Hello. I am Bang Si-Hyuk, producer and CEO of Big Hit Entertainment.
Welcome to the 1H 2020 ‘Corporate Briefing with the Community.’
Unfortunately, we are unable to invite members of the media,
our guests and fans to today’s event.
I hope all of you watching this are safe and will continue to be in good health.
Please allow me to explain today’s format.
We will first present our business results and today’s key topics.
We will then examine Big Hit success stories from 2019,
followed by our 2020 Big Hit business vision,
updated news about our Label Group,
and a review of new businesses on the way.
Then let’s begin our Corporate Briefing for the first half of 2020.
Last August in our first talk,
we presented Big Hit’s vision of ‘innovating the music industry.’
We declared that we will innovate the customer experience,
expand the value chain on which to build a customer ecosystem,
and create new businesses based on these innovations.
In other words, we said that we will overcome today’s music industry limits
and expand the entire market.
What changes have we witnessed since then?
In 2019, Big Hit grew rapidly and drove numerous changes.
We underwent a systematic preparation process
to build the foundations of a multi-label, multi-business company.
We welcomed SOURCE MUSIC and Superb into the Big Hit family, and founded BELIFT.
We spun off new businesses to further advance our business domains.
All of our organizations continue to push the envelope
to achieve our goal of industry and customer innovation.
As a result, we nearly doubled our revenue from 2018 to 2019.
We achieved 587.9 billion won in consolidated sales,
and consolidated operating profits of 97.5 billion won according to the K-IFRS,
before external audit adjustments.
We’ve diversified our business model.
Revenue sources were evenly distributed,
not just among our music and album sales
but concerts, content, IP products and platform businesses.
The number of foreign tourists increased by 187,000 for BTS’s 3-day performance.
Academic experts estimated an economic effect of nearly 1 trillion won
“rivaling that of an Olympic Games”.
Our vision was to turn a city hosting a BTS performance
into a festival like the Olympics,
and we are witnessing this vision turn to reality.
In addition to these visible achievements,
Big Hit worked over the past year to define and deliver our vision.
We worked to ensure that our vision was more than just grandstanding,
that we can create results and continue to do so.
We focused on finding the Big Hit formula for success.
We actually began this effort several years ago.
At our new year meeting in 2016, I remember saying:
“We must be able to reproduce success.
When we remember what we did well, do it better,
and move towards a common goal,
we can create sustainable success even when things are strange and unfamiliar.
No matter how the market changes,
our core values remain ‘content’ and ‘fans’.
We focus on the fundamentals.”
At that time I was looking inward into our company.
Now I wish to expand my sights to include the industry.
When our success stories provide fertile grounds for new ventures
and they in turn lead to good results,
we will learn more about what we have done well
and ultimately bring about greater change and innovation.
During this process, Big Hit family members will share their know-how
and strive towards a common goal.
Ultimately, we will discover our winning system, the ‘Big Hit winning formula’
Repeated and sustained proof of success and the application of success stories
will turn the Big Hit formula into the industry’s ‘de facto standard’.
When this happens, fans will be treated right as ‘customers’;
artists will be able to freely and happily express their talent
and reach for their dreams;
everyone in the industry will be able to reap the rewards of their hard effort
and have pride in their work and achievements.
Ultimately, I hope that through this,
Big Hit will innovate the industry and contribute to the future of the industry.
So today, we would like to review our efforts of 2019
in searching for the “Big Hit winning formula”
and what we plan to do for 2020.
I would like to invite CEO of Big Hit Entertainment Lenzo Seokjun Yoon,
to hear about our successes in 2019 and our business vision for this year.
Hello. I’m Lenzo Seokjun Yoon.
It’s been six months since I spoke to you last.
2019 was a year of pioneering efforts and new adventures.
We focused on reproducing our success
with the goal of music industry innovation
and especially customer experience innovation.
We learned that these were indeed possible through various business achievements.
Now, the heads of our business domains will present the various cases
that allowed us to reach this conclusion.
First, I’d like to invite DJ Kim, general manager of Big Hit Three Sixty.
Kim heads all the performance, music and album distribution, commercial partnerships,
exhibitions and media content businesses of all of Big Hit’s family companies.
Hello. I’m DJ Kim. Welcome.
Big Hit Three Sixty is tasked with planning and operating
BTS’s world tour, TOMORROW X TOGETHER’s North American showcase
and other top performances as well as developing on and offline multimedia content.
We also operate the ‘Play Zone’ within concert venues
and a wide variety of other content and services
aimed at expanding the customer experience.
Big Hit Three Sixty’s 2019 achievements can be summed up
as “qualitative and quantitative growth,
expansion of the concert experience,and diversification of revenue streams”.
First, we invested heavily into making sure each stop in our world tour
maintains the highest levels of quality.
BTS’s LOVE YOURSELF, SPEAK YOURSELF tour,
which ran from August 2018 to October 2019,
included 62 performances around the world to meet 2.06 million fans
in Asia, Europe, North and South America.
We made sure we delivered the highest quality content
at each stop by bringing with us all of the equipment.
The total volume amounts to about 50 12-meter containers.
For just the three Seoul performances alone,
we invested over 12 billion won for production, labor and other costs
to stage the best performance possible.
Let’s watch a short video to see how BTS performances met with fans
around the world.
Big Hit also explored new possibilities in the concert-going experience.
As we said in our previous briefing, we removed inconveniences and added fun
so that visitors can enjoy the entire day of the concert as if it was a festival.
As you can see, we created an F&B Zone as well as a Rest Zone
in our October BTS Seoul concert
so that fans could relax and enjoy food and beverages.
The Play Zone featured many activities organized with our partners,
including massages, games, AR booths, random photocard printing and much more.
We created different ways of enjoying the show.
We expanded events online and offline so that more fans could join the experience.
We bolstered the live viewing and live streaming services for the BTS world tour.
We offered live viewing in Korea, the U.S. and Japan
featuring live broadcast of the performance in movie theaters.
This allowed fans to enjoy the thrill of the show
even if they weren’t at the concert itself.
Live streaming on mobile devices and PCs meant that
anyone in the world could enjoy the performance at home.
Over 410,000 fans enjoyed the live viewings,
and another 230,000 tuned into the live streaming.
We produced movies, documentaries and media content based on performances.
Over 4.6 million people watched our movie and two documentaries,
which means 5.55 million people experienced our performance content
without setting foot in a concert hall.
That means over double the number of concert goers, 2.06 million,
experienced the same concert through different content.
Big Hit’s tours in 2019 showed that we can expand a concert
to include not only the actual artist performance
but the Play Zone, live broadcasts, movies and documentaries
to maximize the synergy between revenue generation and the customer experience.
Big Hit Three Sixty will keep trying new things to enable fans to experience the ‘live show’,
the essence of the artist performance and the epitome of content.
We want to allow everyone to enjoy the performance regardless of time and place,
make connections as can only be done at the concert,
and show what is even invisible.
Technology and internet will make this possible,
and Big Hit will create a convergence with our platform service
to makes these more accessible.
Next, allow me to invite general manager of Big Hit IP Ha Se Jung for our second case.
Hello. I am Ha Se Jung of Big Hit IP.
Big Hit IP plans and develops secondary content using the artists and artist IP
including characters, animation and publications,
creating a variety of products using this IP.
We’ve recently expanded our business in the offline space such as our Pop-up stores,
part of our effort to try new things that will enhance artist brand value
and diversify business models.
Today, I would like to focus on the pop-up store,
Big Hit IP’s special challenge for 2019.
Big Hit IP created two types of pop-up stores to provide a new kind of experience to fans.
This was the ‘tour pop-up’ at a tour stop
and the ‘integrated experience space’ that was a more permanent pop-up store.
The tour pop-up visited LA, Chicago, New York, London and Paris, cities
that hosted the BTS world tour.
These ran for about a week, to great interest from the local media.
We had some interesting results.
The London store, three times farther away from the concert venue than the Chicago pop-up,
had more visitors and the highest sales.
It appears that the pop-up store provides another kind of enjoyment
regardless of distance from the venue.
In the second half,
we launched ‘BTS POP-UP : HOUSE OF BTS’,
a global-scale integrated hands-on space.
HOUSE OF BTS ran for between 1 to 3 months, starting in Seoul in October,
Japan in November and Mexico in December, with over 400,000 fans visiting.
These spaces not just sold artist merchandise but recreated music videos,
offered a photo spot featuring huge ARMY Bombs
and other opportunities for hands-on experiences of the artists and their music.
A F&B section further evolved the service from the tour pop-up stores.
New products were added continuously, and a bingo game
and seasonal events added to the fun.
These showed the possibility of further developing these hands-on experiences
into an ‘urban theme park’.
The success of BTS pop-up stores led us
to launch TOMORROW X TOGETHER pop-stores.
TOMORROW X TOGETHER uniforms were already a hit,
and we offered these and more in three cities in Japan.
As you can see, we welcomed throngs of visitors.
New attempts were made as well.
We turned songs into IP,
creating a wide range of lifestyle goods inspired by hit songs.
DNA, MIC Drop and Boys With Luv product lines were unveiled first,
which included apparel, notepads, bags, and even fingernail clippers
which many customers welcomed as “new” and “practical”.
These cases confirmed that apart from tours, pop-up stores and products
based on artist and music IPs can provide a new business model.
In 2020, Big Hit will both upgrade existing services
and create IP contents based on more artists.
Pop-up stores will be further developed.
We will open them in both cities that have hosted our concerts
as well as those locations we have not yet visited,
with bespoke products for each location.
We will heed feedback from our fans to provide excellent services
that only Big Hit IP can provide.
In diversifying our IP,
we will develop our own products as well as collaborate with world-leading partners.
We are preparing new music IP projects that will deliver even more fun,
to be revealed as they become ready.
Now I would like to invite president of beNX Seo Wooseok,
who will present our third success story.
Hello, I’m Seo Wooseok of beNX
Time flies. It’s already been six months.
To introduce who we are briefly,
beNX has developed and services the community platform “Weverse”,
which connects artists with fans,
and the online commerce platform “Weply”.
The biggest achievement from beNX in 2019
will be the development and launch of Weverse and Weply,
our proprietary platform services that enable us
to integrate all the concert and IP businesses that we saw earlier.
Ultimately, this will bring us a step closer
to Big Hit’s goal of maximizing the fan experience.
Weverse, helping artists communicate with fans,
has grown into a major platform.
As of January, 2020, Weverse members for BTS, TOMORROW X TOGETHER
reached 3.3 million, 1.25 million and 380,000 respectively,
approximately totalling 5 million.
Over 1.4 million visitors come each day from 205 countries.
Weverse is becoming increasingly noted in the entertainment industry
as the next step in fan-artist community,
and international artists are increasing inquiring about setting up shop
We are amazed as well.
Weverse has grown explosively, selected as a “User’s Choice App”
and receiving the “User’s Choice Entertainment App”
award for the 2019 Google Play User’s Choice Awards.
You must be wondering what’s different about Weverse.
The secret is intimacy in communication between artists and fans
that you could not experience anywhere else.
Let’s see together what’s special about Weverse.
total “posts”29 million
total “replies” 37 million
total “likes” 300 million
“Posts and replies” easily accessed by artists
“Open communication” between artists and fans
“Special community” for fans
beNX also made two improvements using the platform
to enhance the convenience of our fans.
First, we unveiled the “wait time alert” system
for the October BTS Seoul performance.
On the day of the show,
Weverse showed you in real-time the seating map,
the venue map, and the waiting times for the Event Zone.
Anyone could use Weverse to look at the map of the concert venue,
check waiting times before enjoying the Event Zone,
buy food from the F&B Zone and relax in the Rest Zone.
Fans could check their seats from the map and enter the concert venue
when ready to enjoy the show.
This was a new experience for an idol concert,
and fans appreciated the convenience.
Second, we addressed the inconvenience of having
to line up from dawn to buy merchandise.
This was our on-offline mix strategy.
We stated in our last briefing
that we will make concert merchandise purchases more convenient
by providing on- and offline outlets in addition to lining up
on the day of the concert,
and we were successful.
Fans could order online or in a 2.5km radius around the venue
on the day of the show via Weply,
and could pick up their orders
by scanning a QR code and printing out their order form.
This is a picture of merchandise sales at a BTS concert in 2018.
This is from the latest BTS Seoul show.
Before, there would have been a line of thousands waiting all afternoon,
but on this day it took less than an hour on average.
By diversifying purchasing points we had more people buying
via mobile on the day of the event.
Remarkably, merchandise sales rose 2.1-fold for the October, 2019 Jamsil show
compared to the August, 2018 show in the same venue.
This is an important achievement
created through synergy between Big Hit IP and beNX
that not only made it more convenient for fans to purchase merchandise
but boosted revenue as well.
In 2020, beNX will continue trying new ways of leveraging IT
to enhance the fan experience.
Now, allow me to invite Mr. Yoon back to the stage.
Thank you for reviewing three success stories from 2019.
Were you able to see from these three cases Big Hit’s business blueprint?
Perhaps listing these cases is not enough to present
a lucid view of the big picture.
Or, you may feel that these success came from Big Hit
responding nimbly to the global success of BTS.
To help draw the big picture,
I would like to revisit the case outlined above where we boosted
concert merchandise sales by 210% through process enhancement.
It’s rare in any industry to witness more than a twofold increase
in sales through process improvement alone.
In other words,
this means that innovating the customer experience
to expand the music industry value chain is a goal definitely achieveable.
How was it possible to improve the customer experiences
by changing the process?
You need your own platform to improve customer circulation
and diversify purchasing points.
Big Hit has beNX’s Weverse and Weply.
Next, you need volume to meet the rising sales.
This is Big Hit IP’s role, a one-stop solution across planning,
production and logistics.
But none of this matters if you don’t have the retail space on-site.
This is where Big Hit Three Sixty comes in,
with oversight of everything from concert production to venue management.
The music and artist is the source IP,
and the three Big Hit domains–performance, IP and platform–
organically converge to enhance the customer experience
and allow value chain expansion.
This can be applied to every artist in the multi-label structure,
creating a business model.
I think now you’ll see what the “Big Hit winning formula” is,
and how these success stories were part of our quest to discover this formula.
There is another indispensable element to this formula.
Both at the core and the goal is the “fan”.
Along with content, the fan is the core value of our business.
In the music industry,
the “fans” are our valued customers and precious allies
who show infinite love and passion for Big Hit’s artists and music.
We intended to invite our fans to this briefing with the community.
The coronavirus outbreak made that impossible,
but I’m unshaken in my belief that fans are part of the Big Hit community
and a central pillar of the music industry.
As you know,
our industry has not been able to provide the ideal service environment
that would allow our fans to make the rationalest of choices
and most reasonable of purchasing decisions.
In many situations, fans had to endure long waits and unmitigated discomforts.
Big Hit is not free from blame, and some fans were further inconvenienced
as we tried to improve these processes.
But I believe that our efforts should continue.
There will be hiccups along the way,
but Big Hit will continue to make improvements
until our fans can receive the fair treatment they deserve as customers.
In 2020, Big Hit will continue to innovate the fan experience.
I’d like to outline Big Hit’s 2020 goals
to show how we plan to achieve this goal.
First, we will further bolster what we did well
so that you can have “more” enjoyable experiences.
We will expand the customer experience at tour stops
so that more fans can join in the fun.
We will expand the Play Zone to make it part of the world tour.
There will be events you will be able to enjoy together with the performance.
We will turn the city hosting the concert into a festival.
We plan to create a “tour village”
where you can partake in not only the concert
but everything from sight-seeing to cuisine.
Say that there is a BTS performance in a certain city.
A fan will fly in to the city and stay in a hotel room
decorated with a BTS theme.
The fan will visit a BTS exhibition and pop-up store,
and enjoy a limited-time BTS beverage at a nearby F&B store.
All reservations will be made via our platform,
in conjunction with local travel packages for even more fun.
It will be like the Olympics, a festival by and for BTS and their fans.
We will develop this festival in stages beginning with certain tour stops.
You saw the study on the economic effect of a BTS performance earlier,
and we expect similar impact to the local economy.
We will ensure that cities will welcome these events
for their positive economic effect.
Our second plan for innovating the fan experience in 2020
is ensuring that there is “less” inconvenience.
In 2020, we will further develop and upgrade the services we tried last year.
We will continue to improve the merchandise purchasing process
until there is no more need to wait needlessly.
The same will be for outside the concert.
As we promised earlier, we are building our overseas distribution system.
First, we will begin providing the same sales service we offer
in Korea in Japan and the U.S. through local distribution centers.
We will localize payment methods,
cut shipping costs and simplify the payment UI
so that more fans can buy with greater ease.
Finally, we will offer the “best” content.
Whatever you expect, we will exceed it.
Production for the upcoming BTS world tour
will include STUFISH
the stage design team that worked with global stars Beyonce, JAY-Z, U2, Madonna and more.
I think you can look forward to an amazing experience.
By continuously pushing the envelope and creating new successes,
I believe we will ultimately find the formula for success,
Big Hit’s “winning formula” that we earlier discussed.
We will organically operate our business domains
with music and artists at their core,
engaging in a variety of businesses
with the goal of innovating the customer experience.
In this process, we will maximize synergies of performances, IPs, and platforms.
We will discover the hidden needs of our fans
and provide a more diverse and enjoyable experience.
We will share this experience not only with just one or two Big Hit Labels artists,
but more Korean artists and even international artists.
In fact, Big Hit is modularizing these business models,
based on years of trial, experience and success.
We will categorize shows into 2,000-person, 5,000- or 40,000-person performances,
and modularize these packages to apply them to each event.
We will provide these services to all customers
by tailoring them to each artist.
I would like to announce one project that has been finalized.
As I’ve mentioned earlier,
we are receiving inquiries from artists around the world
on becoming a part of Weverse.
Big Hit of course planned to open its doors in all business domains,
and will continue to work to partner with great artists.
As the first example of this initiative,
SEVENTEEN will soon become a part of Weverse.
As you know, SEVENTEEN is a 13-member male group that debuted in 2015,
featuring three units including a hip-hop team, vocal team and performance team.
They swept the awards last year in album and social artist categories in Korea
and their global fandom has soared thanks to a recent U.S. tour.
I hope that through Weverse SEVENTEEN wil be able to communicate more closely with fans,
share more experiences with them,
and create more synergy together with Big Hit.
Now I’d like to talk about the music, the artists, the labels
that is at the core of all this.
Before I start, I’d like to explain what I’m sure you’re all curious about.
“What is the different between Big Hit Entertainment and Big Hit Label group?”
Put simply, within Big Hit are the Label and Business domains.
The Label group currently includes Big Hit, SOURCE MUSIC and BELIFT,
while the Business domain includes Big Hit Three Sixty,
Big Hit IP and beNX, as outlined earlier.
Each label produces a variety of creative content
based on their music and artists.
The Business domain then manages performance,
IP and platform projects based on these.
That’s a brief explanation.
Now I’d like to invite Vice-president Shin Young Jae of Big Hit Label.
Hello, I am Shin Young Jae.
I am in charge of the business management and operations of Big Hit Label.
As you may know,
BTS has made large strides onto the global stage in 2019.
They won two prizes at the BBMAs, three at the AMAs,
with a total of 81 prizes at 22 awards worldwide,
and topped notable global charts including the Billboard charts.
BTS was the first Korean singers to perform at the Grammys,
proving once again their international stardom.
Also, released in July, 2019, the single “Lights / Boy With Luv” received
the “Million Certification” from the Recording Industry Association of Japan.
This was the first ever for a foreign male artist,
and the first time in 12 years for any artist, Japanese or foreign.
Not stopping there,
BTS is working hard and preparing to take an even higher leap.
The global contemporary art project, “CONNECT, BTS”
which is already garnering much attention as a meeting
between their philosophical message and the expressive form of contemporary art,
is inspiring fans and audiences the world over in new ways.
With this project,
BTS was evaluated as “global top artists” who have expanded their influence
in the wider arts field beyond the realm of music to become true icons.
The new album to be released on the 21st of this month,
“MAP OF THE SOUL :7” will showcase BTS’s expanded narrative.
The first trailer “SHADOW” that has already been released,
along with “Black Swan” the pre-released track,
and the comeback trailer “EGO” is already well received
and gaining a lot of attention.
The album pre-order hit a record-breaking 3.42 million in a single week.
You may want to know more about the album,
but we will give you more information two weeks later when the album is released.
At the end of last month,
the schedule for BTS MAP OF THE SOUL TOUR was released.
This year, BTS’s tour will include new places,
with more diversified on and offline streaming and content.
So we ask for your continued love and support for BTS.
TOMORROW X TOGETHER debuted last March
and secured their title of 2019’s “most popular new group”
and “global super rookies”.
Following their debut, they held showcases abroad,
garnering positive responses on the global stage,
and as a result, they received 9 new artist prizes at the year-end awards
including at the Melon Music Awards, and the Mnet Asian Music Awards.
TOMORROW X TOGETHER’s signature emotive music and hip videography
gained positive attention from general music lovers.
As second-year artists, TOMORROW X TOGETHER will continue
to bring even better music and performance
to maintain their current statuses as “hot” artists.
In March, they will have their first-ever fan live performance,
and their first world tour after that to meet fans in more diverse locations.
Also, in the first half of this year,
we are preparing to share a new album with you, so stay tuned.
Lastly, I would like to share one piece of information with you
for the first time here
currently Big Hit Label is working on a new boy band
aiming for them to debut in 2022.
Today, all I will say, is that Big Hit’s know-how and production capabilities
of making a BTS and TOMORROW X TOGETHER a success,
is all rolled into this new group, and that we are doing our very best,
and we will give you more information
in our next corporate briefing or as soon as I can.
Now, I would like to introduce So Sung-jin of SOURCE MUSIC,
who has become a new member of our Big Hit family.
Hello, I am So Sung Jin, of SOURCE MUSIC.
This is my first time meeting you after becoming a part of the Big Hit family.
It is great to meet you all.
What projects has SOURCE MUSIC been working on since meeting Big Hit,
and have they been creating synergy?
I know many of you have been wanting to know the answer to these questions,
so I am here today to answer them.
Firstly, I will introduce SOURCE MUSIC’s first project
with Big Hit entertainment, the “Plus Global Audition”.
An exciting and emotive audition teaser was unveiled with the theme of
“an invitation sent to girls all over the world who have potential and a special charm”,
and this audition we conducted together with Big Hit’s CBO Min Hee-jin was very special.
We wanted the participants of Plus Global Audition
to have fun from the early stages of becoming an artist.
That is why we planned an audition that eschews harsh criticism
for a more positive and fun experience for all the participants.
The teaser video, advertisement, and poster were branded
to appeal to girls in their teens,
and we even prepared souvenirs for the girls
to remember their auditioning experience by, creating a special event of audition itself.
The result was a complete success.
In October of last year, we held auditions in 16 cities around the world,
and 50,000 girls aged 13 to 19 from diverse backgrounds participated.
This is an incredible scale for a single audition,
and you could feel the excitement in the air at the venues.
With these auditions,
we have come up with a team that is aiming to debut as a girl group in 2021.
The girls selected from the auditions are already hard at practice.
Hopefully, I will be able to give you more information in the next corporate briefing.
GFRIEND, SOURCE MUSIC’s leading group, had a successful 2019.
They toured nine cities across Asia, meeting with 40,000 fans,
once again proving themselves a top K-pop girl group.
They are now a well-established group
that can fill a venue like the Seoul Olympic Handball Gymnasium,
but like BTS, GFRIEND’s started with a very small venue.
GFRIEND is planning an Asia tour, starting with Seoul in 2020.
It will be a signature GFRIEND performance with a great story and perfect performance.
Where will their coming-of-age story take them? Stay tuned.
Just yesterday, GFRIEND released their mini-album “Labyrinth”.
This is the first album since SOURCE MUSIC joined the Big Hit.
It will further unfold their story of growing and maturing,
a turning point that will show GFRIEND’s unique sensibility and vivid colors.
SOURCE MUSIC and Big Hit will continue to create superlative synergy
in music, performance, visual content and much more.
As Korea’s girl-group powerhouse and in pursuit of our goal
as the top girl-group label,
SOURCE MUSIC will continue our efforts to make our artists happy and make great music.
Next, I’d like to introduce Vice-president Choi Yunhyuk of BELIFT. Mr. Choi.
Hello, I am Choi Yunhyuk of BELIFT.
For those of you that may not be familiar with us,
BELIFT was created as a joint venture last March between CJ ENM and Big Hit.
There have not been a lot of information since our initial press release.
Today, I’d like to talk about who we are and what we’ve been working on.
BELIFT’s goal is to become a label that takes “K-pop into the mainstream”.
K-pop is being loved all over the world,
and we want to make K-pop that is created by people all over the world.
This is the transplantation of the K-pop development system into the global market.
This isn’t something we can accomplish in a single step. It will be a process.
As the first step, we are preparing to debut a multinational boy group.
We conducted auditions from March to July in 17 cities.
We will be able to witness the result of their effort within the year.
We know that there are high expectations
as well as concerns regarding the BELIFT project.
We are thinking hard and taking extra care.
BELIFT’s project is different from the audition formats
you may be familiar with.
Instead of being a program involving a group of candidates,
it will be an observational reality program that showcases the debut of a group of BELIFT trainees.
We aim to expand and enhance awareness of K-pop,
and this project is the first step of “idols for the global market”.
There will be new ways fans and viewers
from around the world take part in the process.
beNX will create the project’s official Website,
and viewers and fans from around the world,
after a verification process via Weverse,
will participate in the debut evaluation and offer their opinions.
BELIFT’s project is thus markedly different
from the traditional audition program format,
but there may be some of you who still question this project.
However, we have trainees doing their best to create their own future
as part of the BELIFT project.
There’s no reason to turn them into victims.
We should not deprive them of this opportunity
they have been promised due to no fault of their own.
I believe this is the “promise of social responsibility” and “fairness”
that both we and BELIFT’s partner must uphold with utmost gravity.
I hope there will be more opportunities to share with you our story.
Next, it’s time to talk about Big Hit’s Business Domain
that is expanding into numerous and diverse areas.
Superb’s CEO O Minhwan will outline our first project. Mr. O, please.
Hello. I am O Minhwan, game producer and co-CEO of Superb.
I’m sure many of you are wondering about our company,
which joined the Big Hit family last summer.
Superb joined Big Hit to bring to the table its expertise in music games,
experience in the global market, and the potential
for expanding our IP businesses.
Superb was founded in 2016 by a group of people with considerable know-how
in music game development technology and business.
Our development team has over 15 years of experience in developing hit music games.
These include the K-pop rhythm game TAPSONIC,
with over 14 million domestic and 23 million global downloads,
and the Superstar series,
which includes the Superstar BTS game you know well.
The Superstar series is especially notable as it represents a success game industry model
newly created through a partnership with an entertainment company.
Building on this expertise, Superb released as its debut project
“Pianista” in 2016, a classical music game.
Without marketing, the game still recorded over 1 million downloads,
and the Nintendo Switch version was called a “Top Quality Music Game” by Nintendo Japan,
a notable achievement in the massive Japanese game market.
Now regarded as a leading music game producer,
Superb expanded into the global multi-platform market.
In 2018, we launched “Yumi’s CELLS with NAVER WEBTOON”,
a game based on the Naver Webtoon.
It was an ideal opportunity to combine a popular IP with a music game.
Building on this know-how, Superb, along with Big Hit,
will create unmatched synergy between music and the global IP market.
Our first project in this effort will be a new “BTS music game” for you, our fans.
The adorable BTS characters that were first unveiled by Big Hit IP last year
will be the stars of this new game.
This won’t be simply a game featuring the music of BTS.
These characters created from Big Hit’s IP will bring you joy and delight
through a variety of interactions with the player.
Anyone who is a member of Weverse will be able to log in
and play the game right away without an additional sign-up process.
We’re looking forward to seeing what fun experience and interesting story
we can create by bringing together Weverse and our game for BTS fans.
I hope that Suberb’s games will play a key role
in recreating Big Hit’s success, together with Big Hit Label, Big Hit IP and beNX.
Please look forward to our new upcoming BTS music game.
Now, I’d like to invite Mr. Bang back to the stage,
to hear about what new businesses are being planned for Big Hit.
We are nearing the end of our talk today.
We heard a little bit about the gaming business,
and I would like to provide a glimpse of new items
that will be unveiled by Big Hit in 2020.
First are the BTS characters we just met.
The IDOL music video featuring them was released last fall
to enthusiastic reception, with over 33 million views in just three months.
A new music video featuring them will be released in the first half of this year,
and four short animated episodes in the second half.
New content and products will hopefully follow.
For a taste of what’s to come, here’s a short teaser of the new music video.
Let’s watch it together.
We are also preparing HYYH the Notes 2,
the sequel to the novel “HYYH the Notes” based on the BU.
With over 200,000 copies sold on Weply last year alone,
we hope there will be equal success this year.
We are also preparing to release the graphic lyrics of HYYH.
“Graphic lyrics” is a new project to convey the lyrical experience
in the form of a picture book.
Five BTS songs that began with HYYH will be recreated as five picture books.
With beautiful illustrations accompanying the lyrics,
we hope to offer another method of enjoying music.
We have news about the drama series.
We said in our last corporate talk that we are preparing a drama
based on the Bangtan Universe.
We are working together with Chorokbaem Media,
the creators of popular dramas such as “My Mister”, “W”,
“Memories of the Alhambra”, “Another Miss Oh” and “Oh My Ghost”,
and writer Kim Su-jin, whose works include “Dazzling”.
It’s a great coming-of-age story about how the seven boys
in the Bangtan Universe met and embarked together on their journey of healing.
We hope you’ll look forward to the drama,
expected to be released in the second half of 2020 or first half of 2021.
Games, characters, dramas…
Big Hit’s business expansion will know no boundaries.
Recently, we are looking to converge with other seemingly disparate industries.
For example, we are preparing Korean language education content for our fans.
There are many fans who can’t enjoy Big Hit content
to the fullest due to the language barrier.
Foreign media point out that there is
“more demand for learning Korean thanks to K-pop”,
but there are only limited ways our fans could learn Korean with ease.
Big Hit has created Korean-learning media using artist content
for a more rewarding and immersive experience for our fans.
We begin with BTS but we will expand with the other artists of our labels.
Ready to be unveiled in stages from March,
I think many people will be curious about “Learn Korean with BTS”.
Instead of a long explanation, let’s take a look at some highlights.
As you can see, Big Hit will continue to bring top content and services in 2020.
We had a chance to talk about our Label group,
new business, Big Hit success stories in 2019,
and the Big Hit winning formula that we will continue to search for.
I hope that in our next corporate briefing
we will be able to show how we’ve come closer
to our goal of industry innovation through even bigger wins.
Engaging in these businesses may require additional investment capital.
There have been recent media reports about the possibility of an IPO,
and I’m sure many of you are curious.
However, as we have made clear through the press,
no decisions have yet been made.
I hope that you will instead keep your eyes on how these diverse elements
we showed you today will converge together to create even greater value.
Big Hit will continue to grow and find new frontiers.
We will continue our organic and inorganic growth in 2020,
expanding our labels and businesses.
I would like to add one more thing as I conclude today’s session.
If there are X, Y and Z axes in the music industry,
I believe they are fan, artist and company.
Big Hit is drawing a picture of joint growth between artist,
the music industry, and the customer experience.
All three are vital pillars that must be held upright,
and the key axes of the winning formula Big Hit will continue to explore.
Big Hit, as a music company and together with our fans,
will work to develop our industry and innovate the entire field.
We will ensure that artists are happy
and that they can make their sincere voices heard.
We will strive to make sure that
all three X, Y and Z axes can stand tall in soundness and fairness.
Big Hit will keep working to make our models
and our methods become the industry standard.
We hope you will continue to witness our growth with stern but warm encouragement.
I hope to meet you again in the summer.