JYP Entertainment Signs Extended Deal With Universal Music/Republic Ahead of ‘Next K-Pop Explosion’

JYP Entertainment girl group Itzy. Photo credit: Kinocine

JYP Entertainment (KRX: 035900) has signed an expanded partnership agreement with Universal Music Group’s Republic Records to fuel the genre-wide growth of K-pop on the world stage.

The increased collaboration between Seoul-based JYP Entertainment, Republic, and its indie-focused company Imperial Music has been brought to light in South Korean media reports. A short notice from the companies involved was then published in the United States.

Founded by the namesake JY Park 26 years ago, music and entertainment agency JYP acted as the professional home of prominent K-pop acts including Twice, Itzy and Stray Kids to name a few. According to the earnings breakdown for the first quarter of 2023, JYP generated ₩118 billion (currently ₩89.99 million) in the first three months of this year and recorded a net profit of ₩42.7 billion (US$32.56 million).

And according to the above announcement and reports, the label partnership just formed includes distribution and more – with a particular focus on supporting the entire JYP roster in finding fans in international markets.

There is, of course, evidence that K-pop continues to expand in terms of revenue and supporters, with Hybe (which also works with Universal Music) and SM Entertainment reporting solid first-quarter financials. As part of the same earnings analyses, both companies underscored their global expansion ambitions.

In a statement, JYP Entertainment CEO Jimmy Jeong called his company’s UMG union “a new chapter,” while Republic boss Monte Lipman took the opportunity to emphasize his vision for K-pop’s growth potential.

“This partnership was born out of mutual respect and admiration,” said Lipman, 58. “We recognize an incredible opportunity to be at the forefront of the next K-pop explosion. The potential is limitless.”

Finally, it’s worth noting the continued expansion of K-Pop companies in China (which now has the fifth largest music market in the world, according to IFPI) and the associated rise of C-Pop, fueled by well-known players.

JYP Entertainment has had an office in China since 2008 (and a division in Thailand since 2011), operates a joint venture with Tencent called Beijing Shisung, and has plans for the debut of a Chinese boy band called Project C later in 2023.

Meanwhile, Hybe announced a new distribution deal with Tencent Music last month, allowing its artists to continue reaching the Shenzhen-headquartered streaming company’s reported 94.4 million paying users. Hybe (KRX: 352820) stock is up nearly 60 percent at ₩272,500/$207.76 per share since the start of 2023, compared to a 92 percent rise for YG Entertainment stock (KRX: 122870 ) and a 36.30 percent rise for SM Entertainment stock (KRX: 041510) and an 87 percent rise for JYP stock (KRX: 035900).