HYBE (KRX: 352820), the management company behind K-pop sensation BTS, has acquired a majority stake in Supertone, an artificial intelligence (AI) audio company.
The KRW 45 billion (approximately US$36.6 million) investment brings HYBE’s total stake in Supertone to 56.1%.
This continues HYBE’s strategy of bringing the music industry and technology together.
Supertone’s AI audio technology can create a virtually unlimited number of voices by combining various elements that make up a voice.
The technology can be used for singing and acting and implemented in real-time.
In addition to its core technology, Supertone has also established intellectual property rights, research and development institutes, and its studios.
At the Busan International Film Festival last year, Supertone received positive feedback for a presentation titled ‘The Future of the Film Industry is Innovated by AI Voices.”
Before the presentation, the company received much attention for its ability to reproduce the voices of deceased singers.
Supertone CEO Kyogu Lee explained that AI audio technology can be used at all stages of content production, from planning to production to distribution, and is gaining recognition among creatives in industries such as animation, audiobooks, and games.
HYBE CEO Park Ji-won expressed high expectations for the content that can be created by combining HYBE’s production capabilities with Supertone’s speech synthesis technology.
The acquisition of Supertone is expected to enhance the company’s external credibility and provide a springboard for the company’s growth as a global player.
Recently, Supertone was featured in the AI section of CNN’s documentary series ‘Decoded’ and presented alongside global AI companies such as Google’s DeepMind and OpenAI.
Supertone is the only AI audio company featured on the program.
Acquiring Supertone is essential in HYBE’s strategy to bring the music industry and technology together.
The company’s AI audio technology is seen as a valuable asset in a fast-growing industry and will play an important role in content creation in the future.