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Fresh from selling a 4.2% stake to mobile games firm Com2uS in November, South Korean music company SM Entertainment now has another high-profile investor.

Technology firm Kakao Corp – the parent company of Kakao Entertainment – is acquiring a 9.05% stake in SM for $172.8m.

Reuters reported that the two companies “will team up to pursue joint management projects together including global K-pop auditions, management and music distribution businesses”. Kakao will now be the second largest shareholder in SM Entertainment.

The latter is planning to use the investment as a spur to expand into music publishing, according to the report, with new labels and experimentation in the metaverse also on its agenda.

SM Entertainment has also been making no secret of its global ambitions in recent times. In 2022 it signed a licensing deal with Chinese streaming service NetEase Cloud Music, and a partnership with the Ministry of Investment Saudi Arabia focusing on Saudi ’S-Pop’ artists.

Music Ally’s next Learn Live webinar will help you understand what’s required for artists to thrive in new international markets!

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Stuart Dredge

Music Ally's Head of Insight

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