Firm formed to discover and develop next BTS

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Firm formed to discover and develop next BTS

CJ ENM has created a joint venture with Big Hit Entertainment, the company behind BTS, to discover and promote the next K-pop sensation.

The enterprise is called Belif Lab, according to a CJ ENM release.

CJ ENM, which owns 52 percent of the new entity, will utilize its extensive contacts in music distribution and broadcasting to find the talent, which it will then nurture. Big Hit, with the remaining 48 percent, will produce the new act. Bang Si-hyuk, the director of the entertainment firm, will be the head producer of the project.

The companies hope they will deliver a boy band that could follow the phenomenal success of BTS.

Open auditions for the future K-pop group will take place starting on March 30. They will be held in Korea and overseas, including in the United States and Japan.

Kim Tae-ho, a co-founder and former CEO of carpool start-up Poolus, is Belif Lab’s chief.

“Our core focus is [to create] entertainment and media businesses based on intellectual property rights,” said Kim. “We will do our best to meet the market expectation.”

Seven billion won ($6.1 million) has been invested in the new entity, which plans to discover and produce other K-pop groups after the first is rolled out by 2020.

BTS debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 and performed at the American Music Awards in 2017.

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