South Korean music company Hybe enjoyed another bumper year in 2022, with its revenues growing 41.6% to 1.78tn won (around $1.36bn at current exchange rates.
The figures included a 47% spike in revenues from recorded music, and a whopping 470.1% increase in concert revenues thanks to a bounceback from Covid-19 lockdowns in 2021. There was growth across the board, with Hybe’s superfan platform Weverse ending 2022 with 8.4 million monthly active users, up from 6.8 million a year before.
Hybe was also keen to stress the increasingly-global nature of its business. A slide in its financials report noted that in 2017, South Korea accounted for 72% of its revenues, with Japan contributing 14% and North America 9%. However, in 2022, Korea’s share was 33%, North America’s 32% and Japan’s 28%.
K-Pop stars BTS loom large in this growth, of course, but Seventeen, Tomorrow X Together, Enhyphen and Le Sserafim have also been fuelling Hybe’s business – with BTS and Tomorrow X Together both appearing in the US year-end album sales chart.
Hybe’s recent acquisition of US hip-hop label Quality Control will bring further momentum to its business in that market.
Given North America’s share of Hybe’s revenues was just a single percentage point behind Korea’s in 2022, it’s not outlandish to wonder whether the former region could overtake the latter in its 2023 numbers.
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