JYP Entertainment Inks Expanded Deal With Universal Music/Republic Ahead of ‘The Next K-Pop Explosion’

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JYP Entertainment girl group Itzy. Photo Credit: Kinocine

JYP Entertainment (KRX: 035900) has inked an expanded partnership agreement with Universal Music Group’s Republic Records amid a genre-wide push to achieve K-pop growth on the world stage.

The bolstered tie-up between Seoul-headquartered JYP Entertainment, Republic, and the latter’s indie-focused Imperial Music came to light in reports from South Korean outlets. A concise announcement from the involved companies was subsequently made available stateside.

Founded by the namesake J.Y. Park 26 years back, music and entertainment agency JYP serves as the professional home of prominent K-pop acts including Twice, Itzy, and Stray Kids, to name a few. According to its Q1 2023 earnings breakdown, JYP during this year’s initial three months generated ₩118 billion (currently $89.99 million) and recorded a net profit of ₩42.7 billion ($32.56 million).

And per the aforementioned announcement and reports, the just-finalized label partnership encompasses distribution and more – with a particular focus on assisting the whole JYP roster in finding fans in international markets.

Of course, evidence suggests that K-pop is still expanding on the revenue and supporter fronts, with Hybe (which is likewise partnered with Universal Music) and SM Entertainment having posted solid Q1 financials. As part of the same earnings analyses, both businesses underscored their worldwide-buildout ambitions.

In a statement, JYP Entertainment CEO Jimmy Jeong touted his company’s UMG union as “a new chapter,” whereas Republic head Monte Lipman took the opportunity to emphasize his vision for K-pop’s growth potential.

“This partnership was born out of mutual respect and admiration,” relayed 58-year-old Lipman. “We recognize the incredible opportunity to be at the forefront of the next K-Pop explosion. The potential is limitless.”

Worth mentioning in conclusion is K-pop companies’ ongoing expansion in China (which now boasts the fifth-largest music market in the world, according to the IFPI) and the adjacent rise of C-pop that well-known players are fueling.

JYP Entertainment has had an office in China since 2008 (as well as a Thailand division since 2011), operates a joint venture called Beijing Shisung with Tencent, and has teed up the debut of a Chinese boy group named Project C for later in 2023.

Meanwhile, Hybe last month unveiled a new distribution deal with Tencent Music, enabling its artists to keep on reaching the Shenzhen-headquartered streaming company’s reported 94.4 million paid users. Hybe stock (KRX: 352820), at ₩272,500/$207.76 per share, is up almost 60 percent since 2023’s beginning, compared to a 92 percent boost for YG Entertainment stock (KRX: 122870), a 36.30 percent increase for SM Entertainment stock (KRX: 041510), and an 87 percent spike for JYP stock (KRX: 035900).