Your favorite K-pop stars are making bank and largely have their international fans to thank for it.
According to a recent report by South Korea’s National Tax Service, the average annual income for Korean singers rose to 46.74 million won (about $43,000) in 2013. That’s more than 72 percent rise since 2010 when the average earnings totaled around 23 million won (or $21,000).
The report says experts largely attribute the jumps to growing overseas activities that generate more international album sales and tours — 2014 saw the most K-pop concerts ever in America.
But if those numbers still seem low for celebrity standards, that’s because they sort of are. The report notes that K-pop acts give a large chunk of their earnings to their managing agencies (some of whom house and feed the acts) while groups split earnings among band members. Though, it should be noted that there are loads and loads of K-pop acts debuting on the scene every year — most of whom do not make any impact and, thus, make very little money. The host of established acts are likely more well off than ever.
Meanwhile, Korean singers surpassed actors and TV personalities who earned an average of 37.18 million won in 2013 — a 12 percent increase from the 26.42 million won in 2010.