1:03 am - 01/29/2018

How Much Do K-Pop Idols Make?



- Acts signed to the Big 3 (SM, JYP, and YG) get paid as soon as they debut

-The other companies, generally have the "break-even" standard: Artists don't earn wages until their debt to their agency has been paid off.

-Debt includes: Training fees (classes, instructor salaries, room and board), Music production fees (studio times, paying songwriters, producers, Debut and CB fees (music video budget, promotional budget, album shoot, choreo), Other staff expenses (stylists, makeup, managers, PAs), etc.

-Average K-pop rookie group gets $4,000 US per show in Korea. Typical split is Company 90% Artist 10% split (or 80/20).

-Idols don't even get their 10-20% take until the break-even is reached. (Once it is reached take the 10-20% and divide it among how many group members to estimate what % each idol makes

-In JJCC they got more shows at the beginning, but when nugus don't catch on they get less and less shows as time goes on, yet are still racking up debts to their agency for room/board etc.

-Talks AOA as an example: first few years they were average girl group. Didn't hit it big until their 3rd year. Took them the whole third year as Top 5 girl group in Korea to reach their break-even after debts for first two less successful years + trainee days. Includes Seolhyun doing tons of CFs, Jimin getting famous from Unpretty Rap star and Choa doing variety.

-Supports Produce 101 and Mixnine for giving a second chance to idols


SM
Contract years: 7
Physical sales: Company (95), Artist (5)
Physical sales renewed: Company (90), Artist (10)
Events: Company (60), Artist (40)
Overseas promotions: Company (30), Artist (70)
Note: Divides income even if they didn't reach break-even point

YG
Contract years: 5
Physical sales: Company (50), Artist (50)
Physical sales renewed: Company (30), Artist (70)
Events: Company (40), Artist (60)
Overseas promotions: Company (50), Artist (50)
Note: Divides income even if they didn't reach break-even point

JYP
Contract years: 7
Physical sales: Company (50), Artist (50)
Physical sales renewed: Company (50), Artist (50)
Events: Company (60), Artist (40)
Overseas promotions: Company (50), Artist (50)
Note: Divides income even if they didn't reach break-even point

FNC
Contract years: 7
Physical sales: Company (70), Artist (30)
Physical sales renewed: Company (50), Artist (50)
Events: Company (60), Artist (40)
Overseas promotions: Company (50), Artist (50)
Note: Doesn't divide income if they didn't reach break-even point

DSP
Contract years: 5
Physical sales: Company (50), Artist (50)
Physical sales renewed: Company (50), Artist (50)
Events: Company (50), Artist (50)
Overseas promotions: Company (50), Artist (50)
Note: Divides income even if they didn't reach break-even point

TRUMP ENTERTAINMENT (OMONA Exclusive info!)
Contract years: 13
Physical sales: Company (99), Artist (1)
Physical sales renewed: Company (98), Artist (2)
Events: Company (97), Artist (3)
Overseas promotions: Company (96), Artist (4)
Note: Divides income even if they didn't reach break-even point


Sources:Henry Prince Mak YOUTUBE
K-Pop Fans Blogspot
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donaldjdrumpf 29th-Jan-2018 07:03 am (UTC)
My debut post AKA my first step to making Mod and dethroning showminomoney!
showminomoney 29th-Jan-2018 08:42 am (UTC)
lol congrats!
aures 29th-Jan-2018 08:32 am (UTC)
interesting how different companies divide the income so differently
from what i see it's definitely better to go for 1 company over the other in terms of income (SM keeps a lot!!)
donaldjdrumpf 29th-Jan-2018 05:27 pm (UTC)
But with SM they pay their artists a wage even if they haven't hit their break-even. So I'm guessing SM pays a better guaranteed wage but then their artists get less royalties. Plus with the exposure you get at SM and their track record of big artists, I can see why some trainees would choose them.
invinouvae 29th-Jan-2018 10:09 am (UTC)
The debt thing is ridiculous, especially the music production fee. Considering the fact that only a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of idols get famous, I don't know how so many groups keep debuting all the time.

SM is greedy, no surprise there.
fifi_moon 29th-Jan-2018 04:50 pm (UTC)
It's pretty standard in the western music industry as well - most artists get an advance for each album to cover the production costs(recording, studio time, hiring producers, etc) , marketing, living expenses and travel. Artists get whats called a mechanical royalty for each album sold this may end up being about $1.20 per album but they won't get this royalty until the record label has recouped the advance. In big artists' cases this could up millions and millions of dollars.

This mechanical royalty is outside of any publishing royalty, if the artist has a writing credit on the album they will get the publishing royalty straight away which again depending on how many songs could be maybe $3 per album sold.

(finally uses her degree in music business and commercial production)
camouflagecat 29th-Jan-2018 10:19 am (UTC)
Wow @ SM
YG is surprisingly rational from what I would've assumed lol
accioanime 29th-Jan-2018 02:13 pm (UTC)
same. The SM thing didnt surprise me, though I heard it used to be way worse, but no wonder YG artists look like their ballin and being able to afford their own apartments and cars faster
baekpedaling 29th-Jan-2018 10:30 am (UTC)
The real reason idols want to have overseas shows: that money spilt.

No wonder SM is rich with how much they're getting on physicals. DSP seems most fair in terms of all the 50/50s

Edited at 2018-01-29 10:31 am (UTC)
jyusou 29th-Jan-2018 10:57 am (UTC)
yeeesh sm
babyjenkski 29th-Jan-2018 11:22 am (UTC)
OMG at SM!
myungung 29th-Jan-2018 11:49 am (UTC)
I lol-ed at the last portion.

it's interesting to see DSP there considering they aren't that big anymore. I wonder how are the mid-tier companies, like Starship Jellyfish (and maybe Pledis?), doing this income split, since it's seldom reported on.
donaldjdrumpf 29th-Jan-2018 05:37 pm (UTC)
My babies Seventeen better be making coin! Even though there's 13 of them yikes
modestgoddess79 29th-Jan-2018 12:32 pm (UTC)
Doesn’t SM still have 10 year contracts for any idol that promotes abroad, which is everyone.
vintage_boom 29th-Jan-2018 05:13 pm (UTC)
It is 10 years but they get around that legally by having yearly renegotiations instead of being locked in to the same terms over the 10 years.
lesth 29th-Jan-2018 01:37 pm (UTC)
with that kind of ratio, I now understand why sm groups do so many concerts and events abroad...

And JYP's ratios are quite 'fair' compared to the rest.
goshipgurl 29th-Jan-2018 01:44 pm (UTC)
SM is a shithole, what else is new. The rest looks quite okay.
So in short get signed everywhere but SM unless you wanna work yourself to death with overseas promos.
donaldjdrumpf 29th-Jan-2018 05:40 pm (UTC)
Give me a 70% overseas split and I'll hop on a plane and dance and sing for y'all tbh
hyungmoney 29th-Jan-2018 01:48 pm (UTC)
that last portion already had its own post years ago and was never confirmed lol, it’s so funny to see ppl throwing around like a fact
donaldjdrumpf 29th-Jan-2018 05:41 pm (UTC)
Are you accusing me of posting FAKE NEWS?



Jk, but there's a reason I used the word "Alleged" because these figures are prob wrong lol
rainstormraider 29th-Jan-2018 02:13 pm (UTC)
I thought that last portion about splits was never confirmed and in fact never will be due to breach of confidentiality?
donaldjdrumpf 29th-Jan-2018 05:43 pm (UTC)
Never confirmed but it's plausible. Also in the video, PRince Mak inferred that JJCC took 20% of the physical sales which is somewhat in line with what these numbers suggest. But yea, I used the word Alleged because it isn't confirmed. Because I use media responsibly!
mikachi613 29th-Jan-2018 02:51 pm (UTC)
I'm loving that Prince Mak is on a roll with exposing the nasty bits in kpop (he's done a few English-language newsbites and has talked about it a lot on YouTube).
Burn those bridges, bb!
donaldjdrumpf 30th-Jan-2018 01:48 am (UTC)
Mte I'm gonna follow his channel if he comes up with something else juicy.
queenhinata 29th-Jan-2018 04:00 pm (UTC)
you broke af until/if you break even. sad tbh.
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