BTS agency Hybe acquires AI audio technology startup Supertone

By Kim Joo-heon Posted : January 31, 2023, 17:31 Updated : August 30, 2023, 18:03

[Supertone's CEO Lee Kyo-gu]

SEOUL -- Targeting the artificial intelligence-based audio market, the agency of BTS has acquired Supertone, an AI voice synthesis technology startup in South Korea. Supertone's sound technology was used in Disney+'s drama series "Big Bet" to reproduce the voice of Choi Min-sik, a 60-year-old veteran actor who was playing the role of a young character in his 30s.
Hybe said in a statement on January 31 that the company secured a 56.1 percent stake in Supertone by investing 45 billion won ($36.5 million). The AI startup's voice synthesis technology will be combined with the music agency's production capability. Using its sound technique, Supertone has produced films, animations, audiobooks, and games.
"Our AI audio technology can be adopted in every stage of content production including planning, production, editing, post-processing, and distribution," said Supertone CEO Lee Kyo-gu.
The adoption of AI audio technology has gained momentum in South Korea's entertainment sector. In October 2020, singer-songwriter Hayeon, also known as the younger sister of Girls' Generation's Taeyeon, released her debut single titled "Eyes On You" in collaboration with EvoM, South Korea's first AI composer developed by the Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology.
A voice drama series based on a popular e-book titled "Welcome to Hugh-Nam-dong Bookstore" was released in October 2022. Out of 19 key members that appeared in the drama, AI voice actors played eight as well as seven extras.
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