Crunchyroll Acquires Rights to Animated Series Featuring K-Pop Group BTS

Crunchyroll has acquired rights to the upcoming animated superhero series “Bastions” — featuring the K-pop group BTS — from Korean producers Thymos Media and will begin airing the five-part series on Saturdays, beginning May 13. 

The global streaming rights extend worldwide, excluding China, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, North Korea and South Korea.

“Crunchyroll has an extraordinary opportunity to introduce fans to more animation styles from Asia, and this exciting new series from Korea does just that,” Asa Suehira, Crunchyroll’s chief content officer, said in a statement. “And having the music of so many K-pop stars really broadens the appeal of ‘Bastions.’”

The series is about a group of rookie superheroes in a world where superheroes compete for popularity. The young dynamos emerge as full-fledged heroes after saving Earth from a crisis by uncovering the identity of a villain responsible for environmental pollution.

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The series fuses K-Pop and animation, with several K-pop original songs, including the main track and theme song by BTS. It’s the first project by BTS as a group since it released its anthology album “Proof” in June last year. “Bastions” will also feature music from K-pop girl group Le Sserafim and singers Heize and AleXa participating on its soundtrack.

“BTS is expected to provide an overwhelming sense of immersion to the emotions and action scenes of the series by singing the theme song in perfect harmony,” read a Thymos Media statement.

Disney+, Company With BTS Titles Ink Global Content Collaboration

The Walt Disney Company Asia Pacific and HYBE July 11 announced a global content collaboration that will see both companies working to showcase content from South Korea’s music and entertainment industry globally. The agreement includes worldwide distribution of five titles from HYBE, including two exclusive series featuring pop stars BTS that will launch on Disney’s streaming services.

The K-Pop group last month announced it was taking a hiatus from performing. The group subsequently said it would not be taking a break.

“This collaboration represents our creative ambition — to work with content creators and top stars in Asia Pacific,” Jessica Kam-Engle, APAC Head of Content, The Walt Disney Company, said in a statement. “We believe these new titles will captivate consumers worldwide and look forward to introducing more music content on our service.”

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Three of HYBE’s projects coming to Disney’s streaming service include:

BTS: Permission to Dance Onstage — LA: This 4K concert film features BTS’s live performance in Los Angeles’ Sofi Stadium in November 2021. Performing songs “Butter” and “Permission to Dance,” this was the first time in two years since the pandemic that the band met fans in person.

“In the Soop: Friendcation”: An original travel reality show with a star-studded cast including V of BTS, Itaewon Class’ Seo-jun Park, Parasite star Woo-shik Choi, Hyung-sik Park, and Peakboy. The program features the five friends venturing on a surprise trip and enjoying a variety of leisure and fun activities.

“BTS Monuments: Beyond the Star”: This original docu-series follows the journey of BTS. With access to a vast library of music and footage over the past nine years, the series will feature the daily lives, thoughts and plans of BTS members as they prepare for their second chapter. The docu-series will be available exclusively on Disney’s streaming service next year.
The strategic collaboration will allow Disney to introduce a series of new titles from HYBE over the next few years, as the entertainment platform continues to produce content based on its music and artists’ IPs.

New Taylor Swift Single, ‘ME!’ Shatters YouTube, Vevo, Amazon Streaming Video Records

Singer-songwriter Taylor Swift’s newest single release, “ME!” from her yet unnamed seventh album, broke several female streaming video records over the weekend on YouTube, Amazon Music and Vevo.

The single features Brendon Urie of Picnic! At The Disco and Swift.

The 29-year-old performer’s music video generated 65.2 million views in 24 hours on YouTube through April 28 – breaking the 55 million mark set by Ariana Grande’s “Thank-You, Next” video released late last year.

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South Korean boy-band BTS holds the record with 74 million YouTube views for “Boy with Luv,” featuring Halsey, released on April 12.

Amazon tweeted “ME!” broke records for most first-day streams and on-demand voice requests with Alexa software than any other single debut on its music platform.

Vevo, which is operated by Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group and Abu Dhabi Media, said the video generated the most views in a single day since the music video platform launched 10 years ago.

Swift’s last album, “Reputation,” sold 4.5 million units worldwide across CD, LP, download, cassette and online streaming formats. The concert tour generated more than $345 million in ticket sales worldwide.