It is a common question in the kpop world “how much do kpop idols make in money?”. After all the group earnings, label distribution and royalty on a song are very different and confusing in the kpop industry. We have gathered plenty of information for you to solve your queries on kpop idols’ earnings.
Let us just remind you that this is a very complicated topic to talk about. None of the insiders or the artists that are still signed with the entertainment label share about their financial agreements. All the information we gathered here are the facts found on internet and assumptions that are made in media.
So, how much do kpop idols earn per month? Let’s get started.
How Idols Make Money?
There are lots of theories on how much an idol make from their album sales. Their other activities with label and how they distribute it among the members. Most of the recording label takes the 50% of the gross income and 50% to the artists, and deducts the promotional expenses, payments to songwriter and music producers from the artist’s share while some of the labels distribute 10-20% net profit/ income to the artist and takes the remaining which technically is same.
These are the common policy on how the artists are signed to the label. Besides music, idols get extra income sources as well. Appearance in variety/ music show, radio guest appearance, commercials and concerts are other alternatives for the idols to make money.
Another major and strong source of income is royalties, if the idols write and make their own music and the music is doing great in charts. If the music isn’t topping the charts the royalties you are getting is very few cents. So, it’s very important to create own songs as it is the base of their income and career. One of the major sources of income for artists is gigs and stage performances.
The idols get paid when they perform in various shows where there are lots of general people like in school and universities feast, different occasional festivals etc. The rookie artists who just debuted or don’t have much demand from people stands the stages for free for almost year unless they get that high public demand and earn image in the industry.
What is An Average Earning for An Idol?
Once a member of the boy group MBLAQ, Jung Byung-hee known as G.O stated that a not so popular and not so completely unknown idol groups earns about $20,000 per year, dividing it among the members of five leaves $4,000 each which is very low comparing to how much they work the entire year without taking proper rest. Also remember this is the case for the average groups with average popularity, which is about like 95 percent of the groups in kpop industry.
The income and earnings for more popular group can be more than what we stated before. Bigger and more popular groups like BTS, BLACKPINK, and EXO etc. have far more earnings than the rest of the other groups. They are successful and insanely famous which brings them more brand endorsements, invitation as guest, and other different ads and casting.
Does The Earning and Royalty Policy Work The Same for Every Idol?
Apparently not all the idols get the same amount of royalty fees even if they from the same group, “why?” you may ask, it’s because they aren’t from the same country. Yes, the foreign idols don’t get paid as much as the Korean idols get the royalties. Few years ago Sorn a member of the group CLC explained on how she and other Thai idols are not getting the same royalties as their other Korean members.
She opened up about how she was getting almost six times less royalty payments than her other member. Just because she is a foreigner. This is very unpleasing to hear as we know how every member in groups work hard as much as other and the foreign members are getting less paid however in this case it’s not the label to blame at.
The law for entertainment varies from country to country. The differences in the entertainment laws creates problem in exchange of entertainment between two countries. The Federation of Korean Music Performers (FKMP) is in charge of collecting the royalty fee in South Korea.
The idols home country has to sign a contract with FKMP to get royalty fee. So basically it’s up to the idols home countries and South Korea’s laws and rule to come to an agreement regarding the royalty fee payment or the idol have to face the loss. This situation vary from country to country and management of label on how much less the idols will get paid.
Who is The Richest Kpop Idol Now?
The actual net worth of idols is never made public by their company or by themselves. The all net worth and revenue that idols gets are the estimated by the fans and media expertise according to their activities, social/ public images and facts that are surfaced in the internet. But if we talk about popularity, album sales, royalties and number of songs they own, we can list some richest idols. Here is some list of rich and richest idols we made.
(Note: written alphabetically)
- Choi Siwon (Super Junior)
- G-dragon (Bigbang)
- Iu (soloist)
- Jooheon (Monsta X)
- Kim jae-jong (TVXQ)
- Lisa (BlackPink)
- Monbyul (Mamamoo)
- Psy (soloist)
- Ravi (soloist)
- RM (BTS)
- SUGA (BTS)
- Woozi (Seventeen)
- Zico (soloist)
Frequently Asked Questions
How much do kpop idols make an hour? How much do kpop idols earn from concerts?
-This depends on the popularity of their art. While top bands like BTS and Blackpink earn thousands of dollars per hour. This hourly earning is quite low for lesser-known artists.
Do kpop idols get paid well?
-Yes. Kpop idols are paid really well if they have a lot of sales in their music.