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Korean music labels

Blackpink label YG delivers Q1 earnings surprise; 90% above market consensus

By May 14, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

Blackpink's live stream concert, \
Blackpink's live stream concert, "THE SHOW".

YG Entertainment Inc. has delivered earnings surprise in the first quarter of this year, thanks to its K-pop girl group Blackpink's powerful fandom which helped boost album and online concert ticket sales.

On May 12, the South Korean entertainment company announced that it logged 97 billion won ($86 million) in revenue and 9.5 billion won in operating profit in Q1. Its revenue jumped by 84 percent compared to the year-earlier period and its operating profit beat the market consensus of 5 billion won by near 90 percent.

The label’s girl group Blackpink was the driving force behind the company’s successful turnaround. Despite the almost non-existent offline events due to the COVID-19 crisis, YG Entertainment saw its operating profit surge on account of record sales and online concerts.

In Q1, the company sold 1.05 million copies of records – almost tenfold compared to the previous year. Blackpink and the label’s new boy group Treasure sold 620,000 copies and 310,000 copies, respectively.

Online concert ticket sales also contributed to the company’s earnings. Blackpink's online concert sold around 280,000 tickets and pulled in about 9 billion won, excluding YouTube commission fees.

This year, YG Entertainment’s consensus earnings stands at 337.5 billion won in revenue and 33.1 billion won in operating profit, up by 32.1 percent and 451.6 percent from the previous year, respectively.

There is a possibility that the company may see its annual earnings increase significantly since Blackpink member Lisa is set to release a solo album in Q3 with the entire group making a comeback as well. 

Meanwhile, JYP Entertainment Inc., the label behind popular girl groups Twice and Itzy, is expected to post strong earnings in the second quarter. The label’s operating profit consensus for Q1 stood at 8.8 billion won, down 34.2 percent from the year-earlier period, due to most of the artists being on hiatus.

However, JYP has a strong lineup of artists readying to make a comeback in Q2, which is likely to help boost its earnings.

Also, BTS label HYBE Co. fared well as it logged revenue of 180 billion won in Q1 even though none of its artists were active. In Q2, the company's artists including SEVENTEEN and NU'EST are set to resume activities alongside BTS releasing a single this month.

"Weverse, the fan community platform run by HYBE, is expected to contribute significantly to the label's earnings since it has become a leading platform for millennials and Gen Zers," said Jeong-yeob Park, an analyst at Mirae Asset Securities.

Write to Sung-mi Shim at

Danbee Lee edited this article.

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