Genie Music sees future in visual content

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Genie Music sees future in visual content


A hologram of the late singer-songwriter Yoo Jae-ha, left, sings “Past Days” accompanied by live members of Korean group Sweet Sorrow at the K-Live X VR Park in Sangam-dong, western Seoul, on Wednesday. [KT]

Legendary Korean singer-songwriter Yoo Jae-ha was back on a Seoul stage Wednesday, plucking his guitar and swaying to the rhythm of his hit from the 1980s, “Past Days.”

This is despite the fact that Yoo actually passed away on Nov. 1, 1987.

The performer backed up by Sweet Sorrow, a group of three living male singers, at the K-live X VR Park in Sangam-dong, western Seoul, was a hologram - although it looked absolutely real.

“The keyword of our future business strategy is visual music,” said Kim Hoon-bae, CEO of Genie Music, in a speech after the performance. “We will focus on offering immersive music services like this holographic concert based on the next-generation 5G network KT is preparing to commercialize.”

Genie Music is a KT subsidiary.

According to Kim, many fans missed out on performances of artists who have passed away.

Genie Music will develop content that connects fans with the past through concerts that, in the past, only existed in the imagination with great new technologies like holograms, virtual reality and augmented reality, he continued.

Kim said Genie Music is developing holographic content that can be viewed in from all directions.

He vowed that it will become the country’s No. 1 music streaming platform with five million paid subscribers by 2022.

Currently, the dominant music streaming platform in the country is Melon, operated by Kakao.


Kim Hoon-bae, CEO of Genie Music, describes a business strategy focused on visual music content during a press briefing held Wednesday. [KT]

Kim claims Genie Music can turn the tables since it decided to merge with CJ Digital Music, a CJ ENM’s subsidiary that operates another music streaming platform called Mnet, last month.

Through the merger, Genie Music will have access to the over 50,000 videos created and distributed by CJ.

In the long term, the two companies are planning to connect the streaming platform with music broadcasts and concerts.

Genie Music is also supported by LG U+, the smallest telecom company in the country, which invested 26.7 billion won ($23.8 million) in Genie Music in 2017.

Thanks to the alliance, Genie Music is embedded in smart speakers offered by both LG U+ and KT.

To achieve its 2022 ambitions, Genie Music is planning to upgrade its data-based music curation service in the second half of the year and start offering CJ-sourced videos from early next year.

Genie Music will also enter the in-vehicle infotainment market.

While details were not revealed at Wednesday’s press briefing, Kim said its in-car music service will be able to recognize the type of passengers riding in a car, the destination and weather information to offer more suitable music while driving.

It is currently in talks with six carmakers at home and abroad, including Jaguar Land Rover, to embed Genie Music in car infotainment systems, according to Kim.

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