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BTS’ label HYBE strikes 10-year “global alliance” with Universal Music Group

South Korean entertainment company HYBE, home to K-pop juggernauts BTS, have inked a new 10-year “global alliance” with Universal Music Group (UMG).

HYBE – also home to other K-pop groups such as SEVENTEEN, NewJeans and more – announced an expanded agreement with UMG. The new deal will give UMG “exclusive distribution rights” to HYBE releases for the next 10 years, while HYBE’s roster of artists will have access to the former’s “global network”.

The new agreement will also see UMG further working with HYBE’s fan platform Weverse, in order to “[bring] more of a direct connection between UMG artists and their fandom[s]”. The two labels will also “collaborate on artist promotions and marketing activities in North America”, which will be overseen by HYBE America CEO Scooter Braun.

Speaking of the deal, HYBE founder Bang Si-hyuk said that “a partnership of this magnitude only comes together when both sides are equally committed to continued growth. […] We are certain that this will expand our global footprint, while benefiting our fans, artists and labels”.

Lucian Grainge, Chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group, added: “With the opportunities in engaging the superfan via their groundbreaking Weverse model, we’re thrilled to grow and expand our platform business collaboration as we evolve together leading the music industry’s evolution.”

HYBE and UMG first worked together in 2017 on a Japanese distribution agreement for BTS. The K-pop boyband later signed to Universal Music Group in 2021, following the end of their contract with Sony Music’s Columbia Record.

Since then, HYBE and UMG subsidiary Geffen Records have launched the girl group KATSEYE through the audition programme, The Debut: Dream Academy.

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