HYBE (하이브) is a South Korean entertainment company. It was originally founded by Bang Si-Hyuk as Big Hit Entertainment Co., Ltd. in 2005.


2005-2020: Big Hit Entertainment Co., Ltd

HYBE Corporation was founded on February 1, 2005 as Big Hit Entertainment,[1] and signed the vocal trio 8Eight, consisting of Lee Hyun, Baek Chan, and Joo Hee, in 2007.

In 2010, then-Big Hit Entertainment and JYP Entertainment signed a joint management contract over the boy group 2AM.[2] That year, Bang Si-hyuk launched nationwide auditions and signed RM (formerly known as Rap Monster), as the first member of BTS, which was then followed by the other members of the group.[3] [4] BTS made their debut under Big Hit in 2013.[5]

In 2012, the company signed Lim Jeong-hee,[6] 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, she was later identified as a sasaeng fan, a dangerously obsessive fan. [7][8][9]

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 Hees 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 KRâ‚©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.[10]

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, BigHit ended their stake relationship with Signal Entertainment Group. BigHit 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.[11]

In February 2018, Homme disbanded after member Lee Changmins contract came to an end. He left the company to start his own agency, while Lee Hyun continued on as a solo artist.[12] In October of the same year Big Hit Entertainment announced BTS renewed and extended their contract for seven years.[13]

Former BigHit CBO Yoon Seok-jun 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.[14]

In 2020, BigHit and CJ ENM created a joint venture, Belift+. The new joint venture company held a reality survival show I-LAND, and formed a new boy group: ENHYPEN.

2021-Present: HYBE Corporation

In 2021, Big Hit announced that they would be officially changing their name from Big Hit Labels to HYBE Corporation, to mark its start as a comprehensive music company. Bang Si-hyuk had mentioned earlier that the current company label of “Entertainment” was no longer inclusive of everything the agency would be offering. In addition, real estate has also been added to the business purpose. HYBE will rent out practice rooms and auxiliary spaces to their subsidiary companies as well as other affiliates. HYBE already lists music production, performance, management, and internet business as its purposes. [15] On Friday, March 19, they released multiple videos on HYBE, titled HYBE: NEW BRAND PRESENTATION, HYBE: WE BELIEVE IN MUSIC, HYBE: RESTART, HYBE: HYPER NOMAD, and HYBE: ABOVE AND BEYOND.

In April of 2021, HYBE officially merged with Scooter Brauns Ithaca Holdings, home to American stars such as Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande. Ithaca Holdings is now a subsidary of Big Hit America.

It was also announced that Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc was investing almost $450 million USD into HYBE.

Company value and investments

In 2007, Big Hit Entertainment was near bankruptcy.[16] Due to the success of early groups 8Eight and 2AM, Bang was able to keep the company afloat and later created sensationalist group BTS in 2013. Varying reports consider the current total value of the company at roughly 1T KRW (~891.5M USD).[17] Many consider the companys profit in both the Western and Eastern markets, Big Hits relatively lenient policies towards their idols creativity, and innovative music styles to be a cornerstone of the labels 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%.[18] The CEO of Netmarble, Bang Joon-Hyuk, and Bang Si-hyuk are cousins. [19]

In March 2018, Big Hit publicized its earnings for the first time, reporting revenue at 92.4B KRW (~82M USD). [20] 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). [21]

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. [22] CJ E&Ms recent foray into idol production television shows such as Produce 101 and Big Hits 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).[23]  According to the Investor, Big Hits 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.[24] Big Hit was voted best investment company of the year for 2018 at the Korea VC Awards.[25]

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).[26]



For their current artists, see Big Hit Music.

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  1. ↑ BigHit Entertainment, July 24, 2015
  2. ↑ 2AM’s Contract with Big Hit Entertainment Ends
  3. ↑ Cuvism Magazine, July 18, 2015
  4. ↑ Cuvism Magazine, June 6, 2015
  5. ↑ BTS Blasts Onto Music Scene with “No More Dream” Debut MV
  6. ↑ Big Hit Reveals Lim Jeong Hee′s Contract Ended in May
  7. ↑ 글램, ê²°êµ­ 3ë…„ 만에 해체…이병헌 협박女 다희-이지연 실형 ì„ ê³  : 스포츠조선, June 30, 2016
  8. ↑ 글램 다희, 모델 친구와 음담패설 영상 유포 협박 세계적 스타라 ê±°ì•¡ 요구 이병헌 공식입장은? : 스포츠조선 June 30, 2016
  9. ↑ Lee Byung-hun repeats apology upon returning home, November 15, 2015
  10. ↑ 씨그널엔터테인먼트그룹 빅히트엔터 CB 60억 인수 (Signal Entertainment Group acquires Big Hit Ent for 60 billion through CB), February 4, 2016
  11. ↑ Signal Entertainment Group to sell entire shares of entertainment firm for 6.2 bln won
  12. ↑ Lee Changmins contract with Bighit Entertainment expires, will start his own agency, February 1, 2018
  13. ↑ BTS Extend Contracts With Big Hit Entertainment Until 2026, 17 October 2018
  14. ↑ Big Hit Ballistic Growth Leader Yoon Seok-jun appointed as co-CEO
  15. ↑ Big Hit Entertainment Will Officially Change Their Company Name to HYBE Corporation
  16. ↑ Mogul Behind K-Pop Boy Band BTS Considers IPO
  17. ↑ STIC Investments invests W104b in Big Hit
  18. ↑ Game maker becomes second largest shareholder of BTS agency
  19. ↑ Cousins unite as Netmarble buys stake in Bit Hit
  20. ↑ Expectations high for BTS-backed Big Hit Entertainment’s IPO, 2018-11-07
  21. ↑ Reporter predicts Bang Si Hyuk can become the richest person in Korean Entertainment history with IPO, 2018-11-07
  22. ↑ BTS management agency teams up with CJ affiliate to launch entertainment firm, 2018-07-31, Yonhap News Agency
  23. ↑ Big Hit Entertainment takes a financial leap as private investment firm purchases large share, reaches a valuation rivaling the Big 3,2018-10-16
  24. ↑ STIC Investments invests W104b in Big Hit, 2018-10-16
  25. ↑ 한국벤처투자, ‘Korea VC Awards 2018’ 개최, December 7, 2018
  26. ↑ BTS Helps Label Big Hit Entertainment to Record Result In 2018

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