Former K-Pop Idol Reveals The Harsh Reality When It Comes To Idols Being Paid A Salary After Debuting

It is a far cry from the glitz and glamor of K-Pop!

Throughout the years, K-Pop idols have shared the huge amount of blood, sweat, and tears that go into becoming an idol. After so much work, it would only seem normal for netizens to expect artists to gain something back after debuting, which could be seen as a “wage” or some sort of “pay.”

Members of BLACKPINK are one of the top groups and seemingly earn a lot after their success | @sbskpop/Twitter
BTS is one of the top groups and earned a lot after their success | @bts_bighit/Twitter

Recently, former K-Pop idol Blady member Tina (now more commonly known as Soobin or Christine Park) had a live stream where she answered fans’ questions about the industry.

Alongside spilling about what idols do really do with their gifts, one of the questions asked was on the topic of idols getting paid. It is a well-known fact that training to become an idol is expensive. Sometimes, idols aren’t earning any money for years after they debut to pay off debt the company incurred preparing for the group.

The viewer asked, “Do all the members in the group get paid the same or do some members get paid more than others?”

In the question, the fan referred to topics such as popularity or talent. When answering it, Soobin explained that each company and contract would entail different clauses when it comes to idols being paid.

This depends on your contract, but, in the beginning, most of the members will get paid the same.

— Soobin

The idol explained that most of the time, groups pay isn’t based on members, but the initial years are based on trying to pay off the debts incurred.

You’re basically earning money so that you guys can reduce your debt and total. Basically, your group has this much debt, your group has earned this much, this is how much is going to be taken away from the total.

— Soobin

Yet, once that debt is paid off, it is up to the companies and the idols to change their contract to determine the pay, yet, it isn’t common.

From there, once you get to zero, you guys can change your contract, but most of the time, that is not the case.

— Soobin

Soobin shared her own experiences on how difficult it can be for idols to pay off their debt, with some not even doing it years after debuting.

Basically, K-Pop idols sometimes get paid a lot later, depending on how big their group gets or how well of a song is. I know a lot of groups that paid off their debt really fast, and I know groups that didn’t pay off their debt even after being with the company for a very long time.

— Soobin

It isn’t the first time the topic of money in K-Pop has surprised fans. One journalist once revealed the huge amount of money companies paid to appear in music shows compared to what they get paid for their appearance.

If they aren’t a famous idol, they don’t receive more than ₩500,000 KRW (about $370 USD). Only ultra-popular stars receive ₩500,000 KRW (about $370 USD). Normal idols only receive 100,000 KRW (on major networks). Mnet’s M-Countdown pays ₩50,000 KRW (about $37.00 USD) and asks for tax considerations.

— Lee Jin Ho

| 연예 뒤통령이진호/YouTube
Although many idols are living their dreams through being an idol, the practicalities surrounding pay isn’t as much as people expect. A group has to have significant success that outweighs the amount of money it costs to debut to see any sort of “wages” for their work.

You can read more from Soobin below.

Former K-Pop Artist Spills On Whether Idols Really Keep Gifts They’ve Received From Fans

Source: Soobeanie
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