HYBE to launch new K-pop idol groups

Published April 7, 2021, 3:46 PM

by Jonathan Hicap

(Clockwise from top left) BTS, TXT, NU’EST, Seventeen, ENHYPEN and GFriend (Twitter)

HYBE, the former Big Hit Entertainment, is planning to debut new K-pop groups starting this year.

The company, which currently manages K-pop artists has BTS, Seventeen, TXT, NU’EST, GFriend and ENHYPEN, will be launching the new artists through its labels.

In a corporate filing on April 2, HYBE cited the successful debuts of TXT and ENHYPEN. It said TXT, which was launched in 2019, have been successful including getting rookie awards.

And through the reality show “I-Land” in June last year, organized by Belift Lab, ENHYPEN were created and launched last November.

In the document it filed with a government agency, HYBE said Source Music, which manages GFriend, will debut a female idol group this year while Pledis Entertainment, the agency of Seventeen and NU’EST, will launch a male idol group in 2022.

A diagram in the same document showed Big Hit Entertainment, now known as Big Hit Music, planning to launch a boy band in 2022 and a male idol group in Japan this year. Belift Lab will also launch a group next year while Universal Music Group will launch a project next year.

HYBE said through mergers and acquisitions, and launch of new artists, its dependence on specific artists is expected to gradually decrease in the future. Currently, HYBE is heavily dependent on K-pop superstars BTS, which accounted for 84.7 percent of the company’s sales in 2020 and 97.4 percent in 2019.

The HYBE document also touched on the military service of BTS members. Korea’s law on military service was amended last December that allows outstanding people in the fields of popular culture and arts to postpone their enlistment up to age 30. It stated that BTS is composed of members born between 1992 and 1997 and among them, Jin, the oldest in the group, is expected to be able to delay his enlistment until the end of 2022.

It said to prepare for this and other risks such as sickness and accidents, the company continues to expand the indirect participation sales such as merchandise, licensing and video content.