SEOUL, August 1, 2023 — Kakao Entertainment and SM Entertainment today announced the launch of an integrated corporation in North America, with the aim of accelerating global growth and expansion.
The two companies will leverage their respective strengths to create great synergy in North America. SM Entertainment brings its vast pool of global intellectual property (IP) and production capabilities, while Kakao Entertainment contributes its music distribution network and multi-label system.
With North America being the hub of the global entertainment industry, the integrated corporation will serve as a solid foundation for business cooperation and knowledge sharing. The companies plan to expand their reach into global markets, including Europe, in order to strengthen their presence as a key player in the global music industry.
The new corporation will help artists from both companies quickly expand their influence around the world, while also actively developing and investing in new IP to further enhance their competitive edge in the global music business. New momentum will come from the establishment of a global management system, providing comprehensive support for global album releases, concerts, broadcasts, promotions, and more.
Additionally, the two companies will pool their global networks and leverage them to form new partnerships with prominent entertainment companies globally and strengthen networks with local experts. Artists under Kakao Entertainment’s subsidiary, such as IVE, and SM Entertainment’s aespa, have already announced their plans to expand overseas, including in North America, within the year. The new integrated corporation will serve as the focal point for these artists to enhance fan communications, grow their fanbase, and further diversify their areas of activity to strengthen their position as global artists.
The integrated corporation will also prioritize the discovery of local artists and music IPs in North America, and plan to pursue strategic investment, particularly in partnership with overseas labels. The partners will jointly focus on strengthening their competitive edge in the global music distribution market by expanding their network with global record labels and local distribution platforms.
The new integrated corporation will be led by Joseph Chang, President of Kakao Entertainment America. Concurrently, he is also the Global Strategy Officer (GSO) of Kakao Entertainment and the Chief Business Officer (CBO) of SM Entertainment. With a solid network among key partners in the global music industry, Mr. Chang will lead the corporation, leveraging the strengths of the two companies to create synergies and drive the global business forward.
“The new integrated corporation in North America will help us accelerate the global expansion and growth of artists under Kakao Entertainment and SM Entertainment,” said Chang, President of Kakao Entertainment America. “We will prove the growth potential of Kakao Entertainment’s music business, which encompasses planning, production, and distribution of music and artist IP in the global market.”
Existing operations for Kakao Entertainment America and SM Entertainment USA will be consolidated into the new North American entity. Detailed plans for this will be finalized within the year. Following the launch of the new entity, Kakao, Kakao Entertainment, and SM Entertainment will expedite the development of additional joint business strategies to target global markets, with a range of detailed plans and projects that combine Kakao Entertainment’s IP value chain in music, story, and media business with SM’s music and artist IP.