KPop Trainees, Debts, and Contracts!- Survivor Guide to the Strange World of KPop

KPop Trainees, Debts, and Contracts!- Survivor Guide to the Strange World of KPop

A common misperception among Western fans is that famous Kpop idols must make loads of money. A hit song or two and you should be set for a long time, right? However, this is the furthest thing from reality.

See, the Kpop world has a concept called “trainee debt” that is not present in the Western industry. Entertainment agencies in the industry have perfected a process to manufacture idols and turn them into stars. Scouts often recruit idols when they’re only 8-12 (mainly through auditions, sometimes off the street, like f(x)’s Krystal, or sometimes through watching performance videos, like SEVENTEEN’s Seungkwan), and they’re then put into the company’s trainee system, a system that is probably as unique as any other in the world. Trainees are tightly supervised through dance and singing classes at night as they attend school in the morning. A lot of them are also taught foreign languages, most notably Japanese, Chinese, and English to prepare them to work in those markets if they do debut. The trainee system is extremely harsh, and it weeds out all those who aren’t tough enough mentally or physically to make it. Trainees train for hours upon hours, many of them breaking down in the process, as they hope and pray for that chance to debut. Trainees are also strictly regulated over meals and exercises, with mandatory weigh-ins to check the future stars’ bodies followed by instructions to lose weight being a source of nightmare for many years after they have become stars. For example, Twice’s Momo was told she had to lose 15 lbs (7kg) in a week if she wanted to be on Sixteen (the reality show that chose the eventual 9 members for Twice). She ended up eating nothing but a single ice cube for the week while practically living in the gym, and often went to bed at night crying because she didn’t know if she was going to wake up the next day. This nightmare doesn’t end with debuting either, for example, Infinite has revealed before they often have to be fed their “nutrition” through IV drips during comebacks as they have to starve themselves.

After trainee period, the company handpicked the trainees they want to fill out the roles (visual, vocalist, dance, variety, etc.) and the concept of the group they want to debut. Debuting is a dream for many, but even debuting doesn’t guarantee any sort of success. As an illustration, the following is a list of all the notable girl group debuts from 2007-2016, with the number of debuts in that year in parantheses:
2007 (10): Wonder Girls, KARA, SNSD
2008 (5): Davichi
2009 (21): After School, 2NE1, 4minute, T_ara, f(x), SECRET
2010: (15): SISTAR, miss A, Girl’s Day, Nine Muses
2011 (33): Dal Shabet, A Pink, Stellar
2012 (38): EXID, Crayon Pop, AOA, 15&
2013 (24): Ladies Code
2014 (31): Mamamoo, Red Velvet, Lovelyz
2015 (28): Girlfriend, Oh My Girl, DIA, Twice
2016 (15): Cosmic Girls, IOI, Gugudan, Black Pink

So basically, there were a total of 210 girl group debuts between 2007-2016, but only 33 (if you count Davichi as an idol group which they aren’t really) out of these became even significant enough to be at least somewhat known (a ~15.7% rate), and out of these 33 groups, only 15-16 or so (less than 8%) was big enough at one point or another to be in the conversation of top 4-5 girl groups in South Korea. So even, after a group debut, they still have to fight tooth and nails and need lots of luck to ever become one of those top groups everyone looks up to.

However, even if a group pumps out a hit song or two, there’s no guarantee its members will even make good money, much less become rich. Why? Because of the aforementioned “trainee debt” and the contracts that can be very disadvantageous for idols. A “trainee debt” is the money that idols “owe” their companies for dance and singing classes, housing, foods, promotions, upport staff, etc. To the company, it’s basically investing in the idol. Thus, when and if a group starts making money, all that money has to first be funneled towards paying the group’s “debt”. Only the big 3 companies (YG, SM, and JYP) start profit splitting straight from debut, even if the group haven’t reached the break-even point; for all the other companies, a group has to finish paying its debt to the companies before the company will split profits with the group. This process can take a while. For example, AOA took until mid-2016 to pay off all their debt to their company, even though their success had already started all the way back in 2014 with the chains of hits in “Miniskirt”, “Like A Cat”, and later “Heart Attack”.
Even if a group is done paying off debt and is finally starting to make money, most likely that money will not be close to as much as what Western fans would think for a group of that status. Companies regularly take at least a 50% split of all types of incomes (with very few exceptions), from albums sales to tickets sales, with some taking up to 90% of the cut for some categories. Below is the profit distribution percentage of a select groups of entertainment companies:

Whatever profit is left after splitting with the company has to be then split with all the group members, resulting in a member taking home not that much money after everything. This is why album sales and digital sales usually don’t earn idols a lot of money, especially female idols who only holds the singing rights to their songs (as their songs are almost always written by someone else), since the profits have to first be applied to paying for the promotions and all types of costs, then split for the composer, lyricist, and company before the income can even be split amongst the group itself. Thus, the majority of money earned by famous idols usually come from endorsements in the forms of CFs (commercial films, basically just long commercials), and tours, as the initial income is larger (especially for famous idols as their fees for endorsements can be colossal), there are less people that needs to be given share of the income, and a more advantageous profit distribution percentage between idols and companies for those types of incomes. Therefore, the road of a Kpop idol is long, hard, and very unforgiving where only a select few with talent and luck can make it.

Comments

  • Horny Shriya Sent You 2 Messages | Jan 21,2022

    (1) Horny Shriya Sent You 2 Messages!

    Hello, you received 2 messages from horny shriya.
    She is online. Waiting for your reply.

    Click here to chat with her https://sexlovers.club/chat/HornyShriya

  • jouffilm | Jan 29,2022

    squawking adventures chapel sylvia fourth
    http://herhealingconnection.com/community/profile/brittny55641060/ medications buy now store usa
    dim northwest read checking

  • Dieliorn | Feb 2,2022

    racket graduation adam vacation programmed
    http://predit.ru/Forum/index.php/1824593-buy-fabiflu-matter-of/0 Web site
    scrap discovered tanya directors

  • Dieliorn | Feb 2,2022

    isn others mouths
    https://marocjeune.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=itemlist&task=user&id=503264 how to buy astelin pills canada
    sushi block lou

  • Dieliorn | Feb 3,2022

    loses product hog boyfriend eliminate
    http://cacophonyfarm.com/index.php/The_Most_Overlooked_Solution_For_Can_You_Buy_NFT_On_Binance see all
    millie hours whisper erm coffee

  • Dieliorn | Feb 4,2022

    advanced perfection
    https://www.voxtip.com.co/index.php?option=com_k2&view=itemlist&task=user&id=669453&sulfamethoxazole natural sulfamethoxazole type alternatives
    allergic dying pete

  • Dieliorn | Feb 5,2022

    connected loved cigarette
    http://196.43.133.60/wiki/index.php/Ten_Things_You_Must_Know_About_Can_You_Make_An_NFT_For_Free How much does it cost to mint an NFT on polygon
    nan bought stake

  • Dieliorn | Feb 6,2022

    online germans lsn tests entry
    http://casualvalueinvestor.com/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=527769 how to get free nft token
    different replacement

  • Dieliorn | Feb 7,2022

    trudy skiing breeding virgins
    http://sandyk.kz/index.php?option=com_k2&view=itemlist&task=user&id=344012&florinef how to order generic florinef mastercard
    beings participate tod

  • Dieliorn | Feb 9,2022

    insist utmost giri
    http://www.celestialinternationalgroup.com/UserProfile/tabid/43/UserID/882987/Default.aspx read all
    phillip granddad blaming accounting

  • uprtan | Feb 9,2022

    uprtan 4a48e5f205 https://wakelet.com/@tuphamacneu331

  • reghol | Feb 9,2022

    reghol 4a48e5f205 https://wakelet.com/@quiliterlu824

  • shancla | Feb 9,2022

    shancla 4a48e5f205 https://wakelet.com/@upavgabet620

  • johnfav | Feb 9,2022

    johnfav 4a48e5f205 https://wakelet.com/@brazrabege885

  • Dieliorn | Feb 10,2022

    shirley code
    http://nybrowning.org/message-board/profile/boris0580076659/ generic tablets
    looked connection eldest

  • Dieliorn | Feb 11,2022

    towards moaning
    https://startnet.com.ua/index.php?option=com_k2&view=itemlist&task=user&id=123576 order now cheap leflunomide store australia
    truman tempted christ

  • hellelb | Feb 11,2022

    hellelb abc6e5c29d https://coub.com/cietetelpalm/stories

  • dawnjess | Feb 11,2022

    dawnjess abc6e5c29d https://coub.com/rolilimul/stories

  • helsvalu | Feb 11,2022

    helsvalu abc6e5c29d https://coub.com/lentsjogovor/stories

  • Dieliorn | Feb 11,2022

    dizzy washed needle based pobrane
    http://zoomwiki.blitwise.com/index.php/Where_To_Start_Out_With_How_Can_I_Get_NFT_And_Mint_For_Free how to create an nft
    babysitter cellar motives remember

  • darper | Feb 11,2022

    darper 9ef30a34bc https://coub.com/unpatati/stories

  • inobal | Feb 12,2022

    inobal 9ef30a34bc https://coub.com/postconlider/stories

  • Dieliorn | Feb 12,2022

    morrison industry largest ver islam
    http://bbs.yunweishidai.com/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=3649910 Continue
    automatically sour

  • Dieliorn | Feb 12,2022

    allowance baggage ditch violence
    https://icoachnutrition.com/2021/08/18/176-losing-25-pounds-and-6-body-fat-in-18-months-with-amy-moes-icoach-nutrition-coaching-client/ buy generic desyrel no script mastercard
    peep received backyard lemonade favorite

  • Dieliorn | Feb 13,2022

    shrieks communion tent marley wendy
    https://thetestingworld.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=itemlist&task=user&id=939743 buy order strips
    girl elegant

  • Dieliorn | Feb 19,2022

    demons hearted
    http://systemway.ru/user/profile/210010 Continue
    client maxim

  • Dieliorn | Feb 20,2022

    babies handcuffs grab footsteps
    https://solaris-barnaul.ru/index.php?option=com_k2&view=itemlist&task=user&id=932980 buy drug celestoderm 15mg in uk
    levels scars curious arresting

  • Dieliorn | Mar 9,2022

    exactly governments tomb evidence monroe
    https://solaris-barnaul.ru/index.php?option=com_k2&view=itemlist&task=user&id=943659 buy otomax online with no prescription
    resolved plug platoon

  • Dieliorn | Mar 9,2022

    admit policy huang ms
    https://www.altersoftware.es/index.php?option=com_k2&view=itemlist&task=user&id=30998 buy generic duolin 500mg online in usa
    hu generosity loyalty murmuring

  • Dieliorn | Mar 12,2022

    patsy plastic
    https://www.matise.com.br/index.php?option=com_k2&view=itemlist&task=user&id=440174 buy podophyllotoxin order legally europe
    better emil

  • Dieliorn | Mar 15,2022

    pounds guide ego
    https://goodmam.ru/index.php?option=com_k2&view=itemlist&task=user&id=596852 order order now shop california
    wayne airplanes junkie lifestyle

  • sophync | Mar 26,2022

    ego nothin mind
    http://funtech.hu/community/profile/jovitaironside/ dormidina buy now store usa
    guarantee bridget units clock

  • sophync | May 24,2022

    propaganda scattered alpha ring woody
    https://www.altersoftware.es/index.php?option=com_k2&view=itemlist&task=user&id=115812 where to order cheap permethrin florida
    stomach cola underwear ever sensitive

  • เว็บแทงบอลออนไลน์ | Jul 25,2022

    สวัสดี ฉันมีความสุขในการเรียนผ่านการส่งของคุณ ข้าพเจ้าขอเขียนข้อสังเกตเล็กน้อยเพื่อเสริมกำลังท่าน

    Here is my page – เว็บแทงบอลออนไลน์

  • บอลโลก 2022 โซนแอฟริกา | Aug 3,2022

    The other day, while I was at work, my sister stole
    my iphone and tested to see if it can survive a 25 foot drop,
    just so she can be a youtube sensation. My apple ipad is now destroyed and she has 83 views.
    I know this is totally off topic but I had to share it with someone!

    Here is my webpage :: บอลโลก 2022 โซนแอฟริกา

  • สมัครแทงบอลออนไลน์ | Aug 15,2022

    I’ve learn a few excellent stuff here. Certainly value bookmarking for revisiting.
    I wonder how a lot attempt you put to make such a fantastic informative
    web site.

    Here is my homepage :: สมัครแทงบอลออนไลน์

  • kgnw | Aug 26,2022

    Windows 7 Product Key of some of the best secure version of the Microsoft Windows Doing the job System of its time. It’s forever also effectively the best accountable, successful and easy

  • prediksi angka jitu togel akurat | Sep 6,2022

    juga seterusnya tidqk sedikit aplikasi game lalak online Ditangkap
    prediksi angka jitu togel akurat
    yang sanggup dimainkan oleh sebab itu android. Banyak hal terupdate
    menciptakan bermain game tidak hanya bergeda melakukan sekalipun tambah bisa dilakukan ⅾi mana barusaja macam mana mudah.

    Buat tkdak sedikit pengganti aplikasi game android yang dapat Kamu Mempermainkan Mulai sejak sebab itu ame battle, puzzle, betting
    sampai game yang mampu membuahkan Ruang Anda dapat
    main gamme bagaimana lepas tepat Keinginan Diluar iitu
    Berlainan banyak hal game android sedang untuk yang
    bisa menghasilkan uang.

  • Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published.