Chris Lee, a member of SM Entertainment‘s Board of Directors, revealed at SXSW 2019 what SM Entertainment’s plans for expanding throughout the world were for the future.
He stated that the global strategy for SM Entertainment is localization.
We are planning to make the “2nd Girls’ Generation” with Americans, and the “2nd NCT” with Europeans. Localization is our global strategy.
— Chris Lee
He also stated that if SM Entertainment’s plans work as expected, K-Pop fans in American and Europe could see them debut in 5 years.
Comparing K-Pop to Bollywood, he explained why SM Entertainment is looking to expand globally.
Just like how Indian movies are called Bollywood, K-Pop is gaining attention as a new genre of music all around the world. SM Entertainment has been trying to advance into other Asian and global markets since the early 2000’s, by focusing on certain overseas markets.
SM Entertainment is focusing on the fandom, and the color, culture, and musical color of SM, rather than focus on appealing to the general public. We have confirmed that these fandoms are huge in America and Europe, and our goal is to continue to expand them.”
— Chris Lee
Chris Lee also talked about WayV, SM Entertainment’s first attempt at localization.
Earlier in 2019, we debuted a multinational team, WayV. The group are comprised of Chinese and Thai members. There are no Koreans. We are working with Label V, a Chinese joint venture label.
This is the first time we have introduced a fully localized joint venture group, using SM Entertainment’s culture, technology, and production.
We will also carry out the same management strategies with local joint ventures in Singapore, Indonesia, and Vietnam.
— Chris Lee
Finally, he talked about some of the other plans for SM Entertainment’s growth around the world, and praised BTS.
SM is looking to have our culture technology integrated in various fields, including IT, food, sports, and fashion. We want to spread our own K-Pop culture and content to global markets.
We have been focusing on the North American market since last year. We believe companies like Spotify and Apple Music are showing lots of interest in K-Pop, and global companies like Universal Music continue to propose collaborations.
Recently, BTS has taken the entire world by storm, and thus the status of K-Pop has changed, which is a huge movement for the industry.