Hybe Stock Jumps As BTS Agency Reports Q1 Revenue and WeVerse Growth Amid Global Buildout

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Hybe stock jumped today after acts including NewJeans (pictured) contributed to a Q1 2023 album-revenue improvement. Photo Credit: SBS Radio

Despite the split of K-pop sensation BTS, Hybe (KRX: 352820) generated a cool $306 million during 2023’s opening quarter as several high-profile releases drove a triple-digit hike in album income, according to a new earnings report.

Seoul-headquartered Hybe posted its Q1 2023 financials today, just weeks after putting to rest a much-publicized takeover battle with SM Entertainment and Kakao Corp. According to the performance analysis – which the Quality Control owner made available in English as it plots a global expansion – Hybe pulled in ₩410.37 billion ($306.23 million at the present exchange rate) across January, February, and March of this year.

The sum represents an approximately 44% boost from the same period in 2022 and a 23% decline from last year’s final three months, per the resource. However, the BTS agency likewise identified heightened adjusted EBITDA as well as ₩49.81 billion ($37.17 million) in net profit for the first quarter, up roughly 128.5% quarter over quarter (QoQ) and 62.5% year over year (YoY).

Behind the revenue total, Hybe pointed to ₩234.49 billion/$174.98 million in artist-direct income, consisting specifically of ₩24.97 billion/$18.62 million from ads, appearances, and management (down 67% QoQ and 5.3% YoY), another ₩25.23 billion/$18.81 million from concerts (down about 60% QoQ and YoY), and the remaining ₩184.29 billion/$137.39 million from the aforementioned albums (up 25.1% QoQ and 185.1% YoY).

For reference, Jimin dropped Face on March 24th, whereas Suga made D-Day available to fans on April 21st, or outside the Q1 window. But Seventeen’s FML is said to have sold some four million pre-order copies before debuting on April 24th, against Q1 sales of 1.3 million units for NewJeans’ OMG singles album.

Meanwhile, on the artist-indirect side, Hybe disclosed ₩68.92 billion/$51.48 million in Q1 revenue from merch and licensing (down almost 39% QoQ and nearly 1% YoY), ₩87.25 billion/$65.05 million from “contents” (down 24.2% QoQ but up 79.8% YoY), and ₩19.97 billion/$14.89 million from its WeVerse fan club and related operations (up 8.8% QoQ and 37.3% YoY).

Elaborating upon the latter, WeVerse’s monthly active users are said to have cracked 9.3 million during the first quarter – up from 4.9 million during Q1 2021. Though average revenue per paying user declined from the opening three months of 2022, Hybe touched upon a slight “payment amount trend” increase for WeVerse during Q1 2023.

Moreover, WeVerse’s “active communities” increased from 74 in December to 82 on the quarter, with live-event views having totaled 460 million (against 258 million in Q4 2022) and average monthly per-fan usage minutes having surpassed 250 (up from 181 in Q4), the report shows.

Logic suggests that the totals (and especially the MAUs figure) will grow throughout 2023 as non-Hybe acts join the fan-interaction platform. Also worth mentioning is that Hybe is teeing up new WeVerse features besides the recently launched digital currency and artist private chats, among them fan-designed merch (expected to roll out in June of 2023) and subscription memberships (Q3 2023).

At the time of this writing, Hybe stock had continued to climb from Monday’s close, spiking almost 6% to ₩301,500 per share, or an even $225.00 at the current exchange rate.