HYBE, home to BTS, buys fake voice AI enterprise Supertone

HYBE, the publicly-traded music big powering superstars BTS, is in ‘diversification mode‘ to develop into a lot less financially reliant on its flagship act.

Moves hinting at a broadening of HYBE’s strategy in current situations incorporate the growth of its game titles company, and its $1 billion acquisition of Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings.

HYBE has also introduced new large-precedence artists in 2022, together with NewJeans and Japanese boy band &Staff.

The South Korean business even launched a worldwide audition in June “for a boy group that will guide the subsequent generation of K-pop”.

Could a important push into synthetic intelligence be subsequent on the agenda?

Last February, HYBE invested USD $3.6 million into a Korea-centered AI seem company named Supertone.

Now, HYBE has reportedly upped its financial investment in the startup, by thoroughly acquiring it for 45 billion South Korea Received (approx $31.75m at recent exchange fees).

That is according to Korea-centered information publication Pulse News, the on line house of South Korea’s most significant domestic business enterprise newspaper, Maeil Company Newspaper.

Pulse reviews that HYBE’s original expenditure noticed it obtain an 18% stake in Supertone – and that HYBE has now obtained the remaining 82% desire in the company.

At the time of publication, HYBE experienced not responded to MBW’s ask for for comment.

Founded in 2020, Supertone statements to be able to generate “a hyper-realistic and expressive voice that [is not] distinguishable from actual humans”.

The startup generated world-wide media consideration in January 2021 with its so-known as Singing Voice Synthesis (SVS) technological innovation.

You could try to remember that the company made use of this tech to “resurrect” the voice of South Korean folk superstar Kim Kwang-seok, with the subsequent AI-produced voice debuted on Korean tv show Competition of the Century: AI vs Human (see over).

Speaking last calendar year, Supertone COO, Choi Hee-doo, stated to CNN that the company’s technologies uncovered 100 music by 20 singers to refine its design and style, and then acquired 10 specific music by Kim Kwang-seok.

Choi Hee-doo also claimed at the time that Supertone’s tech is capable of mimicking the artist’s voice well more than enough to pass off as the true point.

He spelled out more that Supertone’s tech can be used for information generation for residing artists, way too, and the hypothetical case in point he gave past 12 months could just provide an perception into why HYBE has reportedly acquired his firm for hundreds of thousands of bucks.

“For instance, BTS is genuinely occupied these times, and it’d be regrettable if they just can’t take part in written content due to absence of time,” Choi Hee-doo explained to CNN very last yr.

He included: “So, if BTS utilizes our technological innovation when creating game titles or audiobooks or dubbing an animation, for occasion, they would not necessarily have to history [that audio live] in person.”

When HYBE (then Huge Hit Enjoyment) initially invested in Supertone, we questioned if it could quickly build “hyper-reasonable and expressive” clone voices for BTS customers on their own, permitting HYBE to launch BTS tunes (or at least BTS articles), even devoid of the band actively contributing vocals to that new music?

This dilemma is even much more appropriate today adhering to the information from this summer that BTS would be taking a crack to go after solo jobs.

We produced the purely speculative recommendation at the time that it is not completely out of the realm of probability in today’s amusement business enterprise, specially thinking of audio streaming huge Spotify a short while ago acquired a startup that developed an AI audio product based on Val Kilmer’s voice for Prime Gun Maverick.

It is worthy of noting in this article that HYBE’s “Indirect Artist Involvement” – profits-building projects that use an artist’s brand/likeness, devoid of the actual artist needing to be involved – turned the company’s most important revenue driver in 2020 in the absence of live displays throughout the pandemic.

In FY 2021, a year in which HYBE revenues surpassed $1 billion in revenues for the first time, the company’s largest natural earnings driver was, at the time gain, its “Artist Indirect” organization, accounting for much more than 60% of the company’s revenues.

These “Artist Indirect” company functions produced 733 billion KRW ($640m) very last 12 months – up 72.8% YoY (see beneath).

This ‘Artist Oblique-Involvement’ company was HYBE’s principal profits driver in each and every quarter of 2021, including Q1 (ending March 31), Q2 (the 3 months to the conclusion of June), Q3 (the 3 months to the close of September) and Q4 (ending December 31).

It was only overtaken by the company’s ‘Artist Direct Involvement’ organization line in Q1 2022.Music Small business All over the world

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