BTS agency Big Hit Entertainment has officially unveiled plans to change its name to Hybe Corporation.
South Korean outlets quickly reported on the proposed name change (the new title reads “Hive” when translated from Korean by Google, however), which Big Hit shareholders will reportedly discuss and vote on at a formal meeting on Tuesday, March 30th.
If approved by investors, the pivot will see Big Hit alter its web address as well as its logo, according to local sources, but save for brief remarks from Big Hit head Bang Si Hyuk, higher-ups hadn’t commented publicly on the development at the time of this piece’s publishing. To be sure, word of the potential rebranding came to light in a regulatory filing from Big Hit.
More pressingly, Big Hit/Hybe will reportedly expand its operational scope following the name change, building upon its label and artist-service functions by working to develop a presence in real estate, commerce, and other spaces. AllKPop relayed that Big Hit head Bang Si Hyuk addressed the decision’s strategic significance in a concise statement.
“We’ll become the world’s leading entertainment and lifestyle platform company [following the Big Hit name change]. By removing ‘entertainment,’ we’ll have a new, comprehensive image as a general content group, which is our mission,” said the 48-year-old Big Hit co-founder and CEO.
Notably, a number of BTS ARMY diehards appear to be pushing back against the proposed name change on social media.
“I truly hope that Big Hit Entertainment won’t change [its] name into HYBE! I’m emotionally attached to BigHit!” penned one fan.
“Nooooo!! BTS represents Big Hit not HYBE. ARMYY can’t let it go,” chimed in another supporter.
Worth highlighting with regard to Big Hit’s imminent expansion is that the Seoul-headquartered business generated a staggering $715 million in 2020, after arriving on the stock market in a big way in September. Last year also saw the 16-year-old entity acquire a majority stake in Pledis Entertainment, before kicking off 2021 by partnering with Universal Music Group to develop a livestream platform and to build a “new global K-pop boy group.”
And interestingly, given the planned extension into non-entertainment spheres, Big Hit has invested north of $63 million in K-pop agency YG Entertainment. The latter has quietly established a “global cosmetics company,” a digital-marketing and advertising firm, an investment business, and even a “golf entertainment company,” among several other divisions.
Big Hit Entertainment stock (352820 on the Korea Exchange) gained substantially yesterday, having started the day at about $172.03 per share (₩194,500) and finished at approximately $185.72 (₩210,000) per share. And at the time of this piece’s publishing – early Friday morning in Seoul – Big Hit’s stock-market growth had continued, with shares hovering around $194.13 (₩219,500) apiece.