BTS and HYBE rock the Big 3, dominating the Korean entertainment industry

The company HYBE Labels (formerly Big Hit Entertainment) of the popular group BTS is increasingly "expanding", dominating the Korean entertainment industry.

Recently, the 4 biggest entertainment companies in the K-pop industry shared information about the remuneration of their executives. The reported figures include wages and bonuses received in the first half of 2022 based on semi-annual reports submitted by individual entertainment companies.

The Korean entertainment industry is too familiar with the 3 “big guys” JYP, SM and YG. However, in this latest report, the 3 “big guys” include JYP, SM and HYBE.

1. HYBE Labels

HYBE CEO Park Ji Won accumulated a total of 700 million KRW ($534,000) in the first half of the year, with a salary of 250 billion KRW ($191 million) and a bonus of 450 million KRW ($343,000). “Performance pay has been approved by the board of directors based on a comprehensive review of management performance in 2021,” the company states.

HYBE CEO Park Ji Won

The remuneration of Bang Si Hyuk, the chairman of the board of directors of HYBE and the company’s largest shareholder with a 31.8% stake, was not disclosed.

JYP founder, singer and producer Park Jin Young

JYP CEO Jung Wook received a salary of 156 million KRW ($119,000) and a bonus of 1.10 billion KRW ($839,000), totaling 1.26 billion KRW ($958,000). The company says these numbers are “in line with executive compensation, a base salary paid based on job duties, leadership, professionalism and contribution to the company”.


3. SM Entertainment

SM CEO Lee Sung Su received 1.89 billion KRW ($1.44 million USD), including his actual salary of 159 million KRW ($121,000 USD), along with a bonus of 1.65 billion USD. KRW ($1.26 million USD).

SM Entertainment CEO Lee Sung Soo and Tak Young Joon

SM co-CEO Tak Young Jun received 1.88 billion KRW ($1.43 million USD), including his actual salary of 158 million KRW ($121,000 USD) along with a similar bonus of 1.65 billion KRW ($1.26 million USD).


Producer Lee Soo Man – the founder of SM Entertainment and the largest shareholder with 18.46% of the company’s shares, is no longer on the board of directors, so his salary is not disclosed.

4. YG Entertainment

YG Entertainment does not disclose the earnings of its executives. It is understandable that this is because registered executives who did not receive more than 500 million KRW ($381,000) have no obligation to disclose. According to YG Entertainment’s semi-annual report, the average salary paid to 7 directors and auditors, including CEO Hwang Bo Kyung, is 139 million KRW (106,000 USD).

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