Our favorite idols are often seen enjoying a luxurious life; traveling all over the world, riding fancy cars, wearing high fashion brands, buying buildings, and more. However, these successful idols are only a select few of the bunch. Not only do you need talent but also great financial investment by an agency to reach the top.
According to reps from entertainment agencies, producing an idol group is like "playing a lottery with a better chance of winning." Munhwa Ilbo states that out of 10 idol groups, only 2 survive. Despite the low chance of "winning the lottery", many entertainment agencies take big risks and even financial loss in the hopes of becoming the top 2 out of the 10.
It's revealed that rookie idols get paid about 300,000 KRW (275 USD) to 500,000 KRW (458 USD) per music show performance. However, an entertainment agency faces a financial loss of about 3,000,000 KRW (2,749 USD) to 5,000,000 (4,581 USD) per rookie idol's music show appearance after counting the costs for stage outfits, hair, makeup, food, transportation, and more.
A CEO of a medium-sized entertainment agency explained, "You can expect to have about 10,000,000 KRW (9,162 USD) financial loss per week to have the rookie group perform on all 3 major music shows."
With the recent news about the tragic suicide of Hero Planet's CEO, the "dark side" of the entertainment industry is coming to light. On the other hand, idol groups from small agencies such as G-Friend and BTS, are also gaining attention and praise for making their way up to the top from the bottom.
Comments stated, "I hope kids don't easily dream of becoming an idol after just watching the successful ones... TT You need to meet a good agency and survive the tough trainee days... It's a bloody competition", "It's a lottery with a better chance of winning, indeed", "BTS had trouble in the beginning when they first debuted but they really made it with their talent. You can't deny that agencies play a huge role on rookie idols."