Big Hit makes $3.6Mn investment in Korea-based AI company Supertone

Big Hit makes $3.6Mn investment in Korea-based AI company Supertone
Big Hit Entertainment, the firm behind K-pop megastars BTS, is reportedly investing a sum of $3.6 million (4 billion KRW) in Supertone, an artificial intelligence company headquartered in Korea. Established in 2020, Supertone claims to have the capability of creating an expressive and hyper-realistic voice that could not be distinguished from real humans.

Park Ji Won, CEO of Big Hit Headquarters, stated that the company looks ahead to the synergy between Supertone, which has technology, and Big Hit, which has a strong catalogue of intellectual property. Ji Won further stated that with close cooperation, the two organizations will work hard for the creation of digital content that can warm and comfort the hearts of fans.

Reliable sources cite that Big Hit has earlier looked upon its “Artist Indirect-Involvement” enterprise as the answer to it doing well during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. This basically comprises of stuff that makes money by utilizing the likeness/brand of the artist, without needing the actual artist to show up.

A good exemplar of the company’s Artist-Indirect enterprise includes the ‘TinyTAN’ cartoon character versions of the seven BTS megastars, which were debuted at their record-breaking online concert called ‘Bang Con The Live’ in June 2020.

Choi Hee-doo, Chief Operating Officer of Supertone, stated that the company’s technology mastered 100 songs sung by 20 singers for the refinement of its style, and then mastered 10 specific songs sung by Kim Kwang-seok, South Korean folk superstar who passed away back in 1996. Choi Hee-doo further claimed that Supertone’s technology now has the capability of impersonating the artist’s voice good enough to be considered the real thing.

According to Supertone, the company’s system works by collecting voice samples and then training its artificial intelligence system to effectively recreate a voice for an array of different applications.

It is speculated that through the investment, Supertone is soon likely to develop “expressive and hyper-realistic” voice clones of all BTS members, enabling Big Hit to record vocals of band members for things like BTS-narrated video games, and ads without needing the artists to enter the booth.