A performance from Hybe act Seventeen, which is said to have moved north of 11 million albums between January’s start and September’s end. Photo Credit: Korea.net
BTS agency Hybe generated ₩537.86 billion (currently $403.19 million) during 2023’s third quarter as bolstered albums revenue only partially offset dips in categories including merchandising and licensing, according to a newly released earnings report.
Seoul-based Hybe posted its third-quarter financials today, days after Jungkook’s “Seven” hit one billion Spotify streams faster than any other track to date. Per the performance analysis, Hybe’s aforementioned revenue represents a 20.7% year-over-year (YoY) improvement but a 13.4% quarter-over-quarter (QoQ) decrease.
Behind the sum, the Belift Lab owner attributed ₩382.42 billion ($286.72 million) to the artist direct involvement category, for an 85.4% YoY spike but a 12.4% QoQ slip.
And within this total, the professional home of Le Sserafim pinpointed ₩264.13 billion/$197.99 million for albums (up 104.4% YoY and 7.4% QoQ), ₩86.87 billion/$65.13 million for concerts (up 83.9% YoY but down 44.8% QoQ), and ₩31.42 billion/$23.56 million for ads, appearances, and management (up 5.4% YoY and down 4.9% QoQ).
“Enjoying explosive growth this year,” Hybe said of albums’ showing during a corresponding earnings call, “Seventeen sold more than 11 million album copies from January to September this year, according to the Circle Chart.”
Shifting to the artist indirect involvement side (₩155.44 billion/$116.50 million, down 35% YoY and 15.8% QoQ), Hybe attached ₩85.66 billion/$64.21 million to merchandising and licensing (down 25.3% YoY and 23.5% QoQ), ₩48.75 billion/$36.54 million to contents (down 54.5% YoY and 4.1% QoQ), and ₩21.04 billion/$15.77 million to its WeVerse fan club (up 21.3% YoY but down 3.6% QoQ).
The latter, which added 13 artist profiles from rival K-pop agency SM Entertainment in September and now features on-platform purchase options, is said to have boasted an average of 10.5 million monthly active users during Q3. That’s up from 9.5 million throughout Q2 and 6.9 million across 2022’s third quarter.
However, average revenue per paying user fell from the third quarters of 2022 and 2021, the resource shows, while total on-platform payments increased by about 3% quarterly due to the user influx. Looking ahead to 2024, execs touted a “roadmap to grow this WeVerse platform as a global fandom platform” and said they’re already “making various preparations” for the expansion.
Lastly, in terms of core Hybe Q3 2023 financials, operating expenses grew annually but fell from the prior quarter, contributing to an operating profit of ₩72.65 billion/$54.47 million as well as a net profit of ₩98.58 billion/$73.89 million (up 5.9% YoY but down 16% QoQ).
And by division, the Big Hit Music parent Hybe attributed 54% of Q3 streaming revenue to its Korean labels, against 27% to the Big Machine Label Group and 19% to Quality Control.
“Moving on to the artists of Ithaca Holdings, they were not really very active due to some personal reasons, but we expect that they will resume their activities next year,” Hybe acknowledged during the call, also touching upon plans for “a new group that will debut next year.”
Elsewhere in the Q3 earnings call, Hybe, which in September re-signed all seven members of BTS, emphasized the group’s planned 2025 comeback. Meanwhile, fans are voting for the final lineup of the girl group Hybe’s developing with Universal Music’s Geffen, and the competition’s first “mission” is said to have received the most votes from supporters in the U.S., the Philippines, Indonesia, India, and Brazil, respectively.
“In 2024, we will be able to obtain tangible results from various businesses that we’ve been investing in for many years,” Hybe predicted on the call. “More specifically, we look forward to seeing the first [results] of our multi-label strategy, the musical diversity that we’ve been building, and our solutions business.” Said solutions will include assisting third-party labels in enhancing non-music revenue, according to the company.
When the market closed today, Hybe stock (KRX: 352820) finished at ₩227,500 ($170.54) per share, for a 1.3% decline from trading’s start.