Back in 2018 when SM Entertainment‘s IT affiliate Dear U first launched LYSN, an “interest based fan community” mobile application…
… it didn’t quite take off — despite the extensive line up of all the agency’s artists from BoA to SuperM. Being dubbed “one of SM Entertainment’s biggest money-draining affiliates“, Dear U struggled with creating legitimate profit from the application.
Then, in February 2020, LYSN began featuring a service called “Bubble” — which allowed fans to send and receive realistic text-like messages with their favorite SM Entertainment idols for $3.49 USD per artist per month.
Fans immediately fell in love with “Bubble” and the super personal interaction it provided.
And thanks to the arrival of “Bubble”, Dear U has seen a spike in quarterly revenue!
Jisung: Noona, do you know what red bean yanggaeng (jelly) is…?
Paid User: Yanggaeng is delicious.
Jisung: But everyone says only old people like yanggaeng…
Post February 2020, SM Entertainment is reportedly to have garnered over ₩4,200,000,000 KRW ($3,672,944 USD) in the single second quarter of 2020.
Meanwhile, the now-cash-cow feature did find itself involved in a sexual harassment controversy. SM Entertainment announced legal action to be taken against all offenders who abuse the “Bubble” feature in inappropriate ways.