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K-Pop to See a Decline in Growth, HYBE Chairman Says

Last Updated: July 1, 2023
Bang Si-Hyuk, chairman of HYBE, predicts a negative shift in the numbers behind the buzzing music genre.

The K-Pop wave has taken the global music industry by storm over the last few years. Unfortunately, that wave seems to be slowing down, according to Bang Si-Hyuk, chairman of entertainment company HYBE.

A transformation is coming to the genre as the executive works to expand the South Korea-based corporation’s market share. The goal right now is to acquire a more significant stake in one of its key rivals, SM Entertainment.

With that in mind, while Variety notes that the genre has seen exponential growth with various K-Pop musicians like BTS and BLACKPINK, a shift is taking place.

“Globally, it’s not occupying much of the market. On the other hand, Latin music and Afrobeat are very rapidly growing,” Bang told Variety. “So, being where we are, it is more urgent to increase the exposure. Looking at our export indicators and streaming growth, the slowdown in growth is very clear.”

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Though HYBE recently merged with Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings for $1 billion, a transition is still taking place regarding streams and sales. HYBE announced it would acquire a 15% stake in the company for $334.5 million, but wanted to later raise the percentage to 40.

“The inevitable joining of HYBE and Ithaca Holdings marks the start of a new adventure no one could have possibly imagined,” Bang said to Variety. “The two companies will work closely together leveraging our proven track records of success, know-how, and expertise to create synergy, transcend borders and break down cultural barriers.”

Though the merger with Braun received a massive number of artists and their fanbases, there still seems to be a decline in numbers for the K-Pop genre.

“I think it’s propagandistic to call it a hostile deal. Even through purchasing agencies, with all the CDs sold in Korea, [from] both SM and HYBE combined, it’s very difficult for us to monopolize the market,” Bang told CNN.


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About The Author
Kenyatta Victoria
Kenyatta Victoria
Kenyatta Victoria is a cross-topic journalist specializing in music and culture reporting. She has words in the Essence Girls United, The TRiiBE, and Chicago Reader.