Universal Music jumps on the K-pop bandwagon

YG, the record label representing Blackpink, is investing in the digital platform called VenewLive.
YG, the record label representing Blackpink, is investing in the digital platform called VenewLive.

Universal Music Group has said it will join a livestreaming platform set up by K-pop’s major record labels. Universal, the world’s biggest music label represents superstars such as Taylor Swift, Rihanna and Lady Gaga.

On Tuesday, Universal Music said it would invest in the platform launched last year by Big Hit Entertainment, the company behind K-pop superstars BTS. YG, the record label representing Blackpink, is also investing in the platform called VenewLive. Big Hit set up VenewLive last September as part of a joint venture called KBYK Live. Following the investment, a statement by the record labels said VenewLive now has with ambitions “on a global scale”.

BTS are one of K-pop's biggest bands.
BTS are one of K-pop’s biggest bands.

South Korean pop music (K-pop) has grown massively in popularity on a global scale, last year BTS became the first K-pop band to have a number one on the US Billboard charts. And all-girl group Blackpink, whose lavish videos regularly attract millions of viewers, set a new record last year for the biggest music video premiere on YouTube A total of 1.65 million fans tuned in for the unveiling of their new song How You Like That, breaking a record set by BTS in February. Big Hit said a BTS concert it streamed on VenewLive last year was viewed by 993,000 people worldwide.

“This past year has shown that the need for reliable and innovative live-streaming has never been greater,” Universal Music Group executive vice president Boyd Muir said. Big Hit Entertainment was founded in 2005 by South Korea music producer Bang Si-Hyuk, In October 2020, the company listed its shares on the Korean stock exchange. It left the company with a market value of more than $8bn (£6bn).

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