SM Entertainment Hands Distributor Rights Over To Kakao — And Are In Talks To Create A Joint K-Pop Group
The long-drawn feud between SM Entertainment, Lee Soo Man, HYBE, and Kakao is finally drawing to close. HYBE has now officially become the largest shareholder of SM Entertainment, while SM 3.0 continues to launch, with Kakao lending a helping hand in some management areas.
On February 23, 2023, it was published in Korean media, following reports from industry and investment banking, that SM Entertainment and Kakao had already signed a collaborative contract on February 7, 2023. SM Entertainment will be giving the distribution rights to domestic music (albums and digital) to Kakao Entertainment, while international rights will also be handled through Kakao and its subsidiaries.
Up to now, SM Entertainment’s artists’ music distribution has been handled by Dream.Us Company, in which SM Entertainment holds shares. Kakao, on the other hand, has been handling distribution for IVE, Monsta X, IU, StayC and more. It is said that Kakao will also work on ticketing for concerts and fanmeetings of SM Entertainment artists.
Laslty, the two companies are in talks to hold a joint global audition, where they plan to select trainees to form a K-Pop group that will be managed jointly.