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Bernstein Analyst Shows Enthusiasm for Investing in K-pop Sector

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K-Pop Agency Hybe: A Promising Investment Opportunity

K-pop, a global music phenomenon originating from South Korea, has captured the attention of investors worldwide. Among the major agencies behind the more than 300 K-pop groups, Bokyung Suh, director and senior research analyst at Bernstein, has expressed optimism about one agency in particular: Hybe. Suh has given Hybe an outperform rating and set a target price of 350,000 South Korean won ($258), projecting a potential 44% upside from Tuesday's closing price.

Growth Potential and Market Trends

Hybe, listed on the Kospi, is a prominent player in the K-pop industry alongside SM Entertainment, JYP Entertainment, and YG Entertainment. Suh believes in the long-term growth and macro trend of the sector, citing the increasing investments from global players like Disney, Netflix, and Spotify in K-contents. With an estimated 500 million K-pop fans worldwide, Suh expects this figure to continue growing.

Streaming Platforms and International Viewership

Suh highlights the significant investments made by Netflix in South Korean media, with a commitment of $2.5 billion over the next four years. Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos' visit to South Korea revealed a sixfold increase in "K-content" viewership over the past four years, with over 90% of viewers of Korean romance shows coming from outside the country. These trends indicate a growing global audience for K-pop and related content.

Hybe's Intellectual Property Diversification

Suh's confidence in Hybe stems from its strategic focus on intellectual property (IP) diversification. Recognizing the unpredictable nature of the entertainment industry, Hybe aims to build a sustainable business by expanding its IP portfolio. Currently, BTS contributes approximately 32.8% of Hybe's revenue, followed by boy band Seventeen (30%), managed by Hybe subsidiary Pledis Entertainment. Tomorrow X Together, a rookie boy band, accounts for 15% of revenue, while girl group NewJeans, under subsidiary ADOR, contributes about 5-10%. In a recent note, Suh highlighted Hybe's contract renewal with BTS, a move that eases concerns about the company's long-term growth story. The renewal, which extends beyond the original contract expiration in 2024, demonstrates Hybe's strong talent management capability and transparent business practices. Conversely, media reports of three out of four members of girl group Blackpink not renewing their contracts with YG Entertainment have led to a decline in shares. As BTS members begin or prepare for South Korea's mandatory military service, their reunion and subsequent impact on Hybe's financials are anticipated around early 2026. Despite this temporary setback, Hybe's solid position in the K-pop industry and its strategic IP diversification make it an attractive investment opportunity in the long run.

Hybe's Strategic Position in the K-Pop Industry: Implications for New Business Ventures

Hybe, a leading agency in the global K-pop phenomenon, has been identified as a promising investment opportunity. Its strategic focus on intellectual property (IP) diversification and the growing global audience for K-pop content offer valuable insights for new business formations in the entertainment industry.

Understanding Market Trends and Growth Potential

The K-pop industry's long-term growth and increasing investments from global players like Disney, Netflix, and Spotify underscore the sector's potential. For new businesses, understanding these market trends and growth trajectories is crucial for identifying potential opportunities and navigating the competitive landscape.

Capitalizing on Global Viewership

The significant international viewership of K-pop content, as highlighted by Netflix's investments and viewership data, indicates a growing global market. This trend emphasizes the importance of international market reach and the potential benefits of strategic partnerships with global streaming platforms for new businesses in the entertainment sector.
Strategic IP Diversification
Hybe's strategic focus on IP diversification provides a key lesson for new businesses. Recognizing the unpredictable nature of the entertainment industry, Hybe's strategy aims to build a sustainable business by expanding its IP portfolio. This approach underscores the importance of diversification for mitigating risks and ensuring long-term growth. In essence, Hybe's position in the K-pop industry offers valuable insights for new business ventures. The importance of understanding market trends, capitalizing on global viewership, and strategic IP diversification are crucial lessons for businesses in the entertainment sector. As Hybe navigates its growth trajectory, new businesses can gain valuable insights from its experiences.
Story First Published at: https://www.cnbc.com/2023/09/27/investing-in-k-pop-bernstein-is-a-fan-of-this-stock-.html
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