Given the huge success of BTS, impressive debut of TXT, and recent acquisition of Source Music and Pledis Entertainment, it’s no surprise that Big Hit Entertainment is one of the highest-earning agencies in K-Pop. In 2019, the company earned a staggering ₩587.2 billion KRW—around $489 million USD. But where did it all come from? According to Big Hit Entertainment company documents, here are the agency’s six revenue categories, ranked from lowest-earning to highest-earning.
6. Advertising, Broadcasting & Events – 3%
In 2019, 3% of Big Hit Entertainment’s earnings came from advertising, broadcasting, and event revenues. This equates to around ₩17.6 billion KRW, or $14.9 million USD.
This category likely includes BTS and TXT’s appearances on television and at events, as well as any money earned from CFs.
Advertising, broadcasting, and event revenues used to represent a much bigger portion of Big Hit Entertainment’s earnings. When BTS first debuted in 2013 and hadn’t yet built a fanbase to market to, 56% of the company’s revenue fell into this category.
5. IP Licensing & Miscellaneous – 9%
In 2019, 9% of Big Hit Entertainment’s earnings came from IP licensing and other revenues. This equates to around ₩52.8 billion KRW, or $44.8 million USD.
Big Hit Entertainment earns licensing revenue from intellectual property like BT21, BTS World, and the BTS Mattel dolls. It’s unclear what other revenue sources are included in this category.
This revenue category has been fairly steady over the years. While it fell to 4% in 2016, it began rising again in 2017, likely due to the launch of BT21.
4. Media Content – 13%
In 2019, 13% of Big Hit Entertainment’s earnings came from media content revenues. This equates to around ₩76.2 billion KRW, or $64.7 million USD.
Media content likely includes any earnings from series like TXT’s TALK X TODAY and BTS’s In The Soop as well as movies like Break the Silence and Burn the Stage.
Over the years, media content revenues have begun to represent a higher proportion of Big Hit Entertainment’s earnings. In 2013, they accounted for just 3%.
3. Albums & Music – 19%
In 2019, 19% of Big Hit Entertainment’s earnings came from albums and music revenues. This equates to around ₩111.4 billion KRW, or $94.6 million USD.
This category includes revenue earned from digital streams and downloads as well as physical album sales.
Between 2014 and 2018, this was the main way Big Hit Entertainment earned its revenue, peaking at 52% in 2016. However, the percentage dropped sharply in 2019, showing that the company now earns far more from other income sources.
2. Merchandise – 23%
In 2019, 23% of Big Hit Entertainment’s earnings came from merchandise revenues. This equates to around ₩134.9 billion KRW, or $114.5 million USD.
Merchandise includes any BTS and TXT-related products sold by Big Hit Entertainment, from lightsticks to clothing to accessories.
Merchandise sales have grown steadily over the years. In 2013, when BTS had a very small fandom, just 1% of revenue came from merchandise.
1. Concerts & Fan-Meetings – 33%
And the #1 earner for Big Hit Entertainment is BTS and TXT’s concerts and fan-meetings. In 2019, 33% of Big Hit Entertainment’s earnings came from concerts and fan-meeting revenues. This equates to around ₩196.6 billion KRW, or $164.3 million USD.
TXT’s STAR in US showcase tour fits into this category, as do BTS’s numerous concert tours.
Last year, the percentage of revenue earned from from concerts and fan-meetings more than doubled (from 14% in 2018). This is certainly down to BTS’s wildly successful Love Yourself world tour, which had a staggering total attendance of 1.02 million fans.