HYBE records more than 178 billion won in Q1 sales, 29% increase from 2020

HYBE records more than 178 billion won in Q1 sales, 29% increase from 2020

South Korean media conglomerate HYBE has released its 2021 Q1 performance for the months of January to March. The company is home to labels that manage some of the biggest K-pop groups today, including BTS, TXT, ENHYPEN, SEVENTEEN, GFRIEND, NU’EST, and more. 

According to a press release, HYBE preliminarily recorded 178.3 billion won in sales, which was a 29% increase from 138.6 billion won (approx. $123.1 million) in 2020 Q1. It also saw a 9% year-on-year increase in operating profit, with 21.7 billion won (approx. $ 19.3 million) compared to 19.9 billion won (approx. $17.7 million) last year. 

HYBE indicates that the performance was “mainly driven by official merchandise, licensing products, contents, and artists’ indirect participation businesses”. Notably, official key artists’ merchandise was responsible for 64.7 billion won (approx. $57.5 million)  in sales, an 89% increase from the past year.  

This is unsurprising, considering the wide array of events, products, and collaborations that HYBE’s groups have launched. For example, last year BTS recently Map Of The Soul pop-up store across multiple cities including Singapore, Seoul, and Tokyo. The pop-up will launch across Southeast Asia with stores in Malaysia the Philippines, and Thailand. The GRAMMY-nominated group has also released Korean language-learning kits featuring the TinyTAN series of BTS-inspired animated characters


Riding on the wave of global superstardom, the pop titans will also be launching “The BTS Meal” this month with McDonald’s in 49 countries. Last year, the group also broke their own record for the most viewers in an online concert for their MAP OF THE SOUL ON:E show, with almost 1 million tickets sold equating to an estimated $43 million.  

Moreover, HYBE also shared that the online fan community platform Weverse continued to demonstrate upward growth. Monthly active users increased quarter-on-quarter, averaging about 4.9 million in 2021 Q1.

Additionally, the company addressed its recent restructuring from Big Hit Entertainment to HYBE, including the high-profile acquisition of Ithaca Holdings, which is led by mogul Scooter Braun and home to the likes of Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber. According to the statement, it will create “business synergies” through this merger, leveraging on the latter’s global reach and expertise to expand HYBE’s entry into the U.S. market. 

Ending the report, HYBE CEO Jiwon Park shared: “HYBE’s major artists including NU’EST, ENHYPEN, BTS, and TOMORROW X TOGETHER are set to actively promote new music in 2021 Q2. We will flexibly respond to uncertainties in management conditions caused by prolonged COVID-19 situation.”