SEOUL, March 16 (Korea Bizwire) — After reaching a breaking point in the music industry, major South Korean entertainment companies are now bulking up to gain a competitive edge in securing cultural content.
At the forefront of this shift are SM Entertainment and YG Entertainment, two of the largest entertainment agencies in South Korea boasting the likes of K-pop superstars EXO and Big Bang.
Multiple media sources reported earlier this week that SM Entertainment had acquired entertainment agencies FNC Add Culture and KeyEast, the latter of which is headed by actor Bae Yong-joon.
Through the series of merger deals, SM was able to secure two South Korean pop TV channels in Japan, KNTV and DATV, as well as two drama production companies (ContentK and FNC Add Culture), with renowned actors including Kim Soo-hyun and Park Seo-joon giving a boost to the agency’s celebrity power.
The move is expected to see the entertainment company branch out into the online, mobile and international industries, with plans to pursue various content production projects with the increased star power.
“We have plans to launch celebrity-based lifestyle businesses in the food and beverage, fashion and leisure sectors. We hope to grow FNC Add Culture into a global lifestyle company with SM’s business experience,” the company explained.
YG is also growing in size, having launched lifestyle and content subsidiaries YG Plus and YG Studio Plex in an effort to expand its business into the fields of cosmetics, food, lifestyle and TV.
The K-pop behemoth landed an investment deal worth 100 billion won from web portal giant Naver last March, making the tech company one of its largest shareholders.
The move allowed YG to secure a number of digital platforms from Naver including V Live, Line and Snow.
“The rapid shift in content consumption from traditional media to digital platforms is making market players such as entertainment agencies, media outlets, web portals and broadcasters contemplate the transition,” an industry source said.
Last December, Disney acquired 21th Century Fox’s film and TV studios in a bid to bolster its presence on both the small and big screens, reshaping the landscape of the entertainment industry.
Hyunsu Yim (email@example.com)