The “Big 3” entertainment agencies in K-Pop has forever been SM Entertainment, YG Entertainment, and JYP Entertainment. They’ve been dubbed the Big 3, not only because of their actual sizes as big companies, but also because of their reputations as industry leaders since the first generation of the genre.
Then, with the rise of BTS and some merges that took place, Big Hit Entertainment has officially-unofficially been invited to the club — making it the Big 4. While the term “Big 4” is not as commonly or legitimately used, K-Pop experts and fans both know that Big Hit Entertainment has grown well enough to be included alongside the OG3.
And with the first half of 2020 being over — though heavily affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic across the globe, Sports Chosun reported on these agencies’ revenue as of; and the numbers are wild!
1. SM Entertainment
During the first half of 2020, SM Entertainment profited ₩6,400,000,000 KRW ($5,370,276 USD) in revenue. While against the pandemic, SM Entertainment has been unable to hold tours and concerts, the agency remained busy focusing on its group, subunit, and solo promotions — all across groups like EXO, Girls’ Generation, and Red Velvet. Especially with NCT‘s 127 and Dream both making solid returns to the scene, SM Entertainment pushed for K-Pop globalization — and made bank in the process.
2. YG Entertainment
“Recovering” from the agency’s multiple controversies uncovered in 2019, YG Entertainment has profited ₩200,000,000 KRW ($167,821 USD) the first half of 2020. As its idol groups like BLACKPINK and rookies TREASURE continue to steal the spotlight — and as its massive actors line-up continues to star in hit K-Dramas and Movies, the agency is expected to stay in this upward mobility.
3. JYP Entertainment
As the house of two of the most prominent girl groups in K-Pop, JYP Entertainment raked in ₩19,200,000,000 KRW ($16,110,829 USD) in revenue during the first half of 2020. With both ITZY and TWICE dropping mini-albums, the agency stayed reigning over the industry. Plus, the agency’s experimental TV show Nizi Project turned out successful — allowing the agency to stay in the limelight despite the pandemic. With NiziU scheduled to officially debut the second half of 2020, JYP Entertainment is likely to keep outdoing its original “Big 3” league-mates.
4. Big Hit Entertainment
Last, but definitely not least, Big Hit Entertainment proved itself worthy of claiming a spot in the “Big 4” with a whopping ₩49,700,000,000 KRW ($41,703,553 USD) in revenue. As revealed in detail at the recent corporate briefing, the agency is expanding nonstop in all sectors — with groups BTS, TXT, and the managing label artists GFRIEND, SEVENTEEN, and more. Experts don’t doubt, as the agency is set to be listed on the Korean stock market, that it will only profit more in the second half of 2020.