Hybe Emerges as the First K-pop Agency to Surpass 2 Trillion Won in Annual Sales | Be Korea-savvy

Hybe Emerges as the First K-pop Agency to Surpass 2 Trillion Won in Annual Sales

K-pop megastar BTS is seen in this file photo provided by BigHit Music on Dec. 25, 2023. (Imae courtesy of Yonhap)

K-pop megastar BTS is seen in this file photo provided by BigHit Music on Dec. 25, 2023. (Imae courtesy of Yonhap)

SEOUL, Feb. 26 (Korea Bizwire) – Hybe said Monday its annual sales surpassed 2 trillion won (US$1.5 billion) in 2023, making it the first K-pop agency ever to reach the milestone.

This achievement comes despite the absence of BTS’ group projects due to members’ mandatory military service.

The company attributed the achievement to robust album and concert sales by its major artists, including Seventeen, Tomorrow X Together, NewJeans, Enhypen and BTS members as soloists.

According to a regulatory filing, the firm reported yearly revenue of about 2.178 trillion won, up 22.6 percent from a year earlier.

Its operating profit surged 24.9 percent to hit a record of 295.8 billion won, while it posted a net profit of 186.6 billion won, a whopping 288.5 percent on-year spike.

Hybe said revenue with direct artists involvement grew 51.4 percent to 1.4715 trillion won, while revenue with indirect artists involvement decreased 12.1 percent to 706.6 billion won.

The company’s music labels collectively sold albums worth 970.5 billion won last year, marking a significant increase of 75.8 percent from 2022. Revenue from concerts featuring its major artists also increased 39.1 percent on-year to 359.1 billion won as concert markets have recovered from the impact of COVID-19.

However, revenue from merchandising and licensing as well as content sales slipped 17.7 percent and 15.1 percent, respectively.

Hybe artists dominated Circle Chart’s annual albums chart for 2023 with Seventeen sitting atop by selling 15.94 million copies of its albums. Tomorrow X Together came in third with 6.51 million copies, while NewJeans and Enhypen were fifth and sixth, respectively, with 4.26 million and 3.88 million copies. BTS’ Jungkook ranked 12th with 2.71 million copies, closely followed by his bandmate V with 2.25 million copies on the 13th.

Although there were no group activities by BTS, the group’s members Jimin and Jungkook debuted at No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard’s Hot 100 main singles chart as solo artists. Tomorrow X Together and NewJeans were atop the Billboard 200 albums chart.

This nearly doubled the combined sales of albums by Hybe artists from 22.2 million copies to 43.6 million copies last year.

The number of Hybe artists who had concerts increased from four teams in the previous year to seven teams last year, and the total number of concerts held increased from 78 to 125, showing a significant increase.

Hybe said among the most lucrative concerts by its artists last year were BTS Suga’s sold-out solo concert tour, Seventeen’s “Follow” tour, Tomorrow X Together and Enhypen’s first North American stadium and Japanese dome tours, and Le Sserafim’s first world tour.

During a conference call to announce the earnings, the company captured participants’ attention by using artificial intelligence audio technology developed by its subsidiary, Supertone.

TTS (Text to Speech) technology was specifically applied to transform written text into spoken audio, using CEO Park Ji-won’s voice.

“Hybe always holds an unwavering vision and moves swiftly toward the future,” Park said. “Hybe’s multi-label system is designed to ensure that each label operates independently, fostering both competition and collaboration among them. The goal is to reduce dependency on specific artists or labels.”


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