Global sensation BTS announced a hiatus, and its talent agency is taking a blow.
South Korean talent management agency Hybe Co., the company handling the collective careers of phenomenal boy band Bangtan Boys (more popularly known as BTS,) saw its share value plummet following the group’s decision to take a break to allow themselves to engage in individual projects.
As of Wednesday, June 14, Hybe’s share value went down by nearly 28% – its lowest since it began trading on the Seoul stock exchange back in October 2020. The plunge led to a loss of nearly US$1.7 billion in market value.
Company stock also dropped by 25% after Hybe released a statement saying that BTS has no plans to disband and will remain active as a team.
Mounting Concerns for the Future
Concerns regarding the future of BTS have already plagued Hybe Co. well before the band made its announcement to take a break for a while. Much of the company’s sales have depended on the record-breaking boy band, and it appears as if Hybe has practically given up most of its gains since it started trading two years ago.
In fact, the company stands to see serious downgrades to both its profit and revenue this year and next year. If BTS doesn’t resume its live performances and concerts within this year, Hybe’s revenue for this year will likely be 25% lower than its estimate at the start of the year. On the other hand, profits stand to be cut by as much as 33%.
Monitoring a Phenomenon
On Wednesday evening, BTS released an hour-long video on its official YouTube channel where members declared that they needed time apart for their own individual projects. The video has already chalked over 10 million views since it was posted.
Likewise, 29-year-old Jin, the band’s eldest member, has been advised that he has deferred mandatory military service long enough and will need to enlist before the end of the year unless relevant laws are revised to allow either an exemption or an extended deferment. The group has become so successful that a high-ranking government official lamented that it would be a great cultural loss to Korea and the world if the members were to enlist.
In South Korea, a nation still currently at war with neighboring North Korea, young men between the ages of 18 and 28 are required to sign up for two years of mandatory military service.