Interview with SM Co-CEOs Lee Sungsoo and Tak Youngjoon
A virtual nation teased for 10 years, realized through ‘Metaverse’
Superstar manufacturing machines such as HOT, BoA, Girls’ Generation, TVXQ, etc.
Last year, NCT’s record sales exceeded 10 million copies, resulting in the highest performance
“AESPA became a key keyword that will amplify the future value of SM”
“I declare the birth of the nation of SM Town.”
The opening of the ‘SMTOWN LIVE WORLD TOUR 3 IN SEOUL’ performance held at Jamsil Olympic Stadium in Seoul on August 18, 2012 echoed. On this day, singers belonging to SM Entertainment, such as BoA, Kangta, Super Junior, and Girls’ Generation, who were the originators of the Korean Wave, attended the concert, they also handed out pink passports called ‘SM Passports’ to the attendees. Back then, it was considered ‘cringy’. However, 10 years have passed since then, and the ‘virtual nation’ declared by SM at that time is now unfolding before our eyes. The name ‘Metaverse’ has been warming us towards this world since last year.
SM Co-CEO Lee Seongsoo said in an interview with Asia Economic Daily on the 9th, “Fans who received SM Passports in 2012 could receive physical stamps every time they attended a concert, but now with the development of technology and NFTs, this has evolved into a ‘Meta Passport'”. “SM is expanding its business into the Web 3.0 digital domain through ‘Kwangya’ which encompasses the metaverse.”
SM launched Studio Kwangya, a metaverse content company this year, and is raising it as a brand that oversees the metaverse business. SM’s Executive Producer Lee Sooman introduced, “Kwangya as a world of content where infinite events transcend time and space” at the SM Town live performance, which was broadcast live for free around the world through YouTube in January of this year. Starting with the SM Passport, SM plans to use NFT goods as its core growth engine through the online platform ‘Club Kwangya’ and offline stores ‘Kwangya’.
SM started with first-generation idols such as HOT, SES, BoA, and Shinhwa in the 1990s, and produced superstar-level idols such as TVXQ, Girls’ Generation, Super Junior, EXO, SHINee, Red Velvet, NCT, and AESPA. CEO Lee said, “SM’s success rate is 90%.” “There are no other companies in history who had produced that many super stars. […]
Co-CEO Tak said, “Since becoming the CEO, we had to scale back the business to reduce the parts that were in the red.” He said, “This was thanks to the fact that we have grown the intellectual property rights (IP) of existing artists, and that NCT has entered its heyday.” .NCT is a 23-member multinational boy group that sold over 10 million albums last year.
If last year’s performance was driven by NCT, AESPA is expected to drive this year’s performance. AESPA is a metaverse-based girl group that debuted in November 2020. There are a total of 8 members including 4 members of Korean, Chinese, and Japanese nationalities and 4 avatars of them. Last month, AESPA’s second mini-album, Girls, surpassed 1.4 million copies in their first week sales. They became the first girl group to exceed 1 million sales in their first week sales. It surpasses the previous record of 680,000 copies set by BlackPink. CEO Lee said, “AESPA became a key keyword that will amplify SM’s future value.” “Usually, we need to invest a lot in artists and once they debut, we expect to lose money, but AESPA has set an unprecedented record among Kpop girl groups.”
original post: here
1. Stop it with Kwangya
2. They should at least make the general public understand what they’re trying to do. Their world view is just a wall to fandom entry at this point. And it’s also burying down the artists’ qualities.. Seriously they’ve caught some kind of puberty disease, leave Aespa out of this (t/n: 중2병 = middle school 2nd year disease, basically when you’re in your puberty and think you’re on top of the world)
3. Kwangya is nice but only if it stays a characteristic of AESPA’s world view. The other artists already have their own originality but now they’re all being dragged into this and now people are just sick of it
4. It’s because of Kwangya that the wall is getting higher… They’re just becoming their own world at this point
5. SM always had the image that they were always one step ahead of everyone, but because of Kwangya, they look so countrified now. Please throw Kwangya awayㅠㅠ
6. They’re trying to shove that Girls’ world view so much that I can’t even bring myself to listen to the song anymore
7. I don’t think anyone in the general public is reacting to what they’re saying..
8. I seriously don’t think that Girls is doing that well;;
9. The company has been on their inflated ego ever since they saw that Next Level did well
10. If they really saw the actual reaction to this album, they wouldn’t be saying something like that

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