Big Hit Entertainment, the record label behind the success of the Korean boy band, BTS, has inked a deal with Kiswe Mobile, a startup that serves as an example that startups can start from anywhere.
Kiswe was founded in 2013 and led by Mike Schabel, the current chief executive. Kiswe Mobile is now extending its relationship with the record label from just one show in December last year to an agreement that will extend way beyond the next gig for BTS in what the two companies defined as “a global partnership.”
Schabel failed to disclose the terms of the agreement, but he said it was more than a simple contract between the two companies.
In the last seven years, Kiswe Mobile has worked with great entertainment and sports leagues in the US, including the MLS (Major League Soccer), NBA (National Basketball Association), and the PGA (Professional Golf Association) on streaming live games. Kiswe has also added eSports to its offers and live concerts including, the BTS show in early December 2019.
Kiswe was founded by Jeong Kim, the former President of Bell Labs along with Jimmy Lynn and Wim Sweldens, seven years ago, and it has been offering streaming services since then.
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Kiswe’s technology offers a central production system that allows concert producers to process audio and video, multi-camera, as well as interactive viewing options for fans watching an event to communicate with each other and the performer, plus presenting the event exclusively by either ticketing or geolocation.
“This MOU opens the possibility for diversified innovation in the global market by combining Big Hit’s content planning know-how and Kiswe’s technology,” Lenzo Yoon, Big Hit executive said.
Kiswe has managed to get investments from several high profile investors, including New Enterprise Associates, a multi-billion venture capital firm based just outside Baltimore, Washington, DC-based Revolution, and Ted Leonsis.
Kiswe has raised over US$20 million since its launch, but Schabel did not disclose the total exact amount it has raised. This deal will serve as a precursor to the launch of BTS BANG BANG CON, the live concert and convention expected later this month.
Kiswe’s technology and other similar technologies are arriving at a time when events need them the most. Marshmello’s event behind Epic Games and the latest Travis Scott Fortnite experience are among the new technologies looking to bring some magic in entertainment, and fans are hungry for it.
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Several startups are taking this opportunity to push interactive live experiences for fans, including WaveXR, a virtual concert design and distribution platform, Caffeine, an interactive streaming service, and Zoan, a development firm, which created a virtual concert during the Helsinki’s May Day that brought together a crowd of more than a million people.
Kiswe Mobile deal with Big Hit taps into arguably one of the biggest fandom, BTS Army.
“Kiswe’s relationship with Big Hit Entertainment expands our huge global sports and media footprint into the music sector and allows Kiswe and Big Hit to explore new ventures in the industry,” Schabel acknowledged in a statement.