Why did BTS leave Sony Music for Universal Music?


You can listen to the MBW Podcast above, or on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeart etc. via this link.

Welcome to the latest episode of Talking Trends, the weekly podcast from

This week, host Louise Porter and MBW founder Tim Ingham discuss the shock news that, following a long and successful partnership, Korean superstars BTS (via HYBE) have ended their relationship with release music through partnership announcement between Universal and HYBE early in 2021. That agreement conspicuously didn’t mention BTS – but he suspects an “all-in” agreement might have been shaken on there and then.

“Looking back now, I wonder if Universal essentially said to HYBE, behind-the-scenes: ‘We are completely happy to get into bed with you on these [other] co-controlled projects, but we need a guarantee that BTS will come over to our side,” suggests Ingham.

That belief is only made more of a likelihood, says Ingham, by the fact that “it’s actually hard to see where or on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeart etc. via this link.

Elsewhere on Talking Trends this week, Porter and Ingham chew over the news that explode by over $10 billion in the past year.

What’s driven such a scintillating rise in value? Ingham suggests a number of factors… not least Universal’s own debut on the stock exchange last month.

There’s also mention of Warner’s digital licensing team, led by Oana Ruxandra, and the surprising number of experimental and industry-first deals that WMG has struck over the past year-and-a-half.

This deal-making frequency, suggests Ingham, has “turned on the taps” to an influx of revenue from alternative platforms at Warner.

Companies mentioned in this week’s episode of Talking Trends include: Columbia Records, Genies, Voly Music enables industry professionals from all sectors to manage a tour’s budgets, forecasts, track expenses, approve invoices and make payments. For more information and to sign up to a free trial of the platform, visit VolyMusic.com


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