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HYBE to target Latin American market with new subsidiary in Mexico

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HYBE's headquarters in Yongsan District, central Seoul [YONHAP]
HYBE’s headquarters in Yongsan District, central Seoul [YONHAP]

HYBE, an entertainment giant behind BTS, will enter the Latin American market with the launch of its subsidiary in Mexico amid a perceived slowdown in K-pop, often publicly outlined by the agency’s founder and chairman Bang Si-hyuk.

HYBE Latin America will focus on managing artists’ activities in Latin America. It will also work to discover and train new artists, recruiting the region’s top producers to come up with new systems for training musicians optimized for the market.

In the long term, HYBE plans to experiment by fusing Latin music with K-pop’s business structure, which has already seen success in Korea.

The move came after HYBE Latin America acquired Exile Music, the music division of the Spanish-language studio Exile Content, which it also announced on Monday. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

The division was in charge of artist management, stage planning, music publishing and recording.

Isaac Lee, the founder of Exile Content, will join the Mexico-based subsidiary as the chairman of its board.

Lee founded Exile Content in 2019 and sold it to Candle Media in 2022, a media company co-founded by two former Disney executives and backed by private equity firm Blackstone.

Lee has previously worked as the producer of various television channels such as Amazon, HBC, National Geographic, Disney and Netflix.

He has served as the chief content officer of the American Spanish-language television network Univision from January 2017 to July 2018.

The market size for Latin American music grew 26.4 percent on year to $1.3 billion in 2022, a considerable leap considering the average global market grew at 9 percent on year during the same period, according to HYBE.

BY LEE JAE-LIM [lee.jaelim@joongang.co.kr]

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