SM Entertainment founder Lee Soo-man talks about metaverse and his “future vision for K-Pop”

Lee Soo-man, founder and lead producer of the SM Entertainment K-Pop giant, gave a talk at Stanford University on Friday (May 20) at a conference to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Stanford University Korea Program.

SM Entertainment artists include aespa, as well as NCT, Red Velvet, SUPER JUNIOR and EXO, a member of Suho who also gave a talk at the event.

The conference was attended by former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, former UN Ambassador Kim Sook and former EU Ambassador Park Joon-woo.

Lee’s talk focused on “The Future View of K-Pop,” where he broke down the concepts of what he calls the “Play2Create (P2C)” ecosystem, where he encourages fans or “prosumers” to create content using SM. -related intellectual property (IP) to generate revenue.

He says that within this blockchain-based ecosystem, the creators ’economy is part of a“ new ”economy,“ anyone can use it to enjoy the IPs of original content and create new ones. [content] again through leisure, and generate income ”.

The creator of SM added: “The original content will be re-created as content [sic] that it can be newly created by prosumers, and that it will become the basis for many future artists, creators and prosumers who strive for dreams of innovation and creation. ”

He also delved into the “SM Culture Universe” (SMCU).

It is an SMCU a character-driven universe It looks like a movie universe created by the giant Marvel or DC comics

In June 2021, Sung Su Lee CEO of SM Entertainment explain “It can be seen as a metaverse of SM, inviting K-pop fans around the world to appreciate our music and stories through various platforms.”

During the talk, Lee recounted his roots as the “first movement” in the K-pop sector and how music spread around the world. He also shared predictions about gender and popular culture in Korea, which continues to grow in popularity around the world. He calls the globalization of K-Pop “Hallyu.”

The founder of SM told the audience that “from the beginning, the goal of K-Pop was globalization” and that SM Entertainment was founded in 1989, he believed that “the past history of” Economy First, Culture Following Next “could become. , the next economy ‘.

He went on to say that he had developed what he called “systematic” [production] and management system ”for Sm Entertainment artists.

“If you dream alone, it’s just a dream but if we dream the same dream together, it’s the beginning of a new future. That’s how we started expanding abroad. ‘

Lee said at the time that “the global star found and produced potential content called SM Pop and from the people who created it, now known as K-Pop, and in 1997 told our SM staff, ‘Now, we’re going overseas.'”

Lee added: “If you dream alone, it’s just a dream, but if we dream the same dream together, it’s the beginning of a new future. That’s how we started expanding abroad.

“In the process of expanding the spectrum of activities and territories from Asia to Europe to the United States, I focused on Hallyu becoming not only a mere form of export, but an ongoing global movement that could accumulate national wealth. I worked for the first move. ”

MBW listened to his entire speech. Here are some of the highlights …


Lee Soo-man says that “Culture Technology” – a term he coined – is the “growth engine” of K-Pop …

Lee Soo-man, he says, described SM as “systematic” [production] and management system ”.

He says he coined the term ‘CT’ to describe this system. It means ‘Culture Technology’ and allows its organization to ‘move in a systematic way’.

Lee also explained that “he decided to codify the whole process of cultural production into a form of technology, creating a formula and hand-in-hand with the knowledge and skills involved while constantly recording his development process.”

“SMS [production method] It has become a model for K-Pop production. ”

Lee added that the system was organized in four phases, casting, training, content production and marketing. “With this, I developed mine [production method] The so-called Culture Technology, which systematized the management system, ”he said.

He also explained that the so-called ‘CT’ system is the “growth engine of K-Pop” and is also the “basic operating system of SM Entertainment”. Through the process he developed, he claims that “K-Pop has become a global form of multidisciplinary art content”.

Lee added: “Now, not only Korean artists and content, but theirs [production] the system is also receiving a high level of attention worldwide.

“SMS [production method] It has become a model for K-Pop production, and will expand into SM’s CT [the] CT of the world. The Future of Culture Technology is a basic focus [of] SM Entertainment. And now I’m building a new cultural ecosystem by evolving CT from a culture creation technology to a culture ecosystem technology. “


According to the founder of SM, “by combining blockchain and metaverse technology”, the company’s content will “go beyond time and space” …

In October, we wrote how about SM Cultural Universe (SMCU)a a character-driven universe It’s similar to the cinematic multiverse created by the giant Marvel or DC comics at the heart of SM’s content strategy.

In a speech last week, Lee commented further on his views on SMCU. He explained that within the SM Universe of Culture, “all the ‘worldviews’ of SM artists will be combined”.

He added that this “worldview, vision and plan” is what SM has been preparing for a long time, “with the hope that K-Pop and Hallyu will not only be the madness of a generation, but also the content they will love.”

“By combining blockchain and metaverse technology, SM’s content will be expanded to content for all, and time and space will be transcended to bring to life this future era of entertainment that will be connected through culture.”

Lee also explained that he coined another term, ‘Metaversal Origin Story’, and that he has been “preparing Origin Stories and Worldviews”. [SM’s] artists for a long time ”.

Lee added: “All of our SM artists’ worldviews will come together in a grand virtual worldview called ‘Metaversal Origin Story’.

“By combining blockchain and metaverse technology, SM’s content will be expanded to content for all, and time and space will be transcended to bring to life this future era of entertainment that will be connected through culture.”


The ‘Play2Earn’ and ‘Play2Create’ business models are believed to be part of a new Creative Economy, where fans can generate revenue using the IP provided by SM.

Lee talked about what he calls the “Play2Create era” and the “Play2Earn” model. The creator of SM wants fans to create content inspired by SM content and generate revenue in the process.

He said in his speech that “we live in a meta-verse where prosumers can voluntarily recreate and disseminate content” and argued that “through entertainment”. [content] these prosumers who participate and create as creators, the value of [the] the original content increases ”.

“As culture moved and evolved from an agrarian society to a more stable economy, recreational activities will soon become creative activities in the P2C era.”

In February, SM Brand Marketing (SMBM), a subsidiary of SM Entertainment, He signed a Memorandum of Understanding To build a “comprehensive partnership” with the cryptocurrency exchange Binance, they call it the establishment of a global Play2Create (P2C) ecosystem.

The partnership will start in the NFT sector, and fans will be able to “recreate content and products such as games, music, dance and goods” using “tools and IPs offered on e-commerce and metaverse platforms”.

SM explained in February that “users will be able to make a profit at the same time as their own [own] originality ”.

Speaking at Stanford, Lee said: “The Play2Earn model – playing games and making money – is more common in the blockchain than just the early stages of the web and metaverse.”

He added: “As culture moved and evolved from an agrarian society to a more stable economy, recreational activities will soon become creative activities in the P2C era.”Music business worldwide

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