[THE INVESTOR] JYP Entertainment, the 20-year-old K-pop powerhouse that rolled out Twice, 2PM, Suzy, Wonder Girls and Rain, is out to reinvent itself to reach more global audiences.
Calling it “JYP 2.0,” the agency’s namesake founder and largest shareholder Park Jin-young announced the future blueprint, which includes new headquarters, organizational changes and debuting non-Korean groups, during his rare appearance at a startup event in Seoul.
“We are moving into a new building in two weeks,” Park said at the SparkLabs Demoday on June 21. “We are not trying to make this just a change of venue, but view this as a greater opportunity to take the next big step that is necessary.”
Singer, producer Park Jin-young of JYP Entertainment speaks at the SparkLabs Demoday in Seoul on June 21.
JYP’s new headquarters is in Seongnae-dong, eastern Seoul, leaving the Cheongdam-dong office that has been its home since 2002. The 10-story building, which costs 20.2 billion won (US$18.22 million), is being renovated to have nine dance studios, 18 vocal rooms, seven producing rooms and two mixing rooms -- unprecedented facility for a local music agency, according to Park.
With the move, JYP is also restructuring the organization to better handle artists and execute decisions quickly and efficiently. Unlike the previous setting where the agency was structured around business functions like marketing, management and artists and repertoire, or A&R, the firm will be divided into four separate labels. Each label will have autonomy over its respective K-pop groups, taking charge of every detail.
Park said the decision was based on an experiment with nine-member girl group Twice. “Two years ago, I started experimenting, creating a special task force to handle just one artist, which means they had their own marketing person, promotional, and management teams. That was Twice and the result was amazing. Everything, from communication to contents creation, was much faster and more efficient.”
Park -- a K-pop heavyweight who made his debut as a singer in the ’90s -- believes the K-pop industry is transforming from music acts that are made up of only Korean members to group of multinational talent that could tap into wider global audiences.
“Now I believe the next stage of K-pop is developing, producing and releasing foreign talent,” he said. Part of this effort is JYP’s new boy band Boy Story, comprising six Chinese boys whose average age is 13. It has already topped China’s QQ music charts, before its official debut in September. JYP is also preparing to debut an all-Japanese girl group later next year or early 2020.
Going forward, Park is also interested in applying new technologies, including VR and blockchain, into the business.
“Everything about VR is fascinating,” said Park. “I believe VR can reach more contents to people directly, so we are interested and observing the trend with great interest.”
“As for blockchain, we really believe that could be an efficient, powerful platform to meet with our consumers directly. That’s what’s fascinating and we are very deeply looking into right now, meeting with concerned companies.”
JYP’s shares hit an all-time high on June 21 since its stock debut in 2001, closing at 26,200 won.
By Ahn Sung-mi (email@example.com