After 2PM recently revealed how they distribute their income on a variety program, fans have been showing increasing interest in the different ways their favorite idol groups choose to share their income. Individual member activities within idol groups have become quite prominent lately, and the popularity gaps between members can sometimes be huge.
Most of the groups let the members who embark on solo activities keep what they earn; groups like After School and Jewelry are known for allowing individually-earned profits to remain solely with the earner. UEE, Kahi, Park Jung Ah, and Seo In Young are often coveted for the advertisement appeal, which makes them the bigger money makers of the group.
“The members and the company came to an agreement when Park Jung Ah first started her solo activities that whatever she earned, she would keep for herself. Problems will definitely arise if she’s forced to share her income with other members, after staying up all night in order to procure it,” commented Ryu Jae Hyun, the CEO of Jewelry’s agency, Star Empire Entertainment.
He continued, “When there’s a disparity in the amount that they’re being paid, it makes the members that receive less want to work harder. There has to be a difference in pay in order for the members to listen and follow their managers’ directions.”
And what about the other agencies?
SM Entertainment, home to idol groups such as SNSD, Super Junior and f(x), also allow individual members to keep what they earn on their own.
Yet other groups such as 2AM, 2PM, B2ST and 4minute prefer equality.
Despite each of the four members actively working in different solo activities (Jo Kwon’s variety programs, Changmin’s “Homme” project group, Seulong’s acting debut, and Jinwoon’s solo album preparations), 2AM splits their income equally.
4minute and B2ST follow the same rule despite Hyuna having once released a solo album and Ki Kwang doing well on individual appearances in variety programs.
The CEO of Cube Entertainment, Hong Seung Sung, revealed, “They’re receiving popularity because they are a member of their own respective groups. It might be harder for one member, but they’re all on one boat and share the same fate. Time will pass, and another member will rise and give more help. I believe that there will be more problems amongst the members when there’s a large difference in the income they earn. This is a decision we all made together when they first contracted with us.”
2PM shares their income as well, with the exception of drama appearances. JYP Entertainment’s CEO, Jung Wook, added, “We cannot reap or control the profits of another member’s hard-earned income, o we decided to leave it up to the members. Excluding drama appearances and Nichkhun’s Thailand activities, the members decided to share everything else.”
It’s interesting to see how these different groups try to troubleshoot a potentially-sticky situation. Which idol group tackled this problem best?