Hybe Reports Double-Digit 2023 Revenue Jump As Seventeen, Jungkook, NewJeans, and Others Drive Recorded Music Growth

hybe earnings 2023
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hybe earnings 2023
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NewJeans (pictured) moved 4.26 million albums during 2023, according to a newly released Hybe earnings report. Photo Credit: Olens

Hybe has posted its fourth-quarter and full-year financials for 2023, when revenue spiked by about 22.6% from 2022 to $1.63 billion (₩2.18 trillion) amid strong sales from Seventeen, NewJeans, BTS member Jungkook, and others.

Seoul-based Hybe disclosed its 2023 performance specifics today, including, besides the highlighted revenue jump, a 288.4% year-over-year (YoY) boost in net profit ($139.93 million/₩186.55 billion total), according to the report.

Notably, the profitability improvement arrived despite a 22.3% YoY increase in operating expenses, at $1.41 billion/₩1.88 trillion overall for 2023, and a Q4 net loss of $40.18 million/₩53.56 billion.

Behind the Big Machine parent’s full-year revenue, the “artist direct” category contributed $1.10 billion/₩1.47 trillion (up 51.4% YoY), driven in large part by a 75.8% YoY hike for recorded music revenue ($727.94 million/₩970.46 billion).

And within this recorded music sub-category, Hybe, citing Circle Chart data, indicated that its Korean artists had moved an astonishing 43.6 million albums during 2023, up from 15 million in 2021 and 22.2 million in 2022.

Seventeen accounted for a record 15.94 million units sold, by far the most of any Hybe act, per Circle Chart stats. Stray Kids (10.68 million units) ranked second, followed by Tomorrow X Together (6.51 million), NCT Dream (4.86 million), and NewJeans (4.26 million). Predictably, several of the artists also made their way onto the IFPI’s list of 2023 bestsellers.

Another significant takeaway concerns the geographic distribution of Hybe revenue for 2023; fans in Korea put up 36% of the total, followed closely by Japan (31%) and North America (26%), per the resource.

Building upon the latter point and Hybe’s recorded music showing, the Quality Control (QC) parent attributed a whopping $80.13 million/₩107 billion to international recorded streaming revenue for its Korean roster. (Of course, Jungkook performed particularly well on the year, with multiple Spotify records broken by “Seven” alone.)

That excludes QC as well as Big Machine and is roughly double the 2022 total – with another $30.79 million/₩41 billion yet having resulted from the domestic consumption of the Korean roster’s work. Lastly, on this front, Hybe attached $112.70 million/₩150 billion to the recorded music streaming operations of Big Machine and QC for 2023 – up 70.5% from 2022, though the QC buyout was only announced in February of 2023.

Returning to the artist direct category, the Pledis Entertainment majority stakeholder noted $269.48 million/₩359.11 billion in 2023 concerts revenue, up 39.1% YoY as shows (accounting solely for those attributable to Korean artists, that is) numbered 125 as opposed to 78 in 2022. Rounding out the segment, the business pointed to $106.50 million/₩141.90 billion (down 12.3% YoY) from ads, appearances, and management.

Shifting to the artist indirect side, the Weverse operator acknowledged a 12.1% YoY revenue slip, to $530.88 million (₩706.62 billion).

Merch and licensing ($244.60 million/₩325.56 billion) fell 17.7% YoY, and contents ($217.81 million/₩289.87 billion) suffered a 15.1% YoY dip. Fan-club operations, despite achieving 35.9% YoY revenue growth to hit $68.51 million (₩91.18 billion), were unable to entirely offset the decreases.

Interestingly, amid a growing industry focus on superfan monetization, Weverse monthly active users actually declined to 10.1 million in Q4 (from 10.6 million in Q3), Hybe disclosed. Additionally, average revenue per paid user slipped from 2022, while the “payment amount trend” nevertheless moved upward.

At the time of this writing, Hybe stock was worth $152.22/₩202,500 per share, down about seven percent from opening.