Members of GOT7 (photo: Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Korean Culture and Information Service (CC by SA 2.0)

Members of GOT7 (photo: Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Korean Culture and Information Service; CC by SA 2.0)

Sony Music Entertainment is deepening its ties into the massively successful K-pop genre through a new partnership with JYP Entertainment (JYPE).

The deal between JYPE and The Orchard grants global digital and physical distribution rights to the Sony subsidiary.

JYPE’s entire catalog of k-pop music from hit bands like GOT7, TWICE, DAY6, and ITZY are now available on all major digital services worldwide.

The Orchard has been a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony Music Entertainment since 2015.  The label group has provided distribution for several prominent k-pop acts, including BTS, Eric Nam, and Chung Ha.

The move isn’t surprising, considering Tim Pithouse joined The Orchard team last October.

Pithouse became The Orchard’s Global Head of Artist & Label Services. The partnership will serve to expand both The Orchard and JYPE’s global footprint.

JYPE is one of the largest Korean entertainment agencies in the country, with a large roster of artists.

The JYPE channel on YouTube has over 11 million subscribers. The most-watched video on the channel is from girl group TWICE, with around 442 million views.

JYPE has also helped historical K-pop acts like g.o.d, Rain, Wonder Girls, miss A and more achieve stardom. Wonder Girls became the first-ever K-pop act to land a single on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2009 with ‘Nobody’.

JYPE’s physical album distribution will be a brisk business.

Back in Korea, k-pop fans are driving physical sales surges in South Korea, thanks to some savvy product positioning.  K-pop supporters will often buy multiple copies of the same album to collect photos and other novelties sold with the album.

That type of phenomenon exists in other countries like Japan, but is completely foreign to Western music markets (at least outside of vinyl).

Sony Music Entertainment Chairman & CEO ANZ Denis Handlin has also been integral in growing Sony’s commitment to K-pop.  In 2017, Handlin played a significant role in Sony Music’s equity investment in KQ entertainment, another Korean label with artists like Block B and Babylon on its roster.