11:04 pm - 07/09/2019

Tidal 2.0? Big Hit and Netmarble team up on new music-streaming platform

BTS likely to release new songs exclusively for the platform

Big Hit Entertainment, the mastermind behind global sensation BTS, and the nation’s No. 1 mobile game developer, Netmarble, have joined hands to launch a brand-new music-streaming platform, multiple sources said Tuesday.

Even though the new platform may not be solely dedicated to BTS, sources say, the septet is highly likely to release some new songs exclusively for the platform.

“The two firms have started development work as a venture project. The platform is targeting global users around the world,” a Big Hit investor told The Korea Herald on condition of anonymity.

The new platform might also offer podcasting services, he added, but the details are still under discussion. “The two firms will continue to analyze the marketability of the new platform before its official launch. They would not rush.”

Another industry source familiar with the matter also confirmed the plans. “Big Hit has been seeking to enter the music distribution business as part of its efforts to diversify revenue sources, which are now largely dependent on BTS,” according to the source, who did not wish to be identified.

“Operating its own platform may help reduce some commission fees paid to distributor partners, but more importantly that would help Big Hit gauge its own brand power with the general public, not just BTS fans.”

A Big Hit spokesperson, however, denied the platform development without further elaborating.

News of the platform comes as investors are increasingly paying keen attention to the extended partnership between Big Hit and Netmarble.

Big Hit founder and chief producer Bang Si-hyuk and Netmarble CEO Bang Jun-hyuk are relatives who have closely supported each other since their early days. Last year, Netmarble became Big Hit's second-largest shareholder with a 25.2 percent stake after Bang Si-hyuk, who holds 43.1 percent.

Over the years, BTS, which debuted in 2013, has topped global pop charts and is now one of the world’s most streamed bands, while the market value of Big Hit has reached a whopping 2 trillion won ($1.7 billion).

Speculation is rampant that the two firms are seeking greater synergy, especially by using lucrative BTS-related intellectual property. Their latest collaboration -- BTS World, a BTS-themed simulation game -- hit the market June 26 and became the most downloaded app in 51 countries that same day.

Last year, Big Hit posted 213.2 billion won in sales and 50.2 billion won in operating profit. Music sales made up almost 30 percent of the company’s total revenue. This year, another record-breaking year for BTS, the firm’s operating profits are expected to nearly double to 90 billion won.

Currently, Big Hit distributes BTS songs through separate partnerships with distributors. In South Korea, it has signed a deal with SK Telecom’s iRiver for local platforms like Kakao’s Melon and KT’s Genie, while globally it has partnered with companies like Sony Music-owned the Orchard and Soribada.

In the meantime, Korea’s music-streaming market is estimated to be worth 1 trillion won. Melon owns the largest share, 40 percent, followed by Genie, Naver Music and SK Telecom’s Flo.

source: koreaherald, kpop_herald

Is this a good move for BTS?
lil_poisonfrog 9th-Jul-2019 10:14 pm (UTC)
Is this a good move for BTS?

I don't think it will harm BTS but it won't help them either. It will prob go exactly like Tidal did. Only Armys will use it. Korea already has a shitload of streaming platforms and like the post says Melon remains the biggest even tho more crop up every year. Last I checked the others weren't doing even close to their numbers and I doubt this would change that

Sidenote but Armys who cape for BH are just as delusional as any other company stan. BH is like any other money hungry Kpop company and I'm sure a few years from now the shady shit will start to come out about Bang PD as it has with all these CEOs. Also, just bc YHS is the pond scum of humanity doesn't mean anyone who isn't blatantly as trashy is a good person lmao

Edited at 2019-07-09 10:16 pm (UTC)
lil_poisonfrog 9th-Jul-2019 10:23 pm (UTC)
Wait I'm not done. BH can invest BTS' profits in this flop bullshit but can't hire quality translators for their content??? Fan translators should start going on rest in protest istg
rosevael 9th-Jul-2019 10:15 pm (UTC)
They rly want to get every last penny out of them
lostintheechoes 9th-Jul-2019 10:47 pm (UTC)
is it good move for BTS? depends, if they are going to release exclusive music on it, yes it could be a good move, but it could also hurt them as their fan base will be the only thing keeping them alive on it.

will i subscribe/buy music from it? probably not. i'm sure it will be pirated someway.
goshipgurl 9th-Jul-2019 11:44 pm (UTC)
We all know what happened to Tidal, so...

BTS will be fine, their fanbase is still crazy enough to buy everything with their name on it. But with enlistments coming up and the longevity of boybands, Big Hit really needs to start investing in other groups. TXT didn't really make a splash and were already shipped off to the states after debut instead of focusing on the Korean market. I understand that they want to milk the BTS cash cow as long as possible but they should not rely on them for too long.
existingisfunny 10th-Jul-2019 04:27 am (UTC)
i'm curious how txt will turn out bc i feel like bh waited too long to debut someone new and by the time they did, the loudest armys already set the narrative for why bts is so great and unlike any other kpop group, meanwhile txt is like extremely characteristically kpop so now they'll look dumb stanning a group that's so everything they said they were against.

i can't tell if armys have as much company loyalty as bh is counting on for txt to be supported or if txt can solely be supported by int fans when there's too many groups already vying for int attention

this streaming platform is an unnecessary workload... even if they have that much money and ppl call them the big 4 or whatever, i still don't think they have enough experience for a project like this. they should definitely be focused on establishing their next groups
jyusou 10th-Jul-2019 07:40 am (UTC)
TXT getting shipped off to the US was probably their worst business decision yet. Like, what are they gonna do there with 5 songs and no established brand recognition besides those that keep up with BigHit and BTS? Should have kept them in Korea and use that cash flow to prepare their next comeback.
theweebdream 10th-Jul-2019 12:18 am (UTC)
As if consumers aren’t already facing the dilemma of having to pay for multiple streaming services for shows/movies now we got companies trying to do the same for streaming music lmao. This is why I stick to just purchasing music or listening to it on YouTube.
kastih 10th-Jul-2019 12:23 am (UTC)
this honestly sounds like when sm made their own streaming service....kinda a stupid use/waste of time.

anyway i think i might cackle if this turns out like tidal(my dad switched to sprint 2 months ago and it came pre-downloaded and marketed like it was exclusively for sprint)
sjtaazrz 10th-Jul-2019 01:32 am (UTC)
First of all, I had no idea that Hitman Bang and the CEO of netmarble were related!

Secondly, I think it could work depending on who they partner with. It could be it's own service kind of like vapp and provide new content/shows that also have payed content. Honestly, a lot of international fans would be thankful to have Korean content catered towards them (with subtitle ready). If they link with other music/entertainment companies, they may lead to interesting content to visit the service for. But A LOT of international fans are young kids who frequent spotify more than any other streaming service just because it has a free option. I don't know if the content provided would be enough to keep people paying every month.

That said, it would probably be a good way to milk money out of the army while BTS does their military service. They have movies and shows that they record months in advance that get released later on. I can see Big Hit recording a bunch of content (whether shows or music) and slowly doling it out while the guys are in the military. That way they're still making that BTS money even when the member aren't actively doing anything in the entertainment industry.
lizanka23 10th-Jul-2019 02:56 am (UTC)
I don’t trust anything from the CEO of netmarble, a company where some of its employees died from overwork because they were pushed so hard. Why does Bang PD always associate with such sketchy people like that Japanese producer before and supreme boi, etc.?

Edited at 2019-07-10 03:02 pm (UTC)
lil_poisonfrog 10th-Jul-2019 03:55 pm (UTC)
Holy shit I didn't know that about Netmarble, how fucked

I think most men don't care how other men treat women if it doesn't directly affect them. Aki-P is crazy successful in Japan and it's not like ppl are protesting his groups. I'm not surpised BH jumped at the opportunity
the3rdjester 10th-Jul-2019 04:43 am (UTC)
I'm not very positive about this. We all saw how Tidal turned out. It will definitely help (or seems like it will help) Bang PD and his cousin's pockets, way more than BTS. I mean, they do rely on BTS' power to launch it.

Also, I resent company stans. How can you defend a capitalistic company so much, and especially over the boys??? The things I've read on twitter from company stans... Mindblowing. "BigHit is like our parents", "let's see what you all do when the constant convent stops", etc. Well Brenda, I'd be happy, because 1) all this content has burnt out a part of the fandom on which an artist relies for streaming/buying their things and 2) most importantly it means that BTS get their much needed rest. Also, if I read "BTS are adults, they know what they're doing, they're not overworked, they love what they do, so trust them" one more fucking time, is2fg. Work is work, yes, but good lord, people NEED TO REST and CAN BE EXPLOITED REGARDLESS OF THEIR AGE. Their schedule is over-packed and I think we all know that even if we have no news from them, they're probably filming Run BTS, Bon Voyage, something else, or recording something.

Or another thing I've read. "If they hate BigHit/aren't happy with how their company runs things, then why did they sign another contract?". Jee I don't know. MAYBE because during the rime BTS were discussing about disbandment, BigHit went and trademarked every single thing? Names, music, even members' personal projects, like GCF and Vante, etc. So the choices were: either resign and keep everything you've worked for all these years or lose them in a matter of seconds. The members personally own nothing. Are those company stans so far up Band PD's ass and their fear of having the bubble "BigHit is the best company/better than all the other companies" burst so strong that they don't find the fact that Bang PD's net worth is $770 million whereas each member's is like $10 million???

Edited at 2019-07-10 04:43 am (UTC)
viktoriaskomova 10th-Jul-2019 07:15 am (UTC)
the blind stanning I see from BH company stans is absolutely unreal. i used to think YG company stans were the most obnoxious but BH company stans are definitely getting up there imo. the company stans need to realize that companies don't necessarily always have their faves' best interest at heart, so there's no need to defend the company every chance they get and act as if they're on company payroll. and the "but BTS always praise BH!!!1!1!!" defense is so laughable, as if anyone would ever publicly talk shit about their employer 🤦🏻‍♀️

Edited at 2019-07-10 07:16 am (UTC)
jyusou 10th-Jul-2019 07:52 am (UTC)
MAYBE because during the rime BTS were discussing about disbandment, BigHit went and trademarked every single thing? Names, music, even members' personal projects, like GCF and Vante, etc.

I don't follow them to this amount, but this happened? Because that's a big deal, and potentially a real point of contention between BH and BTS. Anywhere I can look this up more?
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