Veteran K-Pop MV Directors Reveal Just How Expensive Music Videos Have Become Over Time

It’s a huge difference.

When it comes to everything about music videos, directors are the ones who know them best. YouTube channel AYO invited veteran music video directors from ZANYBROS, Kim Jun Hong and Hong Won Gi, to spill their secrets on “Comment Defenders”.

Kim Jun Hong | AYO/YouTube
Hong Won Gi | AYO/YouTube
Together, ZANYBROS has produced 1,300 to 1,500 music videos, and some of their most legendary pieces include EXO‘s “Overdose”, BTS‘s “War of Hormone”, and GFRIEND‘s “LOVE WHISPER”.

With over 20 years of experience in the industry, they’ve seen first-hand the growth K-Pop has had—both good and bad. Though there are many videos that were praised for being glamorous, there are more that can never reach the same level of production.

| SM Entertainment 

One comment that highlighted the difficult part of K-Pop today was, “My idol’s MV was one of the worst MVs lol. Have you ever heard of ‘cost effective’ MV? For real, their faces did everything. Actually, nah, they can’t even cover it with their faces LOL.”

Hong Won Gi did not bother to make excuses, instead saying, “This is a budget-related problem. It’s related to budget, time, and such. I apologize.”

He then brought up a worsening problem in relation to this.

It’s mainly because the production budget considerably increased.

— Hong Won Gi

It is more expensive to make a music video at present than it was a few years ago.

If you were able to make five sets before, you can only make one now for the same money…For instance, if the inflation rate is at 0.7%, the production budget goes up by 50-80%.

— Hong Won Gi

He aptly described his feelings on the situation by saying, “It’s tremendous”. One clear example of the negative effects of their increasing expenses is on employee wages. Even though the budget to pay one’s staff increased, they can still earn less than a part-time worker.

The ZANYBROS directors stressed how making YouTube-like music videos is not the answer to their problems. There are standards, after all, that K-Pop groups wish to reach.

You can make a video with just a simple idea, like YouTube. But for an idol music video, just ideas are not enough.

— Hong Won Gi

In summary, “With a low budget, you get low quality.” So next time you see a K-Pop music video, appreciate the amount of time, effort, and money that goes into it!

If you want to see more insider secrets from ZANYBROS, check out the full video below.