RBW, home to MAMAMOO, has recently acquired DSP Media, a historical powerhouse in the K-pop industry. DSP had been on decline since 2010 when the founder of the company suffered a stroke, so this isn’t that surprising, though whether it injects life into the company and its artists remains to be seen.
On January 26, RBW officially confirmed that they had acquired a controlling interest in DSP Media, explaining, “This is a decision we made in order to expand our business.” RBW has acquired DSP Media CEO Choi Mi Kyung’s 39.13 percent stake in the company for 9.03 billion won (approximately $7.5 million), and the transfer will take place on March 31. RBW went on to state, “We plan to acquire a stake of over 51 percent of DSP Media and turn [the label] into a subsidiary. We will soon be signing an SPA [stock purchase agreement] with DSP Media’s largest shareholder.”
Perhaps tellingly, in the statement announcing the merger, RBW doesn’t talk about the artists of DSP, but rather their IP and how they can use it for NFTs (which do suck, IMO).
RBW CEO Kim Jin Woo, who will also be taking over as the CEO of DSP Media, remarked, “Through this acquisition, we will now be able to account for both size and speed as we prepare to launch new businesses related to the metaverse, such as NFTs [non-fungible tokens] using music IP [intellectual property]. This will be an important opportunity for DSP Media, a company with over 30 years of history, as well as RBW’s next-generation branding.”
Maybe it was just a poorly-worded statement, I’m not sure, but it seems ominous that they don’t mention the DSP artists, unlike when they acquired WM Entertainment and were excited about their development in that realm. Certainly I wouldn’t be feeling great if I was in MIRAE, KARD, or April after reading that, but you never know what these companies might do regardless of what they say.