JYP Leisure launches fan engagement division
JYP Entertainment will head the new department as CEO HK Shin, who oversaw TWICE and was instrumental in introducing the group to US and global audiences. Previously, he worked on the global music teams at Samsung and the Korean tech company Naver.
Coincidentally, last January – long after Shin left the company – Naver invested over $ 320 million in HYBE Entertainment, the parent company of the social media app Weverse, through which K-Pop stars connect with their fans. The massive deal, among other things, only served to underscore the growing value of fan engagement platforms for investors.
In recent years, K-pop stars – BTS in the lead – have been at the forefront of improving artist-fan relationships by harnessing the power of social media to cultivate a sense of intimacy – and generating extra revenue achieve by offering pre-release songs and albums, VIP ticketing, merchandise, virtual concerts, and more to their most passionate followers. As a result, labels in Korea and elsewhere have invested heavily in fan engagement, which centralizes companies’ ability to track and monetize fan data through social media, merchandise stores, email marketing campaigns, and more.
In addition to the release of JYP Three Sixty, JYP Entertainment has recently made a huge leap into fan engagement. Earlier this year, the company acquired a 23.3% stake in DearUBubble, a platform that allows fans to chat with their favorite artists via private messages. The company also recently invested in Zepeto, a Korea-based app and social media platform that allows fans to interact with artists in a virtual world using animated 3D avatars (Blackpink held a virtual autograph session in September on the platform). Last August, in addition to SM Entertainment, JYPE co-founded the virtual concert company Beyond LIVE, which has been organizing livestream concerts for TWICE, Stray Kids, NCT, Baekhyun and Taemin since then.