NAVER has revealed they will be heavily investing in SM Entertainment.
Naver Corporation is a multinational South Korean technology company that operates the search engine "NAVER". They also operate the mobile messenger LINE and the broadcast platform VLive.
Recently, Naver Corporation revealed they will be investing in SM Entertainment, which is a large entertainment agency that manages top K-pop artists like EXO and Red Velvet. An analyst from Naver Corporation states that Naver's investment in SM Entertainment will strengthen the link between the Korean entertainment industry and the online industry as they focus on the "Korean Wave". Prior to the investment in SM Entertainment, Naver Corporation had invested in YG Entertainment back in 2017.
On July 20th KST, a financial investment firm revealed that Naver Corporation and SM Entertainment have decided to invest their shares in the form of paid-in capital increase allocated to third parties. They stated that "Naver Corporation signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) back in April to jointly promote their global business with SM Entertainment, and Naver Corporation is currently seeking to secure shares in SM Entertainment."
The investment firm estimates 100 billion KRW (~83,258,054 USD) will be invested in SM Entertainment. This is estimated because Naver had invested 100 billion KRW when it acquired its stake in YG Entertainment back in 2017. This would be 12.64 percent of SM Entertainment's market value based on the current value of today's market. If Naver corporation is able to gain the shares by investing 100 Billion KRW, they will be the second-largest shareholder in SM Entertainment after Lee Soo Man, the founder and executive producer of SM Entertainment, who holds an 18.73 percent share.
Naver plans to use the popular Kpop intellectual property (IP) owned by SM Entertainment to strengthen its contents on their platforms. In April, BTS held an online concert on Weverse, a mobile app and web platform developed by Big Hit entertainment, and Kiswe Mobile, rather than on VLive, Naver's popular broadcasting platform. BTS earned at least 25 billion KRW (21 million USD) in ticket revenue with 756,600 viewers according to an analyst at a securities firm. He stated, "Naver lost BTS, the most popular IP of Kpop, and must have felt the need to invest in SM Entertainment to form a stable relationship."
Upon reading the news of the investment, Netizens' commented:
"BTS is still broadcasting their run BTS show on Vlive. Why do they make it sound like BTS betrayed them by not broadcasting their concert on Naver's app?"
"They also made a lot of money through BT12 don't make it sound like BTS stopped using NAVER."