EXO proves that they are still the main “money-making machine” of SM even though they did not have as many comebacks as before, but some other groups surprised Knet in the rankings.
The idols from SM Entertainment are still famous for being top money makers in Kpop, earning a huge profit to keep the company in the “big brother” position of Big 3. SM artists’ sales ranking in 2018 published on a Korean website has become a topic of discussion of Knet when they see many groups that have debuted for a long time but still earn huge profits for the company. Meanwhile, the rankings of some artists go far beyond the imagination of netizens.
The revenue ranking for SM artists is as follows:
- Red Velvet
- Super Junior
- Other artists (BoA, TRAX, f(x), …)
According to the chart, EXO is still SM Entertainment‘s biggest earner when their sales account for 31%, accounting for a quarter of company sales. Last year EXO successfully held the “Exo Planet 4 – The EℓyXiOn” tour, with 425,000 tickets sold. Although they only made two comebacks at the end of the year, the number of albums sold was still reached a million, helping EXO achieve the title of “million seller” five times in a row.
TVXQ ranked behind EXO with 23%. TVXQ is still considered the “king of Hallyu” in the Japanese market and their profits largely came from this country. The group’s 2018 “Begin Again” concert attracted 1 million audiences, the ticket sales for the three Nissan stadium shows amounted to 27.1 billion won.
Other SM groups, SHINee, Red Velvet and Super Junior ranked 3rd, 4th and 5th in the chart. SHINee, though not as popular as before, is considered to have a stable performance when accounting for 14% of the company’s sales, while Red Velvet made everyone surprised because their sales are higher than Super Junior although usually, female groups do not make as much profit from albums, concerts, and products as male groups.
Another controversial name is NCT. The group only ranked 6th, accounting for only 6% of the sales figures of SM even though the company “promoted” very enthusiastically. In 2018, NCT made a comeback several times, from a large group of 18 members to small units like NCT U, NCT127 and most recently the group’s debut in the Chinese market called WayV. Despite the massive comeback, sales from NCT are not impressive, making the idea that SM is “trying too hard” on this project without taking anything back.
But there is a flow of opinions that NCT comeback a lot in 2018 but the group has not toured yet – the main source of income for Kpop idol, so the profit of sales is not much. In 2019, NCT had the first tour so the potential of the group is still very large.
The bottom spot for SNSD did not surprise netizens because in 2018 the girls only made a comeback once with the small group SNSD-Oh! GG and did not promote on the music show. Without many activities, the only album in the year sold more than 43 thousand copies, making the group’s sales accounted for 2% of the whole company.
The sales chart by SM artist drew many mixed comments from netizens. Most of them praised the power of EXO and TVXQ, while some were surprised and confused when seeing the ability to “make money” by Red Velvet and NCT in two completely different opinions:
“Oh TVXQ … But NCT and Super Junior can’t sell anything? And Red Velvet is too cool.”
“So Red Velvet has nearly the same amount of sales as SHINee, they are holding their positions. I don’t even think they sell more than Super Junior and NCT.”
“This is proof that TVXQ is still No. 1 and EXO earns a lot.”
“EXO sold so many albums that the profits were crazy.”
“Reading the original, you will see EXO’s sales mainly from the full album and the reprinted version, and TVXQ is thanks to their Japanese tour”.
“They (SM) promoted NCT like crazy and didn’t get any results”.
“NCT has its first tour this year, the group will grow.”