Universal Music Group joins forces with K-pop labels to invest in livestreaming platform

Image Credit: VenewLive

Big Hit Entertainment, YG, Universal Music Group, and Kiswe have teamed up with new investment in global livestream content platform VenewLive.

Universal Music Group is investing in K-pop giant Big Hit Entertainment’s livestreaming content platform VenewLive. YG Entertainment, who are Blackpink’s record label, has also invested. With the new backing Big Hit can expand the reach of their livestream events and exercise the potential of the technology, and YG and Universal can develop new avenues for their artists to connect with fans.

The deal shows that livestreaming is here to stay. KBYK Live, the venture responsible for VenewLive, was jointly established by South Korean company Big Hit and New Jersey-based video company Kiswe in May last year, and the launch of the concert platform followed shortly after. VenewLive has already put on some of the biggest livestreaming concerts ever seen, including BTS’s MAP OF THE SOUL ON:E in October last year which saw a peak audience of 993,000.

Lenzo Yoon, CEO of Big Hit Global, said:

Our dream and goal is to provide the most advanced technology currently available so that fans can experience the artist’s content in the best way possible under any circumstances. We will continue to study how new technologies and attempts in various fields can have a positive impact on strengthening our fan experience and actively introduce them.

Lenzo Yoon, CEO of Big Hit Global

Universal Music Group is no doubt capitalising on the current worldwide surge in popularity for K-pop. Last year, BTS became the first K-pop band to have a Billboard number one and the release of Blackpink’s ‘How You Like That’ was watched by 1.65million fans, breaking the previous record for the biggest music video premiere on YouTube – a record that had been set by BTS.

Universal Music Group’s Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and President of Operations Boyd Muir said:

We are delighted to join Big Hit, YG and Kiswe as partners in KBYK as we look to help further evolve the opportunities and live streaming experiences for UMG artists and their fans today, and into the future. This past year has shown that the need for reliable and innovative livestreaming has never been greater. VenewLive offers some of the most creative and memorable opportunities for today’s artists to globalize their art and performances, tailored to enhance the community and fan-experience.

Boyd Muir, UMG Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and President of Operations

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Using Kiswe’s technologies, VenewLive has the capacity to convert each concert experience to fit the characteristics of specific artists whilst allowing fans watching to customise the content however they’d like. The livestream experience on offer for fans includes 4K resolution, multi-view technology and digital interactive features. The platform hosted Justin Bieber’s concert from the Beverly Hilton Hotel on New Years Eve 2020.

With the solid new investment from some of the major players in the music business, expect to see further ground-breaking advances in technology and huge artists capitalising on the innovation and global reach on offer.

I write about music for RouteNote, sharing fun stuff, news, and tips and tricks for musicians and producers. Also a saxophonist and hater of marmalade.

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