The new year is almost here, which also mean new changes.
Today (4 November), HYBE held their year-end briefing to bookmark the end of a successful year for the entertainment company and their artists. Streamed live via their YouTube channel, Chairman Bang Si-Hyuk and HYBE America co-CEO Scooter Braun first greeted the crowd, introducing the theme of 'BOUNDLESS' relating to the unity between all their different country operations and entertainment branches.
Here's everything you need to know from HYBE's 2021 Community Briefing.
Stories have been an integral and central part of HYBE's music and artists. In the past, BTS have been known to develop an intricate story throughout their albums and releases. Today, HYBE's TXT and ENHYPEN are also seen diving into an in-depth universe of stories and concepts, across multiple mediums like webtoons, short films, and animations.
In the next year, HYBE wants to delve deeper into their own original stories that extend beyond music, introducing webtoons and web novels. This comes in conjunction with NAVER’s new project, Super Casting.
Save the date: January 14th 😉 We're bringing you original stories created in collaboration with @BTS_twt, @TXT_bighit, and @ENHYPEN on WEBTOON and @wattpad! See you soon~ 💚🧡 pic.twitter.com/x4PM6VP0ME— WEBTOON (@webtoonofficial) November 4, 2021
One of their upcoming webtoons include 7Fates: Chakho, an HYBE original that features BTS. At the conference, HYBE unveiled the trailer for the upcoming story where the ‘Butter’ act share their insight on Chakho.
Positioned to be an action-thriller, 7Fates: Chakho is set in urban fantasy city in a distant future inspired by Korea's Joseon Dynasty’s tiger-hunting officers. The story follows seven boys tied together by fate as they overcome hardships and get interwined with folklore surrounding tigers.
The webtoon will be released on 15 January 2022.
7Fates: CHAKHO with BTS#BTS #방탄소년단#7Fates_CHAKHO #7Fates_CHAKHO_HYBE pic.twitter.com/dG5xSylZSR— 7Fates: CHAKHO by HYBE (@7Fates_CHAKHO) November 4, 2021
HYBE will also be further exploring TXT’s ongoing story of The Star Seekers that have frequently made appearances in the group’s music videos and concept films, namely their 'The Doom's Night' animated film.
Set in a fictional universe where reality and magic exist side by side, the fantasy story centres around the growth and discovery of five idols, as they navigate the world with their new magical abilities.
The Star Seekers webtoon is slated for release on 17 January 2022.
HYBE will also be releasing a new series titled DARK MOON The first instalment to the series, titled DARK MOON: The Blood Altar will feature ENHYPEN and will be released on 16 January 2022.
The teen webtoon will revolve around the life of vampires and werewolves as they deal with the challenges and complexities of living as mythical beings and the ups and downs of high school romance. The story is said to take place across a multitude of universes from a magical kingdom to a modern-day highscool.
Crimson Heart is the last of the original stories that HYBE announced that will be released within the next year.
Set in the city of Refugia – a controlled city cut off from the magical land of Unknown, Crimson Heart follows the coming-of-age story of a group of girls as they discover the world outside of their perfect city.
Wanting to implement this on the US' side, Braun shared how Ithaca have also been working on implementing stories. More information is slated to be announced soon.
HYBE will also be further diving into the world of gaming. Currently in development is a video game that was made in collaboration with BTS. Beyond just being characters, the ‘Butter’ act also had a hand in producing the game where they ensured to include opinions and feedback from gamers.
The video game is said to be released within the first half of 2022.
Despite changing trends amidst the fast-paced industry, Weverse is determined to stay true to its mission of connecting fans with their idols.
In 2022, a new version of Weverse will be released that includes a livestream feature as they merge with popular K-pop livestreaming and fan community platform VLIVE.
Through this merger, the app hopes to enhance the fan experience and become the leading community platform.
The music industry is changing, and one of its latest changes are NFTs or non-fungible tokens. In the next year, HYBE will enter the blockchain market with their new crypto branch made in partnership with one of South Korea's biggest fintech companies, DUNAMU.
Some of the content that HYBE plans to turn into NFTs are photocards turning them into exchangeable digital photocards that fans can exchange via Weverse.
Through this partnership, HYBE are hoping to diversify their content and also digitally authenticate their artists’ body of work.
DUNAMU, which HYBE reportedly invested in, also previously partnered with JYP Entertainment to create a K-pop NFT platform that produces and distribute content from the company's roster of artists.
HYBE America is searching for their new, “unprecedented girl group”. The company will be holding auditions from 3 to 28 November. Interested applicants can apply through this link.
This comes as part of HYBE's partnership with Universal Music Group (UMG), where they previously announced that will be holding a global audition programme.
Also in partnership with UMG, HYBE America will also be implementing a training system to help artists develop their artistry using HYBE’s “long-standing expertise”. The system will also include programmes to help artists’ physical and mental wellbeing.
HYBE Japan has previously announced a global debut project that is looking for the next generation of male idols to form a group with former I-LAND contestants – K, TAKI, Nicholas, and EJ.
Auditions for the group will be broadcast live via YouTube early next year. Further updates on the group are slated to be announced soon.
As the first phase of the HYBE LABELS JAPAN Global Debut Project, the audition program "&AUDITION" will be broadcast in Japan and streamed worldwide on YouTube in 2022.✨— HYBE LABELS JAPAN (@HYBE_LABELS_JP) November 4, 2021
For more details → https://t.co/pOV4129fRE#andAUDITIONboys #K #Nicholas #EJ #Taki#andAUDITION pic.twitter.com/NhpMRtC2V7