3 issues the key labels can study from Large Hit, house of BTS


The MBW Assessment is the place we purpose our microscope in direction of a few of the music biz’s greatest current goings-on. This time, we hearken to the phrases of Large Hit Leisure’s prime brass – and take notes. The MBW Assessment is supported by Instrumental.


“Large Hit is a content material powerhouse.”

The phrases of Large Hit Leisure CEO Bang Si-hyuk talking on the Large Hit Company Briefing final week, during which – as MBW wrote yesterday – his Seoul-based firm revealed that its half-year revenues grew 47% YoY in H1 2020.

Whereas the three main labels solely noticed minor collective income development within the six months to finish of June, a unique narrative clearly performed out at Large Hit – house of Ok-Pop superstars BTS.

Large Hit’s management used their annual Briefing to elucidate how they managed to climate the pandemic to publish file leads to the H1 interval.

In addition they supplied a helpful perception into how their firm has been uniquely structured over time.

MBW has studied (and translated) the feedback of Bang Si-hyuk and his colleagues, to be able to distill three vital issues that file labels around the globe – together with Common, Sony and Warner – can study from the way in which Large Hit runs its enterprise…


1) ‘Oblique artist involvement’

At Large Hit’s Briefing, the corporate cited its “Oblique Artist Involvement” companies as being key to it doing properly through the pandemic.

The notion of cashing in on an artist with out their direct involvement may, at first look, seem to contradict the varied iterations of ‘artist-first / artist pleasant’ mantras that many trendy music firms have written into their gross sales pitches.

However as claimed by Lenzo Seokjun Yoon, International CEO of Large Hit, the preservation of Large Hit-signed artists’ well-being was precisely what led to the corporate’s growth of its oblique artist involvement mannequin.

“Artists should perform their inventive pursuits based mostly on sound physique and thoughts and should current their finest selves to the followers,” defined Yoon.

“When the artists are instantly concerned in additional actions and tasks, their well being and high quality of the content material are certain to be compromised. Such an atmosphere is just not sustainable for artists or the corporate.”

“When the artists are instantly concerned in additional actions and tasks, their well being and high quality of the content material are certain to be compromised. Such an atmosphere is just not sustainable for artists or the corporate.”

Lenzo Seokjun Yoon,  Large Hit

Yoon went on to watch that “most leisure firms have centered on releasing music, concert events, and content material with direct artist involvement”. He added that this was additionally how Large Hit operated in its earlier years, revealing that “nearly 80% of [our] income got here from commercial and album gross sales instantly pushed by artists actions”.

Yoon went on to elucidate, nonetheless, that whereas Large Hit was gearing up for the launch of its flagship group BTS again in 2013, the corporate modified tack: it began to create and implement a enterprise construction across the group that was able to producing revenue with out the band members’ direct involvement.

Yoon defined:  “First, the IP was expanded. Spin-off content material was created from the artists’ numerous actions to diversify and model the content material.

“As we tried these Artist Oblique-Involvement Companies, and succeeded, our yearly revenue began to climb.

“Consequently, in three brief years from 2017 to 2019, ‘indirect-involvement’ revenue greater than doubled from 22.3% to 45.4%.

“And in difficult instances reminiscent of now when artists can not carry out offline, Artist Oblique-Involvement Companies permits us to supply our followers with all-new experiences.”


2) IP enlargement

An instance of considered one of Large Hit’s Artist Oblique companies is ‘TinyTAN’.

These are cartoon character variations of the seven BTS members, which have been debuted throughout June’s blockbuster on-line live performance ‘Bang Bang Con The Stay’.

Rhee Seung Suk, the Normal Supervisor of Large Hit’s IP division defined final week: “TinyTAN will include a narrative of their very own and dropped at you as life-style merchandise”.

One of many first partnerships signed for Large Hit’s TinyTAN creation was with Korean Cloth Softener model Downy; the animated variations of BTS at the moment are basically the face of the model. No artists are instantly concerned on this ongoing marketing campaign.

“These Artist Oblique-Involvement Companies enabled strong outcomes regardless of the dire financial circumstances of the primary half of 2020.”

Rhee Seung Suk

Rhee Seung Suk revealed final week that along with the Downy deal, the animated BTS characters’ enterprise will see “a sequence of collaboration and licensing with many international manufacturers”.

“Large Hit IP took the artists’ music, pictures, music movies and different supply IPs to develop to secondary IPs reminiscent of characters, universes, and music-based IPs, and constructed enterprise fashions on this basis,” defined Rhee Seung Suk.

(Apologies to all of the US main label execs now mouthing, in unison: ‘Why can’t OUR artists simply allow us to do that s**t?’)

One other instance cited by Rhee Seung Suk as being significantly profitable this 12 months was the BTS Graphic Lyrics books, which launched in June.

They have been revealed concurrently in Korea, North America and Japan, and all 5 volumes within the sequence hit the Prime 10 weekly bestseller record inside every week each on-line and offline within the Kyobo Ebook retailer chain in Korea.

In complete, there have been 458 official Large Hit IP merchandise offered within the first half of 2020, based on Rhee Seung Suk, who added that the majority of those tasks have been created with oblique artist involvement.

“These Artist Oblique-Involvement companies enabled strong outcomes regardless of the dire financial circumstances of the primary half of 2020,” he defined.


3) Revolutionary, and totally owned, know-how

Large Hit operates a fan app for its artists reminiscent of BTS, SEVENTEEN and TOMORROW X TOGETHER referred to as Weverse, which lately hit 10 million app downloads, based on the corporate.

Weverse is described by Large Hit as “a one-of-a-kind international fandom platform,” and it has good motive for doing so.

The app homes content material made by and for Large Hit artists together with music movies, teasers and films and permits followers to interact with the artists, along with shopping for merchandise and even reside streaming on-line concert events.

On the Briefing final week, Large Hit International CEO Lenzo Seokjun Yoon referred to as Weverse a “platform-based Large Hit ecosystem” including that the corporate had been engaged on it for a number of years.

Content material obtainable on Weverse contains the academic sequence “Study! KOREAN with BTS,”  launched in March, which noticed new episodes launched each week – with 23 episodes uploaded in complete.

“It was successful,” stated Yoon at Large Hit’s Briefing, and he was proper. Round 2.19m folks from 200 international locations watched the episodes 4.3m instances in complete.

“Within the first half of 2020, the Large Hit ecosystem made outstanding achievements amidst the worldwide disaster,” defined Yoon.

“Due to the Large Hit ecosystem we’ve established, we may efficiently ship on-line concert events and perform further enterprise methods and not using a hitch.”

Lenzo Seokjun Yoon, Large Hit

A main instance of a type of achievements was June’s pay-per-view BTS live performance, ‘BANG BANG CON The Stay’.

Within the absence of a world tour and different occasions resulting from Covid-19, this digital BTS live performance ended up attracting 756,600 concurrent viewers from 107 areas and broke the data for the biggest ever digital live performance viewers and for the highest-paid on-line live performance. It banked near $20 million in ticket gross sales.

Every little thing from shopping for the ticket, to watching the live performance and buying live performance merchandise was processed completely in Large Hit’s Weverse app.

Lenzo Seokjun Yoon stated: “Ticket sales space, merchandise sales space, venue and seats. Every little thing at an offline stadium have been introduced proper into our platform, Weverse.

“Due to the Large Hit ecosystem we’ve established, we may efficiently ship on-line concert events and perform further enterprise methods and not using a hitch”.


The MBW Assessment is supported by Instrumental, which powers on-line scouting for A&R and expertise groups throughout the music business. Their main scouting platform applies AI processes to Spotify and social knowledge to unearth the quickest rising artists and tracks every day. Get in contact with the Instrumental group to learn how they may also help energy your scouting efforts. 

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