It is a coup for the largest music group in the world: The South Korean agency Hybe will in future rely on Universal Music for the distribution and marketing of the works of its successful band BTS "in the USA and other regions", like the listed company to which the BTS label Big Heard Hit Music, announced.

According to the Bloomberg news agency, Geffen Records - part of Universal's Interscope Geffen A&M Records label group - will do the marketing and

Ingrooves the sales.

Benjamin Fischer

Editor in business.

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In 2018, Hybe had signed a deal with Sony's label Columbia Records and the group's service division, The Orchard, for English and Korean-language publications.

Universal had also previously been responsible for the distribution of the Japanese-language works.

It was not communicated when the change should take place.

Universal Music initially did not respond to a request from the FAZ, Sony declined to comment.

Hybe and Universal are looking for a new boy band

According to the industry magazine Billboard, which first reported on the change, Scooter Braun was also involved in threading the deal. The investor and manager of Justin Bieber, among others, is best known for the dispute with Taylor Swift over the rights to their old recordings. Braun had received this through the purchase of Swift's former label Big Machine Records, but since then sold it to Shamrock Capital. In April of this year, Hybe Brauns took over Ithaca Holdings and its management agency for around one billion dollars. He is now co-managing director of Hybe's America branch.

Hybe and Universal Music are already familiar with each other beyond good personal contacts between the respective executive floors. For example, they announced (Hybe at that time still under the name Big Hit Entertainment) in February of this year the founding of a joint venture with which a new boy group is to be set up via a global casting. The company is based in Los Angeles, from where it works with the American Hybe team and Geffen Records. Both companies are among the investors in the live streaming platform VenewLive. In addition, as part of the partnership, Universal artists should be able to increasingly use Hybe's platform Weverse to communicate more directly with their fans.Both Universal boss Lucian Grainge and Hybe founder Bang Si-Hyuk underlined their great common ambitions in February. Against this background, the step that has now been announced seems entirely logical.

However, Columbia boss Ron Perry apparently also has a comparatively close relationship, at least with the group of seven.

The manager was co-songwriter and co-producer on the band's latest English hit, Butter.

BTS are currently among the most successful artists at all.

In 2020 they led the corresponding ranking list of the label umbrella association IFPI.

They are also featured on the recently released Coldplay album.

However, they recently had to surrender one of their various records - the one for most Spotify streams of a song within the first day.

Adele holds this record for the time being with "Easy On Me" - released on Columbia Records.