Photo: Getty Images
Despite the limitations of the pandemic and the resulting hindrance to holding concerts, Hybe Corporation, the South Korean entertainment company responsible for K-pop band BTS, has seen a rise in profits.
Hybe’s operating profits rose by 30.8% in the past year, the company says.
Revenue from content, such as games and digital comics featuring BTS, almost tripled Hybe’s profits.
Previously named Big Hit Entertainment, Hybe also owns the management that represents singers like Ariana Grande.
The company planned to “carry out its game and publishing business in earnest,” Hybe chief executive Park Ji-won told investors on Tuesday.
He added that Hybe sought to invest in game developers and “provide a variety of entertainment in the soon-to-be-unfolded metaverse.”
This news comes after Hybe reported an increase in operating profits to 190.3bn won (£118m; $160m) in the last year.
On the other hand, its content business revenue rose from 132.3bn won to 370.4bn. Its merchandise, advertisements, artist appearances, and their management also doubled in revenue.
The Weverse platform had also been instrumental in Hybe’s gaining ground with K-pop fans as Weverse allows fans to communicate with artists and purchase exclusive content.
Hybe is also processing the launch of non-fungible tokens or NFTs. These have been marketed as digital collectibles, but the move was still met with criticism on its risks in the market.
Another mobile game is also in the works, and the company also plans to improve Rhythm Hive, a rhythm game where players can tap along to BTS and other South Korean music. The game features gems that can be collected and bought for in-app purchases.
Despite this, recovery of concerts continues to be slow. As a result, the company’s earnings from performances were less than a quarter of what they earned in 2019.
In 2020, BTS’ largest international tour with almost 40 concerts was called off because of the pandemic. The group held online shows in its place. BTS remains one of the biggest revenue generators for the firm.
BTS performed in Los Angeles in November, which marked their first in-person concert since the start of the pandemic. After returning to Seoul, five of its members tested positive for COVID-19.
BTS has since scheduled three concerts in L.A. and several performances in Las Vegas.