Kakao Inks Major Partnership with Columbia Records with Initial Focus on K-Pop Girl Group IVE

Photo Credit: 티비텐 / CC by 3.0

Kakao Entertainment announces a significant new partnership with Columbia Records, beginning with the global expansion of rising K-Pop stars, girl group IVE.

Kakao Entertainment has inked a significant new partnership with Columbia Records, a subsidiary of Sony Music, via Kakao Entertainment America. This partnership will focus on expanding Kakao’s music distribution network to elevate its position in the global market by leveraging Columbia Records’ expertise in the North American music sphere.

Kicking off the partnership with the global management of one of Starship Entertainment’s rising K-Pop stars, girl group IVE, the sextet’s first full-length album, I’ve IVE, will be released on April 10. The partnership will support the global music distribution, local marketing, and promotion of the album in North America, including the group’s pre-release track, “Kitsch,” to be released on March 27.

“We’re thrilled to be embarking on IVE’s global journey with Columbia Records, a company with a rich history in pop music. This partnership holds significant meaning for us,” says Joseph Chang, Head of Kakao Entertainment America. “By strengthening the production and distribution capabilities of our music and artists in North America, we look forward to increasing the global competitiveness of Kakao Entertainment’s music business.”

Since the group’s debut in December 2021, IVE has become a K-Pop sensation with consecutive hits like “ELEVEN,” “LOVE DIVE,” and “After LIKE.” These three singles combined have sold more than three million copies, while the group has won 74 Korean and international music awards in just two years. 

IVE began its Japanese expansion last year with a Japanese language release of “LOVE DIVE,” in addition to holding concerts in the country. With the release of its first full-length album, IVE plans to focus its expansion on North America and the rest of the world.

Kakao Entertainment will also pursue synergies within its IP value chain in collaboration with Tapas Entertainment to connect music, story, and media businesses. The ultimate goal is to expand the company’s global influence as an entertainment entity representing K-culture.