Big Hit Entertainment (Big Hit) and Universal Music Group (UMG) today announced an expanded strategic partnership that will see the two companies work closely together to increase opportunities for artists through innovation and technology, whilst expanding the global reach of K-pop music and culture around the world.
UMG artists will explore enhanced “direct to fan” communications through Big Hit’s Weverse, a dynamic community-based platform that allows loyal artist fans to engage, share and interact, see and hear new content and purchase new products. Weverse is already being utilized by UMG artists Gracie Abrams, New Hope Club and Alexander 23, with Yungblud amongst the next wave of talent joining Weverse in the coming months.
This follows the announcement last week that UMG has become an equity investor alongside Big Hit, YG Entertainment and Kiswe in KBYK’s VenewLive premium live streaming platform.
Making the joint announcement today via KBYK’s VenewLive platform, the two companies also announced the exciting details of a history making project to assemble and debut a new global K-pop boy group together in the U.S. for the first time.
The new artist project will be released under a new JV label to be created between Big Hit, the global powerhouse team behind the phenomenal worldwide success of Grammy-nominated group BTS, in partnership with UMG’s Geffen Records, a historic label that has helped shape global youth and musical culture over the past 40 years through iconic artists including: Nirvana, Guns N’ Roses, Elton John and Avicii, alongside 2021’s breakthrough global pop artist Olivia Rodrigo, to name a few.
The newly created label will operate from Los Angeles and will work closely alongside teams from Big Hit America, Geffen Records and UMG to successfully launch this project.
Members of this new boy group will be selected through a global audition program, which is on track to begin airing in 2022 and will be launched in conjunction with a major U.S. media partner. The debuting global act will work based on the K-pop system — a full production that combines music, performance, fashion, music video and communications with fans.
Big Hit will utilize its global expertise to lead the discovery, training and development of new artists, fan content production processes, and management of fan communications through the Weverse platform. In addition to working closely with a U.S. media partner to produce the audition program, the team at Geffen Records will leverage their extensive industry network and partners to oversee the music production, marketing and global distribution operations.