Big Hit Entertainment, the K-pop giant behind internationally popular boy band BTS, has acquired a majority stake in Seoul’s Pledis Entertainment.
Pledis, which possesses agreements with South Korean groups Seventeen and After School, as well as soloists Bumzu and Zhou Jieqiong, will continue to operate independently as a subsidiary of Big Hit. However, as part of the acquisition deal, Pledis’ artists will gain access to Big Hit’s ample resources and vast network of entertainment-industry contacts.
It’s unclear at this time whether Pledis’s acts will collaborate or perform directly with Big Hit’s roster, including TXT and BTS.
Similarly, it’ll be worth closely watching Big Hit’s other strategic investments and acquisitions in the coming months, especially considering that the brand may be going public sooner rather than later. Big Hit bought Source Entertainment, yet another high-profile South Korean entertainment company, in July of last year.
And six days back, Digital Music News was first to report that Big Hit co-founder and chairman Bang Si-Hyuk was branching out into television with a new reality show, I-Land. The series will follow up-and-coming K-pop artists as they attempt to take their careers to the next level.
Aside from Big Hit Entertainment’s prominence, reach, and influence within the immensely lucrative K-pop market, it’s not difficult to see why the company is so eager to launch an initial public offering (IPO). The record label/management firm earned more than $500 million in 2019, including an operating profit of over $85 million.
2018’s almost $174 million in revenue, while substantial, pales in comparison to 2019’s sum, and it doesn’t appear as though BTS and Big Hit’s earning potential has been seriously impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis — at least not yet.
BTS is slated to speak and perform at YouTube’s upcoming “Virtual Graduation” event, which will take place at 3 PM in the east (noon in the west) on June 6th.