Big Hit Entertainment And Naver To Combine Weverse And V LIVE Into New Platform
Big Hit Entertainment and Naver are joining hands!
On the afternoon of January 27, Naver held a board meeting and decided to invest 410 billion won (approximately $371 million) into Big Hit Entertainment’s subsidiary beNX, which operates the fan community platform Weverse. As a result of the investment, Naver gains a 49 percent stake in beNX, and Naver’s V LIVE business will be transferred to beNX. It was also decided that beNX would be renamed to WEVERSE COMPANY Inc.
Naver revealed this day that they would be creating a new global fan community platform by collaborating with Big Hit Entertainment and combining the users, content, and services of V LIVE and Weverse, the platforms owned by each company.
Naver aims to gain a greater competitive edge in the fandom industry by teaming up with Big Hit Entertainment. The strategy is for Big Hit Entertainment to lead the business with their experience in the industry while Naver provides the technology and skills necessary to strengthen the service.
Naver is a leader in content transmission and live streaming technology as well as the community platform field. Naver expects to combine their technological prowess with Big Hit Entertainment’s business capability.
The integration of the two platforms is expected to take about a year. Kim Joo Kwan is currently the head of Naver’s Group& CIC, the organization in charge of V LIVE, Naver Cafe, Band, and other community platforms. He will become the CTO (chief technology officer) of beNX and lead the integration process. After that, he will manage the platform’s technology. During the period of integration, each service (V LIVE and Weverse) will be operated as before.
The firms explained that in addition to the artists who are currently working with each platform, they will add other global artists in order to create the best fan-artist community platform through which fans can enjoy artists’ content and communicate with them.
Naver CEO Han Seong Sook expressed, “In order to expand our influence in the global market, there is a need go beyond competition with domestic platforms and to closely collaborate with a competitive platform that we can create synergy with. The addition of K-content to our globally competitive K-technology will make us a matchless player in the global entertainment market.”
She added, “The fandom culture that had been deemed as one of ‘idol fanatics’ is now spreading into various fields, creating new cultural and economic value, and evolving. We found potential for growth in the global market through V LIVE and Weverse, which consists of over 85 percent of international fans.” She also said, “We will work to make the fandom culture that stemmed from Big Hit and K-pop go beyond Asia and North America and become the mainstream entertainment culture in Europe, South America, and all around the world.”
Big Hit Entertainment’s HQ CEO Park Ji Won shared, “Since its launch in 2019, Weverse has grown exponentially. Through this, we have confirmed the necessity and influence of a fan community platform in the global music industry. Through the general collaboration with Naver, we have high expectations for the synergy between Weverse and V LIVE, and we will rise to an unrivaled position in the global market through a further-evolved fan community platform.”