Big Hit Entertainment
|(주) 빅히트 엔터테인먼트|
|Big hiteu enteoteinmeonteu|
|Founded||February 1, 2005|
Seoul Gangnam-gu, 5 30-gil, Hakdong-ro, Floor Yangjin Plaza 5F,
Number of employees
|Approx. 400 (As of August 2019)|
|Subsidiaries||Source Music (2019-present)|
Big Hit Entertainment, Co. (Korean: 빅히트엔터테인먼트) is a South Korean entertainment company established in 2005 by Bang Si-hyuk. It currently manages soloist Lee Hyun and idol groups BTS and TXT. Since July 2019, Big Hit has one subsidiary label, Source Music, who manages the idol group GFriend.
In 2010, Big Hit Entertainment and JYP Entertainment signed a joint management contract over the boy group 2AM. That year, Bang Si-hyuk launched nationwide auditions and signed RM as the first member of BTS, who was then followed by the other members of the group. BTS made their debut under Big Hit in 2013.
In 2012, the company signed Lim Jeong-hee, and the girl group GLAM was formed as a collaboration between Source Music and Big Hit entertainment. The group was active until 2014, when they disbanded due to a controversy over one of the members, Kim Da-hee, who was sentenced to prison following accusations of blackmail in relation to actor Lee Byung-hun.
Following the end of the joint contract between Big Hit and JYP Entertainment in April 2014, three of the 2AM members returned to JYP, while Lee Chang-min stayed with Big Hit in order to continue with his solo career and as part of the duo Homme. The year also saw the disbandment of 8Eight after Baek Chan and Joo Hee's contracts with Big Hit ended.
In May 2015, Signal Entertainment Group (Signal), a KOSDAQ-listed company specializing in artist management and television production, acquired Big Hit through a KR₩6 billion (~ million) convertible bond. Signal also owns Better ENT, the agency founded by actor Song Seung-heon, as well as another record label, Jungle Entertainment.
In May 2015, Lim Jeong-hee parted ways with Big Hit Entertainment, following the expiration of her three-year contract with the agency.
In early 2017, Big Hit ended their stake relationship with Signal Entertainment Group. Big Hit issued a 6 billion won convertible bond Signal Entertainment Group in 2015. After a year, Signal Entertainment Group made a full settlement of the bonds.
In February 2018, Homme disbanded after member Changmin's contract came to an end. He left the company to start his own agency, while Lee Hyun continued on as a solo artist. Later that year in October, Big Hit Entertainment announced that BTS had renewed and extended their contract with them for seven more years.
Former Big Hit CBO Lenzo Yoon was appointed co-CEO of Big Hit Entertainment with Bang Si-hyuk in March 2019. Yoon will focus on the business components of the company while Bang will focus on creative production.
Company value and investments
In 2007, Big Hit Entertainment was near bankruptcy. Due to the success of early groups 8Eight and 2AM, Bang was able to keep the company afloat and later created the group BTS in 2013. Varying reports consider the current total value of the company at roughly 1T KRW (~891.5M USD). Many consider the company's profit in both the Western and Eastern markets, Big Hit's relatively lenient policies towards their idols' creativity, and innovative music styles to be a cornerstone of the label's success.
Big Hit Entertainment currently operates as a private company. Bang Si-hyuk remains the largest shareholder of Big Hit stock. In March 2017, the Korean mobile gaming company Netmarble acquired the second largest percentage of the company, paying a reported 201.4B KRW (191.8M USD) for 25.71%. The CEO of Netmarble, Bang Joon-Hyuk, and Bang Si-hyuk are cousins.
In March 2018, Big Hit publicized its earnings for the first time, reporting revenue at 92.4B KRW (~82M USD). If entered into an IPO, the company itself could reach a value of up to 700B KRW (~624M USD), potentially ousting the typically powerful "Big 3" companies SM Entertainment, JYP Entertainment, and YG Entertainment. This would make CEO Bang the richest in the South Korean entertainment business due to his large shareholding position, and leave him with personal ownership value of roughly 350B KRW (~314M USD).
In August 2018, Big Hit Entertainment and CJ E&M, another Korean entertainment agency, released information stating plans to create a joint company. Filed under the name Belief, the company will reportedly be split 52% to CJ E&M, and 48% to Big Hit. The group is set to debut in 2020. CJ E&M's recent foray into idol production television shows such as Produce 101 and Big Hit's growing global auditions are likely to be the venture philosophy of the new company.
In October 2018, private investment firm STIC Investments received a reported 12% share of Big Hit Entertainment, an investment of roughly 104B KRW (~93M USD). According to the Investor, Big Hit's posted revenue and operating profit of 92.4B (~82M USD) and 32.5B KRW (~29M USD) is expected to return more than double at 230B (~205M USD) and 83B KRW (~74M USD) by the end of 2018. Big Hit was voted best investment company of the year for 2018 at the Korea VC Awards.
In March 2019 the company announced their 2018 audit report. They experienced a 132% increase in sales compared to 2017 making approximately 214.2B KRW, or about US$189.38 million. They had a 97% percent increase in operating profit for the year making 64.1B KRW (US$56.72 million) and a 105% percent increase in net profit making 50.2B KRW (US$44.41 million).
- Belief (co-managed by CJ E&M)
- K.Will (2006–2007)
- 2AM (2010–2014, co-managed by JYP Entertainment)
- 8Eight (2007–2014, co-managed by Source Music)
- GLAM (2012–2015, co-managed by Source Music)
- Lim Jeong-hee (2012–2015)
- Homme (2010–2018)
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