Shares of BTS agency Hybe (KRX: 352820) have parted with about one-quarter of their value following the announcement that the K-pop mainstay’s seven members will take time off to pursue solo projects.
BTS revealed the much-discussed hiatus in a more than hour-long “Dinner Party” video. After sharing a meal, a drink, and some seemingly friendly (Korean-language) banter, the group’s decidedly popular members discussed the recent release of their Proof compilation album, which dropped on their ninth (as opposed to 10th) anniversary together.
This dialogue set the stage for a reflection of BTS’s schedule during the past couple years as well as the act’s living arrangement (including leaving the house that they formerly shared) and the personal growth of each member.
“Right now,” RM said after disclosing his discontent with an “exhausted” BTS’s whirlwind schedule and the demands of the spotlight, “we’ve lost our direction, and I just want to take some time to think and then return. But that feels rude to our fans, like I’m letting them down.
“We achieved this much thanks to our fans, but we aren’t living up to their expectations,” continued RM’s Korean-language comments, per the YouTube translation thereof.
RM’s fellow members then expanded upon the sentiment, noting their perceived loss of individuality in pursuit of success as part of BTS – and their plans to spearhead solo projects.
“BTS’ stance on solo promotions, solo music, is going to change a lot now,” J-Hope drove home. “I think that change is what we need right now.”
Amid a strong response from ARMY diehards and investors alike, Hybe subsequently attempted to get out in front of the announcement, stating: “To be clear, they are not on hiatus but will take time to explore some solo projects at this time and remain active in various different formats.”
The remark did little to quell the concerns of shareholders, though, for Hybe stock plummeted by almost 25 percent during Wednesday’s trading hours, as mentioned at the outset, finishing at $112.27 (₩145,000) per share.
This price reflects a 35 percent falloff during the last five days and a nearly 60 percent decline since 2022’s beginning. However, multiple BTS members cashed in on their Hybe holdings a while back, possibly because South Korea’s military-service requirement is expected to split up the group this December in any event.
Needless to say, today’s massive value decrease suggests that Hybe isn’t diversified enough for the market’s liking.
But the Seoul-headquartered business is quietly coordinating with Universal Music to build a K-pop boy band as well as a girl group, and notwithstanding the rigorous requirements for members, it will presumably be some time before they also grow tired of the grind.
More immediately, ultra-dedicated fans’ social-media reactions to the BTS announcement could mean that the act’s music (and solo projects) will remain popular for the foreseeable future. Elsewhere, other K-pop companies are moving to increase their market presence and grow their artists’ audiences.