Bang Si- Hyuk Wants HYBE Wants to Switch From Music to Video Games, He Explains

Before BTS came along, Bang Si-Hyuk was known as “BangPD”, an award-winning composer, lyricist, and producer who created hit songs for many popular K-pop idols.

After working for one of Korea’s major entertainment companies, he decided to start his own record label, Big Hit Entertainment, in 2005. Although this company enjoyed some success and flirted with bankruptcy in 2007, Bang’s discovery of BTS completely transformed the business. Due to their global success, Big Hit Entertainment was rebranded as HYBE Corp., an entertainment and lifestyle platform focused on moving beyond music to fit the digital age, with Bang serving as president of the society.

“Chairman Bang is a visionary who is continually redefining not only the K-pop industry, but the entertainment landscape as a whole,” says HYBE CEO Jiwon Park. “His insights and insights into the industry have been valuable assets in leading HYBE to expand beyond music into a variety of sectors, including webtoons, concerts, AI audio technology and platforms. »

It’s an inspiration to all of us at HYBE to realize its core principle that music and content should evolve to provide fans with more diverse experiences. » The mogul attributes the company’s success to BTS and their fanbase, which resonate deeply despite language barriers with what BTS sings about: issues such as grief, loneliness and empowerment.

“By leveraging the infrastructure, network and know-how built through BTS’ success, we have fostered HYBE’s unique multi-label structure, ensuring artists and creators under the labels have the independence and autonomy to create their own content, Bang says. “This approach has allowed artists under the HYBE labels to start and thrive in various fields. » BTS made history by speaking at the United Nations three times, discussing the importance of youth empowerment, climate change and vaccines. They were the first K-pop group invited to the White House to discuss the importance of Asian representation and efforts to combat anti-Asian hatred.

“As a nation built on diversity, the United States places great importance on recognizing and supporting people of different cultures, races, and backgrounds in the arts”, says Bang. This is one of the many reasons why Bang is being honored this year with the Gold Legend Award from Gold House.

“I am deeply honored to receive this prestigious award”says Bang. “This is not my own achievement, but rather a testament to the collective efforts of many people dedicated to promoting diversity in the North American market. I am grateful to those who have supported and shared our belief in K-pop and the cultural impact of music. »

Despite HYBE dominating the K-pop scene with revenues of €1.4 billion in 2023, Bang knew there was a risk that the K-pop bubble would one day burst. He noted that K-pop companies account for less than 2% of the global music market, while large companies account for 67.4%. With this in mind, HYBE began acquiring various labels and developing more partnerships for distribution.

Bang Si- Hyuk wants HYBE wants to move from music to video games, he explains K-Sélection

In 2021, HYBE acquired Ithaca Holdings of Scooter Braun and merged to form the subsidiary group HYBE America. They later acquired the hip-hop label Quality Control (QC Media Holdings) and Latin music company Exile Music, with plans to create HYBE Latin America. HYBE continued its expansion with a partnership with Universal Music Group, providing its roster of artists and labels access to UMG’s premier global network and giving UMG artists access to the Weverse platform.

Recently, they extended the agreement for another 10 years. “President Bang is an absolute visionary and at the top of his game in the East”says Braun. “He created something that the whole world would respect. By doing so, he not only changed the industry in Asia, but he also changed the industry globally. » Bang has always emphasized the importance and power of fan culture, which is why he created a one-stop shop for fans to access their idols.

Bang Si- Hyuk wants HYBE wants to move from music to video games, he explains K-Sélection

HYBE launched two apps: Weverse, an app for fans to communicate with their idols, and Weverse Shop, an e-commerce platform offering exclusive products. “Bang initiated a significant paradigm shift in the music industry by reimagining the relationship between artists, labels and fans”says Joon Choi, CEO of Weverse. “Instead of following the traditional supplier-centric model, he championed a fan-centric approach where artists and labels prioritized the needs of fans above all else, revolutionizing the entire business value chain . »

HYBE’s next direction is focused on its video game business. Through its interactive media subsidiary HYBE IM, they have developed several mobile games, including “BTS Island: In the Seom” and “Rhythm Hive”. In 2023, they launched the fantasy game “Astra: Knights of Veda”. As HYBE continues to grow, Bang is busier than ever. Yet he still finds time to produce songs for his artists, including Tomorrow X Together, LE SSERAFIM and ENHYPEN.

Don’t expect him to abandon the business side of HYBE and return to his producer roots anytime soon. Bang thinks: “It’s a hopeful notion that I carry with me constantly. »

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