Big Hit Entertainment, the musical brand behind K-pop BTS sensation, has been a hit in the US. The South Korean company, which also changed its name to HYBE, announced that it will pay more than $ 1 billion to Ithaca Holdings, the media group that forms the basis of careers for world stars such as Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande.
Ithaca is led by music actor Scooter Brown. The acquisition marked the first step for Koreans in the United States. Brown will join HYBE’s board of directors. As part of the deal, investor Carlisle will sell his large stake in Ithaca, which he has owned since 2017
The deal comes as the coronavirus crisis hits the music industry hard. Now that performance is no longer possible, an important source of income for artists has dried up. Meanwhile, the growth of streaming services has boosted the value of music rights in recent years, also as investors look to alternative investments now that interest rates have been low throughout the ages.
Rock stars like Bob Dylan have already made use of their old songs lately, and Brown has done the same with Taylor Swift’s early albums, although this caused tensions between the music director and the singer.
Brown supported the acquisition, saying the partnership could open exciting opportunities for new and existing artists. HYBE CEO Bang Se Hyuk described the merger as inevitable.
Big Hit helped spread K-pop. BTS’s hit song Dynamite reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 last year. BTS was the first Asian business to top the US charts since Kyu Sakamoto, who finished first for three weeks in 1963.
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