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HYBE Inks 10-Year Agreement With Universal Music Group

Updated: May 6

As reported by Variety, Korean entertainment firm Hybe, which is best known as the agency behind K-pop sensation BTS, has signed an expanded 10-year deal with Universal Music Group (UMG), granting Hybe's roster of artists and labels access to UMG's leading global network. This deal will enable UMG and Hybe to jointly collaborate on artist promotions and marketing activities in North America, under the supervision of Scooter Braun, the CEO of Hybe America. 

Bang Si-Hyuk, Pierre “P” Thomas, Kevin “Coach K” Lee, and Scooter Braun, photo by Eric Ray Davidson

The deal also strengthens the companies' existing partnership and expands their collaboration on multiple projects, including the use of Hybe's global superfan platform Weverse for fan communication and artist promotions. Geffen Records and Hybe have established a joint venture to launch "The Debut: Dream Academy," which is intended to implement Hybe's K-Pop methodology in the US. The initiative has selected six trainees through a global audition to become part of KATSEYE, and the group will debut later this year. 

Hybe's chairman, Bang Si-Hyuk, expressed his excitement about the partnership with UMG, stating that "a partnership of this magnitude only comes together when both sides are equally committed to continued growth."

UMG is an iconic music company and together with Hybe, the potential is endless. We are certain that this will expand our global footprint, while benefiting our fans, artists, and labels,” said Bang.

Lucian Grainge, UMG's chairman and CEO

Lucian Grainge, UMG's chairman and CEO, also lauded the collaboration, saying that "with the opportunities in engaging the superfan via their groundbreaking Weverse model, we're thrilled to grow and expand our platform business collaboration as we evolve together leading the music industry's evolution." 

Scooter Braun added that the partnership would not only benefit Hybe's current roster but also offer growth opportunities for independent artists and labels globally. “The opportunity created here not only allows us to help our current roster, but grow opportunities for independent artists and labels globally,” said Braun.

The deal was signed by Lucian Grainge, Bang Si-Hyuk, and Scooter Braun, further enmeshing the Korean and international music systems. 

In other news, Hybe recently launched a new female idol group called Illit, and their debut album is titled "Super Real Me."

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