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Hybe Corporation has seen a rise in profits amid the pandemic and the consequent hindrance from holding concerts.
The entertainment firm behind K-pop band BTS saw a jump in its operating profits by 30.8% in the last year. Their content business featuring BTS, such as games and digital comics, also tripled in earnings.
Hybe, formerly known as Big Hit Entertainment, also owns the management that represents Ariana Grande and other singers.
CEO Park Ji-won told on Tuesday investors that the company plans to “carry out its game and publishing business in earnest.”
He said that Hybe plans to bring in-game developers to “provide a variety of entertainment in the soon-to-be-unfolded metaverse.”
This is after Hybe reported an increase of 190.3bn won (£118m; $160m) in operating earnings last year.
Hybe’s revenue in the content business also rose from 132.3bn won to 370.4bn. Doubled earnings were also taken from merchandise, advertisements, artist appearances, and their management.
The Weverse platform helped Hybe gain ground with K-pop fans as the platform allows fans to connect with idols and buy exclusive content.
The company is also set to improve Rhythm Hive, a mobile game where players can tap to BTS songs and other songs in South Korean music. Gems can be collected and bought for virtual purchases.
Others in the works for Hybe are another mobile game, and the release of non-fungible tokens or NFTs marketed as digital collectibles. However, critics have also warned them of the risk of NFTs in the market.
Concerts, however, are recovering slowly. Hybe’s earnings from performances dropped to less than a quarter of their 2019 earnings.
BTS remains one of the biggest revenue generators for Hybe. But in 2020, they had to cancel their largest international tour with almost 40 concerts in response to the pandemic. Online shows were held in its place instead.
BTS performed in Los Angeles in November. This was their first in-person concert since the pandemic. When they returned to Seoul, five of its members tested positive for COVID-19.
BTS is still set for three concerts in the city and a series of performances in Las Vegas.