Mar 24, 2023

Kakao Entertainment accelerates global expansion in partnership with Sony Music, beginning with IVE’s North America debut

SEOUL, March 24, 2023 – Kakao Entertainment announced a new partnership with Columbia Records, a subsidiary of Sony Music, through Kakao Entertainment America. This partnership aims to expand Kakao Entertainment’s music distribution network and elevate its position in the global market by leveraging Columbia Records’ unparalleled expertise in the North American music business.

The partnership kicks off with the global management of one of Starship Entertainment’s rising stars, IVE. With IVE’s first full-length album titled ‘I’ve IVE (I Have IVE)’ set to be released on April 10th, the partnership will support the global music distribution, local marketing, and promotion of the album in North America as well as the group’s pre-release track ‘Kitsch’ to be released on March 27th.

Since debuting in December 2021, IVE has become a K-pop powerhouse group, with consecutive hits such as “ELEVEN,” “LOVE DIVE,” and “After LIKE.” Together, these three singles have already sold more than three million copies. Furthermore, in just two years since the group’s debut, IVE has won 74 Korean and international music awards. IVE started its global activities by releasing the Japanese version of ‘LOVE DIVE’ last year in addition to holding concerts in Japan. With this release of their first full-length album, the group plans to expand its global reach, especially in North America.

Following IVE’s North America debut, Kakao Entertainment will continue to support the growth of its artists’ overseas careers while accelerating the global expansion of its music business. In addition to Starship, Kakao Entertainment has diverse music labels such as IST Entertainment, Antenna, and EDAM as subsidiaries, in addition to popular K-pop artists. With Kakao Entertainment America as the center of the operation, the company plans to implement a comprehensive management system to support its artists’ overseas tours, promotions, and album releases in partnership with leading global entertainment companies, and seek diverse collaboration to expand its music investment and distribution businesses. In addition, Kakao Entertainment will pursue synergies within its vast IP value chain that connect music, story, and media businesses in collaboration with Tapas Entertainment, North American subsidiary in the story sector. The goal is to expand the company’s influence as a global entertainment company representing K-culture and solidify its presence and status in the global market.

Joseph Chang, Head of Kakao Entertainment America, expressed excitement about the partnership with Columbia Records, saying “we’re thrilled to be embarking on IVE’s global journey with Columbia Records, a company with a rich history in pop music. This partnership holds significant meaning for us.” He added, “By strengthening the production and distribution capabilities of our music and artists in North America, we look forward to increasing the global competitiveness of Kakao Entertainment’s music business.”