BTS to Leave Sony Music for Universal Music: What Made them Leave The Music Label?

bts disband

K-pop boy band BTS is terminating its label agreement with Sony Music’s Columbia Records and will instead work with Universal Music Group from now on. BTS was the world’s best-selling recording act/ artist last year, according to IFPI. Their music videos are comprised of 10.6 billion US streams in demand, according to Billboard. Read on to know why the group left the music label giant.

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The move, confirmed by BTS‘ management company Hybe after reports written by Billboard and Bloomberg, is a Universal Music agreement, which has been binding for years. Universal CEO Lucian Grainge has been attracting Hybe founder and CEO Bang Si-hyuk.

“While we are very grateful for our time with Sony and will always be grateful for all they have done and will continue to do so, we look forward to our new chapter in partnership with Universal,” Hybe record label Bighit Music said in an email announcement. The agreement with Universal and its Interscope team includes distribution and marketing in the United States and other regions, the label said.


After the departure was confirmed, the details of the agreement were made public. The agreement includes the division of Universal’s Ingrooves Music in charge of distribution and Universal’s Geffen Records which provides creative and marketing assistance, according to someone familiar with the details of the program. Interscope has a three-year contract with K-pop girls’ band Blackpink, which caters to Western audiences and led the way in the 2019 Coachella music festival.

Distribution deals for K-pop acts have been on the rise in response to the growing global popularity of the genre. Universal and Hybe announced a new partnership on Thursday with YG Entertainment and Kise unveiling a new global live streaming program. In February, Universal and Hybe announced an extended strategic partnership that included a collaboration label with Geffen Records for the launch of the boy’s K-pop music group.

Sony has declined to comment. BTS was the world’s best-selling recording act last year, according to IFPI. Its videos are comprised of 10.6 billion US streams in demand, according to Billboard.

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