Absence of BTS' Team Promotion is a 'Threat' to K-pop Industry, HYBE Chairman Bang Si Hyuk Says

HYBE Corporation Chairman Bang Si Hyuk recently said the absence of BTS' team promotion is a "threat" to the K-pop industry. The K-pop industry is going through a threatened era, and the seven-member boy group's absence from team promotion is a crucial factor.

The businessman and producer shared his opinion during a forum hosted by Kwanhun Club held at the Seoul Press Center on Wednesday, March 15. Si Hyuk discussed the sustainability of the K-pop industry in the forum. He also shared a business outline for the future of K-pop in the absence of BTS' team promotion.

The chairman said this is not the time to celebrate the globalization of K-pop. Industry leaders must recognize the dangers lying ahead and prepare for the future. The recent trends indicate a lull in K-pop's growth in several parts of the world, including the US and Southeast Asia, in comparison to the data from 2021.

"The IP influence held by BTS worldwide is just incomparable. BTS's global reach is broader than that of the K-Pop industry on its own, and if you take BTS out of that industry, its size decreases tremendously. So the fact that BTS will be absent as a team from this industry is a great contributor. And the true threat we can perceive from that is that even if BTS were to resume their group promotions tomorrow, there is no guarantee that the industry will recover the same influence and reach," the producer said.

Bang Si Hyuk HYBE
Founder and CEO of Big Hit Entertainment Bang Si Hyuk revealed the new name of Big Hit Entertainment -- HYBE. Instagram/Youtube screengrab

Future of K-pop

Si Hyuk said the progress that the K-pop industry made in recent years is worthwhile. However, the industry still has numerous mountains to climb to become a part of the global music industry. Korean entertainment companies should offer something more than the freshness of a new player in the field. It must also maintain and expand the indigenous characteristics and features of K-pop to compete with top-tier companies worldwide.

"We need to find a way to sustain K-Pop's growth, even in BTS's absence. It will be extremely difficult to find one specific reason, one specific solution. The sale of music occurs when consumers behave as consumers of culture. It is necessary to research and assess what factors influence consumers of different regions, and different nations. We've seen through the BTS trickle-down effect how global consumers come in contact with K-Pop. We must utilize fan platforms as the contact point through which more K-Pop artists can enter the global market, and nurture the awakening of dormant fandoms worldwide," the businessman shared.

K-pop companies occupy less than two percent of revenue shares of the global music industry. Meanwhile, the three major music companies -- Warner Music Group, Sony Music Group, and Universal Music Group -- together occupy 67.4 percent of the revenue shares of the global music industry. In other words, the K-Pop industry is still just a 'David' among the three 'Goliaths.

"As someone who has witnessed the value and energy of this industry being built and created by numerous artists, producers, and staff through their blood, sweat, and tears, I do not wish for it to simply disappear with time, only for it to become someone's 'memories'. With faith in the global capacity of K-Pop, which I've witnessed throughout the last 10 years as I worked alongside artists, industry leaders, and fans, I hope that people will support the great challenges that David has taken against the Goliaths. With responsibility, I will take the lead in beginning those efforts to ensure that people all over the world can enjoy the music and the contents produced by our nation for years to come, the producer added.

Related topics : BTS K-pop