CNN’s Richard Quest has scored a scoop on his trip to Seoul interviewing Hybe chief Bang Si-Hyuk.
In a wide ranging interview, Bang tells Quest that K Pop, the Korean pop music that turned boy band BTS into a world wide phenom, is slowing down.
Bang tells Quest: “Globally, it’s not occupying much of the market. On the other hand, Latin music and Afrobeats are very rapidly growing. So being where we are, it is more urgent to increase the exposure.”
Asked whether he was worried about the popularity of K-pop eventually fizzling out altogether, Bang said yes.
“That is my major concern. In fact, looking at our export indicators and streaming growth, the slowdown in growth is very clear,” he noted.
The executive said he hoped the lag was “temporary,” caused by the recent start of military service in South Korea for members of his marquee act, BTS.
“But I doubt that.”
Bang says he’s looking at expanding into other areas, as well as American music companies, etc. He recently merged his company with Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings based on Braun’s success with Justin Bieber, Demi Lovato, and Ariana Grande. But Bieber just cancelled yet another world tour and seems retired for the moment. Lovato’s records aren’t selling. Grande is on hiatus.