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The Ok-pop ETF hasn’t been doing nicely, however its creator says Korean content material is at ‘inflection level’


Ok-pop lady group BlackPink carried out at The Late Late Present with James Corden airing Thursday, April 18, 2019. (Photograph by Terence Patrick/CBS through Getty Photographs)

Cbs Photograph Archive | Cbs | Getty Photographs

The creator behind the new exchange-traded fund aimed toward changing international followers of Korean content material into an funding alternative is optimistic in his premise. 

Since its launch on Sept. 1, the KPOP and Korean entertainment ETF has not carried out nicely — not too long ago buying and selling on the New York Inventory Trade Arca at $15.05 — a roughly 23% drop from its debut. That is in keeping with the general Kospi index having plummeted greater than 20% this 12 months.

However Jangwon Lee, chief govt of CT Investments and Contents Applied sciences and the creator of the ETF, is hopeful concerning the Korean leisure business regardless of the sluggish outlook for international markets.

“Content material consumption, particularly digital, is comparatively resilient throughout recessionary and inflationary environments and long run,” stated Lee in an interview with CNBC, including that it is “been a tricky few weeks throughout all asset lessons” for the reason that fund’s inception. 

Shares of Korean leisure corporations have been underperforming total, with YG Leisure’s inventory worth down round 26% year-to-date and Hybe down greater than 64% year-to-date.

“We finally imagine that the underlying efficiency of the businesses in our ETF will present additional momentum in attracting demand from a wider investor universe,” he stated. 

We’re witnessing an inflection level in Ok-pop and Ok-content progressively attaining mainstream standing globally from what was extra a sub-culture previously.

Jangwon Lee

CEO of CT Investments

The KPOP ETF says on its website that it offers “targeted publicity to the Korea Trade-listed corporations engaged within the leisure business and the interactive media & companies business.” The fund is a 30-stock index, which incorporates leisure corporations that handle bands reminiscent of BTS, BlackPink, and Twice — their respective companies being HYBE, YG Leisure, and SM Leisure.

It additionally consists of content material makers reminiscent of Studio Dragon, which produced the hit sequence “Crash Landing on You” and platform corporations reminiscent of AfreecaTV, by way of which some livestream themselves enjoying video video games and consuming.

“We imagine it’s nonetheless in its early innings provided that we’re witnessing an inflection level in Ok-pop and Ok-content progressively attaining mainstream standing globally from what was extra a sub-culture previously,” he stated.

Ok-pop lady group Twice of JYP Leisure at Yes24 Dwell Corridor on April 22, 2019, in Seoul, South Korea. Shares of Korean leisure corporations have been underperforming total.

Jtbc Plus | Imazins | Getty Photographs

Pent-up demand

Lee of CT Investments and Contents Applied sciences stated the artistic content material companies that this fund makes accessible to international buyers will thrive in the long run, with borders reopening and international locations reminiscent of South Korea and Japan lifting quarantine and testing rules for tourists.

“There’s vital pent-up demand amongst present followers and Ok-pop artists have been intentionally releasing new albums in time for the reopening,” he stated, including that many artist teams have not too long ago resumed their world excursions and concert events.

Monetary analyst Lee Ki-hoon at Hana Monetary Group stated the pandemic proved the style benefitted from its music enterprise being extra “visible idea” oriented, as seen by way of its social media outreach.

“Its international fandom is seeing a trickle-down impact from teams like BTS and BlackPink, as they have been direct beneficiaries of YouTube – it is not restricted by time or location,” Lee Ki-hoon stated in an October report.

BangtanTV, certainly one of BTS’ YouTube channels, has 71.5 million subscribers, whereas BlackPink’s channel has 82.7 million subscribers.

BTS performs onstage through the sixty fourth Annual GRAMMY Awards at MGM Grand Backyard Enviornment on April 3, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Johnny Nunez | Getty Photographs Leisure | Getty Photographs

‘Lengthy-term believer’

Goldman Sachs predicts revenue from the global music industry will attain $131 billion by 2030 – greater than double the $62 billion for 2017 — including that streaming will increase the business to document highs.

CT’s Jangwon Lee is equally optimistic, including he’s a “long-term believer” in Ok-pop’s outlook inside the wider business.

“Ok-pop fan engagement throughout the globe is materially greater than that of different genres throughout metrics, reminiscent of social media engagement and merchandise gross sales together with bodily album gross sales,” Lee stated.

“We imagine there might be a excessive conversion amongst followers changing into shareholders in corporations that their favourite artists are affiliated with,” he stated.

Within the nearer time period, Lee of Hana Monetary Group stated that Hybe, the group behind BTS, might backside out someday round December, when the group’s plans for enlisting in South Korea’s army are finalized.

Lee of CT stated the company’s affirmation that the band will transfer ahead with its conscription plans means eliminates some uncertainty.

“A major overhang has been eliminated,” Lee stated, including that the main target of buyers will now “shift towards different progress prospects throughout its enterprise.”



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