The leader of HYBE, Bang Si-hyuk, “Stepped up for SM acquisition, expressing concerns about the ‘flashy popularity’ of K-pop” … CNN interview.
According to an interview with CNN, Bang Si-hyuk, the chairman of HYBE, explained that one of the main reasons for their recent acquisitions, such as SM Entertainment, was the concern that the popularity of K-pop could be temporary. He mentioned that the growth rate of K-pop has shown signs of slowing down and there are concerns that this could be a dangerous trend if it continues. Bang also emphasized the need for K-pop to gain a higher global presence and market share.
Although K-pop is popular worldwide, it still does not have a high market share compared to other genres such as Latin music, Afrobeats, and hip-hop/R&B in the English-speaking world. Therefore, HYBE has been actively acquiring various management companies, such as ITA and QC Media Holdings, to increase its infrastructure and further expand the K-pop industry.
Concerns have been raised that HYBE’s acquisition of SM Entertainment could lead to a monopoly in the industry. However, Bang emphasized that such concerns are based on misinformation and clarified that HYBE is not trying to take over the entire industry.
Finally, Bang also addressed the issue of stress on artists within the K-pop industry, stating that compared to the Western pop industry, K-pop companies are working hard to protect artists’ autonomy and minimize stress.