of new technologies, Big Hit has become one of the fastest growing companies in entertainment. musical. We are excited to be working together as we launch a new joint venture between our companies that will further accelerate K-pop as a global cultural phenomenon.
John Janick, President and CEO of Interscope Geffen A&M said: “We are all extremely excited about this joint venture project between Geffen Records and Big Hit. This partnership gives us both an incredible opportunity to work together in helping to shape the future of music globally for the benefit of artists and fans.
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