BTS label Big Hit Entertainment joins the ranks of unicorns: HRI report

2019.06.07 11:31:42 | 2019.06.07 13:21:13

[Photo provided by Big Hit Entertainment]이미지 확대

[Photo provided by Big Hit Entertainment]

The two-year streak in the global success of Korean boy band BTS has fueled the value of its producer Big Hit Entertainment and pushed it into the ranks of unicorn companies with valuation of at least $1 billion, claimed a Korean private institute.

According to the report “Success Factors of BTS and their Implications” released by Hyundai Research Institute on Thursday, Big Hit’s valuation was estimated at $1.16-$2.07 billion, giving it the status of a unicorn company, a privately held startup valued at more than $1 billion.

Big Hit was founded in 2005 by pop music composer and producer Bang Si-hyuk after he broke away from JYP Entertainment, one of Korea’s three major entertainment companies. BTS debuted as a seven-member boyband in 2013, the first group to come out of the still-fledgling label.

Big Hit posted an operating profit of 64.1 billion won ($54.5 million) on sales of 214.2 billion won last year, but its market value far exceeds the numbers on its financial statements, the report said.

이미지 확대
Earlier this month, BTS became the first K-pop act to headline the iconic Wembley Stadium in the U.K., selling out the 90,000 seats in just 90 minutes. Over the past six years, the septet has gone on world tours across 18 countries, including the U.S., France, Brazil and Thailand. Its most recent album, Map of the Soul: Persona, sold 3.23 million copies as of late May. It debuted atop the Billboard 200 in April and has remained on the Billboard charts for the seventh consecutive week, the longest for any K-pop artist.

The report credited BTS’ achievement to their personally expressive contents as the members are deeply involved in the album-making process and co-write and produce much of their output, unlike many other Korean idol groups that sing songs handed down by their studios. The group’s active use of social media has also enabled them interact directly with their fans across the world, which has appealed especially to young millennials, the report added. Their incredibly engaged fanbase online has been a major factor in helping the band snag the Top Social Artist trophy at the Billboard Music Awards for the third year in a row.

The report saw BTS’ success as a boon for Korean companies, opening up opportunities overseas for a range of businesses from travel to cosmetics and clothing.

According to the CEOWORLD Magazine, there were just four Korean names in the world’s top 100 most successful unicorns for 2019.

By Kim Yeon-joo and Kim Hyo-jin

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