K-Pop superstars BTS have ditched Sony Music’s Columbia Records as their distributor and marketing partner in favour of Universal Music.
The move was confirmed by BTS’s management company Hybe after initial reports by Billboard and Bloomberg.
Hybe-owned Bighit Music, which manages BTS, did not disclose the financial terms of the deal but said Universal and its American record label Interscope would distribute and market BTS’s music in the United States and other regions.
The deal expands the entertainment company’s existing partnership with Universal, as it seeks to boost the popularity of K-pop music globally.
The move is another large blow for Sony, which has been beset by scandal in recent weeks after an ABC Four Corners report revealed a toxic workplace in Australia under former chief executive Denis Handlin.
The Korean boy band made up of members Jungkook,Jin, J-Hope, RM, V, Jimin and Suga have begun to enjoy crossover success in Western markets in the last year on the back of smash singles Dynamite, Butter and Permission to Dance along with an array of hits in their native Korean.
They have also recently released a compilation single with British band Coldplay titled My Universe.
Their success saw them become the world’s biggest band in 2020 according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) an organisation that represents the global music industry.
According to that report, the South Korean band broke countless records in their home country as well as internationally.
Known for their social agenda, BTS last month performed and spoke at the United Nations General Assembly to deliver a message of hope to the world on the use of vaccines and also climate change.
Universal, whose other hit singers and catalogues include Justin Bieber and The Beatles, was spun off by France’s Vivendi last month.
Neither Sony nor Universal have responded as yet to requests for comment.