Surpassing BTS and BLACKPINK, EXO is the richest Kpop group as of 2022?

Despite boasting immense global impact, neither BTS nor BLACKPINK is the richest Kpop group in 2022

BTS and BLACKPINK have been conquering the world and topping worldwide music charts. However, popularity doesn’t translate directly to earnings, and in an industry as competitive as Kpop, it’s better to earn a handful before fame fickles down. 

Below are 5 highest-earning Kpop groups according to SCMP, and the rankings may surprise you. 

EXO (1 billion USD)

Nicknamed the “Nation’s Pick”, EXO once ruled over Kpop with their excellent vocals, impressive choreography, and gorgeous visuals.

As it turns out, EXO is the richest Kpop group as of 2022, with their total net worth ranking up to 1 billion USD, 6 times higher than BTS and equivalent to top US celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Jay Z. 

While such a number is not verificable, media sites like KpopStars, Kami, and Channel Korean claim that EXO’s worth a billion dollars. On the other hand, there is also information that each EXO member boasts an individual net worth of around 7-10 million USD. Meanwhile, other news sites such as Sportskeeda and Otakukart, report a lower total of around 100 million to 130 million USD. 

While EXO does not enjoy international impact as huge as BTS, it’s impossible to deny the group’s influence in Korea. According to Forbes, the group was among Top 5 most powerful celebrities in Korea from 2014 to 2018. 

On the other hand, Popnable analyzed the earnings of EXO in the past 7 years, and quoted an average income of 2.5 million USD per member from 2016 to 2022. 

2. BTS (120-150 million USD)

According to Sportskeeda, BTS have a net worth of 120-150 million USD from album sales, tours, brand endorsements, and music royalties.

The same news site also reported that BTS brings in a whopping 3.9 billion USD to the economy of Korea – more than many multinational companies’ total earnings. 

According to Celebrity Net Worth, within 2019 alone, BTS earned US$170 million from their “Love Yourself World Tour” – more than any American band in the same year, except for Metallica. 

The idol group also collaborates with brands like Baskin-Robbins, LeSportsac, Skechers, Mattel, Casetify, Tamagotchi, VT Cosmetics, and Jamie Wander.

In 2022, after releasing new album “Proof”, the group also launched a new game, BTS Island, which is themed around the group’s quest for fun and relaxation as they arrive on a mysterious empty island.

BTS members used to reside at Hannam the Hill, one of the most expensive residential buildings in Korea. According to Lifestyle Korea, each member also boasts their own luxury apartments, each of which cost around 7 million USD. 

With such high earnings, BTS is also known for being “charity angels”, and once donated 1 million USD to help people suffering from financial setbacks during Covid-19. According to CNBC, the idol group also donated another 1 million USD to the Black Lives Matter movement.

BLACKPINK (62 million USD)

BLACKPINK is considered a pillar of YG Entertainment, with net worth amounting up to 62 million USD and generating huge profits for their company. 

Since their debut in 2016, BLACKPINK has been topping music charts around the world, and recently has cemented their “global star” status with high rankings on Billboard. They have also worked together with international celebrities like Lady Gaga, Cardi B, Dua Lipa, and Selena Gomez.

In 2020, the girl group made history on Spotify as “How You Like That” debuted at the 5th position in the platform’s Top 50 Global Daily, setting a record for girl groups both in and outside of Kpop. The track then continued to rise in music platforms and earned the 2nd position, becoming the highest-ranking Kpop song in Spotify history. 

BLACKPINK also establishes strong influences in the fashion realm, with each member representing luxury designer houses like Dior, Calvin Klein, Chanel, YSL, Celine, Bvlgari, Tiffany & Co, etc. 

With millions of USD in possession, the group used to reside in Han River Bamseom Apartments – one of the most luxurious accommodations in Seoul. 

TWICE (35 million USD)

Nation’s girl groupTWICE boasts a total earning of 35 million USD, with an impact huge enough to become the only Kpop group to be listed among Forbes’ “30 Under 30 Asia”. In 2019, the girl group also made history as the the first Kpop girl group to ever hold a dome tour in Japan. 

JYP, which has been cementing their position in the Kpop industry with artists like Stray Kids, ITZY, GOT7, and NMIXX, is considered one of K-biz’s big 3 entertainment companies, and this is partly due to the success of TWICE. 

TVXQ (30 million USD)

Before the appearance of BTS, TVXQ, who debuted in 2003, took the world by storm. Despite it having been a long time since their prime, the boy group is still among the richest out there, with net worth around 30 million USD, according to Sportskeeda.  

Once a 5-member group, only U-Know Yunho and Max Changmin remain in TVXQ. However, with just 2 members, TVXQ managed to set a new record in Japan, becoming the 1st international artist to sell over 1 million tickets for a single tour in 2018. 

The duo recently released their new Japanese album “Utsuroi”, which has been ranking high on Japan’s Oricon. 

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