Photo Credit: Taylor Keeran
South Korean label HYBE is expanding into Latin America with the acquisition of Exile Music, marking its first foray into the Latin music market.
HYBE announced it has acquired Exile Music, which will set up its Latin American unit for artist management and talent discovery in the region. It is looking to incorporate the ‘K-pop business methodology’ with competitive artist training and development in the Latin genre. The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, but HYBE likely has its eyes on the rapidly growing Latin Music market.
“This acquisition was a move to accelerate our presence in the Latin music market,” Hybe said. “Exile Music has been involved in businesses, such as recording, music publishing, artist management and concert planning.”
A report from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) released in April 2023 shows that Latin music revenue exceeded $1 billion for the first time. The genre grew a massive 24% year-over-year, outpacing the broader music industry as a whole. Diving into the report reveals that the growth is driven almost entirely by streaming revenue (97%). Paid subscriptions made up 71% of the overall streaming revenues and outpaced other digital formats.
Meanwhile, ad-supported on-demand streams of Latin music from platforms like YouTube and Spotify’s free version also saw an annual increase of 24% to $230 million—representing double-digit growth in this category, too. While CD and vinyl format sales were up, it’s astounding how much growth in the genre is driven primarily by streaming.
HYBE is looking to tap into success beyond its global hit with BTS, which is currently on temporary break while its members perform mandatory military service. While the BTS vaccuum has certainly been felt, the overall sales volume of K-pop artists hasn’t decreased as more bands have attracted international attention. Groups like LE SSERAFIM have teamed up with Blizzard Entertainment to introduce the girls as characters into the popular game, Overwatch 2.