S.M. Entertainment said Monday that it has secured 100 billion won (US$83.8 million) in funding from Naver.
The new funding will be injected into two S.M. affiliates – SMEJ Plus and Mystic Story – and a separate fund solely dedicated to creating new video contents.
As part of the renewed partnership, S.M. plans to unify its global fanclub service into “Fanship” on Naver’s K-pop platform V Live. Launched last year, Fanship is a membership-based paid service for better communications with K-pop artists.
The virtual concert series “Beyond Live,” the first collaboration between Naver and S.M., will continue, while the label plans to produce additional music-related video contents using the Naver platform.
“In this on-tact era, S.M. is excited to collaborate with Naver and provide differentiated content for fans and open a new era of entertainment,” said S.M. CEO Lee Sung-soo.
“Through this investment, we will collaborate with S.M. more closely and boost Fanship's competitiveness,” said Naver CEO Han Seong-sook.
In April, the two firms signed a memorandum of understanding to expand global K-pop projects and launched the “Beyond Live” series starting with Super M.
Beyond Live has so far reaped around 13.2 billion won in ticket sales and over 400,000 viewers. Non-S.M. artists are also increasingly joining the platform, with Twice from JYP Entertainment holding a concert there this Sunday.
Upon the new funding announcement, S.M. shares closed at 324,000 won on the day, up 4 percent from the previous trading day. Naver also saw a 4.49 percent increase to close at 314,500 won.
By Kwon Yae-rim (email@example.com