SEOUL -- Hybe, the agency of K-pop wonder BTS, forged a strategic partnership with Giantstep, a domestic visual creative tech firm known for computer graphics and visual effects, to develop "real-time type content." The deal came a day after BTS creator Bang Si-hyuk vowed to produce "boundless" content beyond music and artists.
Hybe said in a statement on November 5 that it has signed a basic contract with Giantstep for joint projects to develop real-time content. Financial terms and other details were not disclosed. Hybe said its strategic partnership is aimed at "continuously introducing innovative results as a global leader" in the rapidly changing media and content market.
Hybe said it would enhance its content competitiveness as an entertainment lifestyle platform company in collaboration with Giantstep. A day earlier, Hybe diversified its business portfolio into non-fungible tokens through a joint venture with Dunamu, a blockchain company, to turn the intellectual property of artists into digital assets that can be displayed and exchanged in fan communities.
Hybe would issue new shares to raise some 700 billion won ($593 million), including 500 billion won that would be spent on acquiring a 2.48 percent stake in Dunamu.
Giantstep has expanded its business scope into hologram and content production based on visual effects (VFX), extended reality (XR) and technologies for a metaverse platform. XR refers to all digital environments created using virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR). VFX is the process by which imagery is created or manipulated outside the context of a live-action shot in filmmaking and video production. The integration of live-action footage and computer CG elements to create realistic imagery is called VFX.
The virtual space known as metaverse was based on a digital platform. Using avatars, users can freely communicate and interact with each other or engage in activities together. Metaverse has become a trendy topic in South Korea due to a COVID-19 pandemic that accelerated the era of virtual experience.
Major entertainment companies in South Korea are paying attention to new technologies such as metaverse and NFTs that could utilize the growing worldwide influence of K-pop artists and their intellectual property to create new and stable sources of income.
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