Thursday, October 13, 2011

Huge Economy of K-pop (Korean Wave)

You may begin to wonder how big influence of Korean Wave is to the world. According to the news coverage by Monocle on Bloomberg, the Korean Wave or it's also known as Hallyu is the biggest economy contribution to South Korea after the popular Korean brands exporter such as Samsung, Hyundai, LG etc. Another report from Wikipedia stated that Korean culture exports are predicted to reach up to $3.8 billion in revenue in 2011, a 14% increase from the previous year.

Monocle on Bloomberg highlighted that "In the global soft power stakes, Korea's pop music industry is the country's most potent weapon." Bernie Cho, head of the DFSB Kollective, an agency that assists Korean artists with marketing and branding, commented, "It's not just about the numbers, but where we're getting those numbers. The top three kpop blog sites and fan sites in English, they generate more web traffic than Korean music portals, in Korea itself."

Korean male celebrities are the highest-paid actors outside of Hollywood. According to South Korean media, Winter Sonata star Bae Yong Joon is now charging US$5million a film, the highest in Asia. At least nine other Korean male stars earn more than US$10million a year. Apart from that, Money Today's enterprise team also compiled data and created a ranking list of exactly how much top Korean celebrities earn through Commercial Films (CF) deals by categorizing them into three classes (A to C) which range from US$9,000 to over US$200,000. This CF earning does not include earnings from their filming fees, albums and concerts.

The full chart was categorized into three classes, A to C, which contained the earnings of just under 1,000 singers, actors, idols and sports stars. The data was from one single year, and was provided by advertising agencies whose main jobs were to hire celebrities for corporate CFs.

“Class A” consisted of celebrities who earned over $400,000 USD; “Class B” consisted of those who earned between $178,000 USD and $400,000 USD; meanwhile, “Class C” was for stars who earned under $178,000 USD.

Analyzing both males and females together, only 69 of out 869 celebrities (7.9%) were categorized in “Class A”, while 60% of the celebrities were classed under “Class C”.

Stars that were categorized under “Class A” include Jung Ji Hoon, Won Bin, Jang Dong Gun, Ahn Sung Gi, Kim Tae Hee, Moon Geun Young and Kim Tae Hee.

Only ten celebrities aged over 40 were grouped in “Class A”; the remaining celebrities were in their 30s and 20s respectively.

Finally, a total of 10 idol groups were calculated to be earning over $400,000 USD.

Check out the full ranked list down below!
Male Celebrities:
1 – Seo Taiji – 2,000,000,000 won ($1,800,000 USD)
2 – Big Bang – 1,100,000,000 won ($970,000 USD)
3 – Rain – 1,000,000,000 won ($890,000 USD)
4 – T.O.P – 900,000,000 won ($801,000 USD)
5 – Jo In Sung – 800,000,000 won ($710,000 USD)
6 – Jang Dong Gun – 800,000,000 won ($710,000 USD)
7 – Bae Yong Joon – 800,000,000 won ($710,000 USD)
8 – So Ji Sub – 800,000,000 won ($710,000 USD)
9 – J.Y.J. – 800,000,000 won ($710,000 USD)
10 – 2PM – 800,000,000 won ($710,000 USD)
11 – Won Bin – 700,000,00 won ($620,000 USD)
12 – Song Seung Hun – 700,000,000 won ($620,000 USD)
13 – Jung Woo Sung – 700,000,000 won ($620,000 USD)
14 – Nichkhun – 700,000,000 won ($620,000 USD)
15 – Lee Min Ho – 700,000,000 won ($620,000 USD)
16 – Hyun Bin – 700,000,000 won ($620,000 USD)
17 – SS501 – 700,000,000 won ($620,000 USD)
18 – Daniel Henney – 650,000,000 won ($580,000 USD)
19 – Yoo Jae Suk – 600,000,000 won ($530,000 USD)
20 – Kang Dongwon – 600,000,000 won ($530,000 USD)
Female Celebrities:
1 – Lee Young Ae – 1,200,000,000 won ($1,100,000 USD)
2 – Go Hyun Jung – 1,000,000,000 won ($890,000 USD)
3 – Kim Tae Hee – 800,000,000 won ($710,000 USD)
4 – Jeon Ji Hyun – 800,000,000 won ($710,000 USD)
5 – Wonder Girls – 800,000,000 won ($710,000 USD)
6 – 2NE1 -800,000,000 won ($710,000 USD)
7 – After School – 800,000,000 won ($710,000 USD)
8 – Lee Hyori – 700,000,000 won ($620,000 USD)
9 – Go So Young – 700,000,000 won ($620,000 USD)
10 – Lee Na Young – 700,000,000 won ($620,000 USD)
11 – Lee Mi Yeon – 700,000,000 won ($620,000 USD)
12 – Song Hye Kyo – 700,000,000 won ($620,000 USD)
13 – Moon Geun Young – 700,000,000 won ($620,000 USD)
14 – Han Ga In -700,000,000 won ($620,000 USD)
15 – SNSD – 700,000,000 won ($620,000 USD)
16 – Jang Mi Hee – 600,000,000 won ($530,000 USD)
17 – Kim Hee Ae – 600,000,000 won ($530,000 USD)
18 – Kim Nam Joo -600,000,000 won ($530,000 USD)
19 – Ha Ji Won -600,000,000 won ($530,000 USD)
20 – Han Ye Seul - 600,000,000 won ($530,000 USD)

(Source: Money Today)

Note: We perceive that these top celebrities earn a lot from the list above but majority of their earning incomes go directly to their management companies. All the Korean celebrities are signed under slavery contracts for more than 10 years with the management companies in order to pay off their training, investments spent by the companies etc. Some female celebrities are not allowed to date within 5 years.

Korean Wave emerged in popularity with its Korean dramas and k-pop in China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Hong Kong and other Asian countries in 1999. Since then, Korean Wave begins to rise and create the niche markets for Asia, Europe and the North America regions through popular social media sites like Facebook, Youtube, Tumblr, Twitter, DramaFever, Crunchyroll and Hulu. In the recent news, the Hallyu wave is shaking up in North Korea as well. The residents in North Korea are still forbidden from receiving overseas broadcast channels thus, they smuggle DVDs and CDs illegally from South Korea.

Even the government in South Korea acknowledges the impact of Korean Wave to their tourism industry. Tourism to South Korea has reported a drastic increases since the Hallyu. From 2003 to 2004, tourism increased from 2.8 million to 3.7 million foreign visitors. In 2007, 6.4 million foreign tourists visited South Korea, making it the 36th most visited country in the world and it's expected to exceed 8.5 million in 2010, as reported by Wikipedia. Most of the tourists come from Japan, China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. The Korean National Tourism Organization (KNTO) has implemented a tourism marketing strategy which promotes the popular destinations and culture through various entertainment shows, drama clips by using famous Korean celebrities (Hallyu stars) as PR ambassadors to Asia and the world.

Visit Korea 2010 Haru campaign : An unforgettable day with 10 Hallyu stars in Korea.
(Unfortunately, I can't find the latest Visit Korea 2011 commercial with the top Hallyu star, Kim Hyun Joong)

On the other hand, KOTRA hosted an event to seek ways to help local makers of game, animation, characters and other contents to venture into the overseas markets. During the event, Digitrove in the United States and Ace Adworks of South Korea agreed to jointly produce "SHOW" a 3D animation program, in line with the biggest popularity and influence of Korean Wave (Hallyu) from its diversity of the cultural content to the global market. World-renowned production companies have also showed some great interests in South Korea's musicals, animations and other contents, adding that they highly regard Korean content.

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