SEOUL, June 30 (Korea Bizwire) — LG Electronics said Thursday it has set up a joint venture with SM Entertainment, the K-pop agency behind aespa and NCT Dream, to tap into the growing home fitness market.
LG Electronics CEO Cho Joo-wan expressed hope the new joint venture, Fitness Candy, will elevate LG from being a home appliance maker to a tech company that reshapes the lifestyles of its customers.
“We plan to utilize our capability to build platforms and develop software to provide entirely different home training services, eventually advance into a total solution platform that can suggest a smart lifestyle for each of our customers,” Cho said in a news conference at a Seoul hotel.
“The collaboration between SM Entertainment’s music, dance and artist contents and LG Electronics IT technology will provide an opportunity to contribute to global fitness and health care industry,” SM CEO Lee Sung-su said.
LG will develop various home fitness devices, including an artificial intelligence camera that senses a user’s movement, as well as a wrist band that can monitor heart rates and calories burned.
SM will provide its music resources and celebrity network to develop various fitness related contents, ranging from at-home training programs to workouts using elements of K-pop choreography.
The videos will star South Korean celebrities like fashion model Han Hye-jin, dancer Aiki from 2019 NBC’s World of Dance competition and chef Austin Kang.
The envisioned joint venture will be 51 percent owned by LG and 49 percent owned by SM.
Fitness Candy’s Chief Security Officer, Kim Bee-oh, said its service will be priced between 20,000 won (US$15) to 30,000 won per month, higher than its competition Apple Fitness Plus at $9.99 per month.
The firm’s goal is to secure 50,000 paid members and 10 billion won of sales by 2023, he added.
Kim also hinted at plans to expand its products to foreign markets, though he did not provide a specific time frame.
“There are a lot of things to prepare, but creating differentiated K-contents should come first before others. Interest in K-culture will grow overseas and we can advance when we get to that level. I think it’s in the near future,” Kim said.