-Naver is investing 410 billion won (approximately $371 million) into Big Hit Entertainment’s subsidiary beNX, which operates Weverse. In return Naver gains a 49% stake in beNX, and Naver’s V LIVE business will be transferred to beNX.
- beNX will be renamed to WEVERSE COMPANY Inc.
- VLIVE and Weverse (users, content, services) will be combined to a new global fan community platform.
- Naver basically went the route of "if you can't beat them, join them": The strategy is for Big Hit to lead the business with their experience in the industry while Naver provides the technology and skills necessary to strengthen the service.
- The integration of the two platforms is expected to take about a year. The Naver-guy who is in charge of VLIVE will become CTO of beNX. During the period of integration, each service (V LIVE and Weverse) will be operated as before.
- The Naver CEO basically says she sees how much money can be made with 'idol fanatics: “The fandom culture that had been deemed as one of ‘idol fanatics’ is now spreading into various fields, creating new cultural and economic value, and evolving. We found potential for growth in the global market through V LIVE and Weverse, which consists of over 85 percent of international fans.” She also said, “We will work to make the fandom culture that stemmed from Big Hit and K-pop go beyond Asia and North America and become the mainstream entertainment culture in Europe, South America, and all around the world.”
source: @soompi, soompi, naver 1 2
What do you think of this? Do you think other companies will stay on Vlive when it's now so strongly connected to their competitor or will the splintering of the market continue (we have Bubble and Universe already)? Is Big Hit expanding too much too fast?
In other news today, beNX is investing 70 billion won into YG Plus and in return YG artists are going to join Weverse.