On June 14, the South Korean pop sensation BTS dropped a bombshell.
After their nine-year-long journey as the most successful K-Pop band, BTS on Tuesday announced that the group is going on ‘hiatus’ to focus on their individual careers with a line-up of solo projects.
The band, which has sold over 32 million albums, is a worldwide phenomenon.
BTS announced this during the BTS’ Festa dinner, where the septet group detailed plans for solo projects and explained to fans that they “need the time to take an extended break”.
The group had seven members — RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V, and Jungkook.
In the one-hour Festa video, the members reflected on their successful journey together before discussing plans for their solo projects.
RM said while they’ve accomplished tremendous feats as a band, “the members still need to develop and mature as individual people and artists.”
The band debuted in 2013 with their single album “2 Cool 4 Skool” and released its first Korean-language studio album, Dark & Wild, in 2014. The group’s second Korean studio album, Wings, was the first to sell one million copies in South Korea. By 2017, BTS crossed into the global music market, breaking numerous sales records.
In 2018, BTS released an eight-episode documentary on YouTube Premium based on behind-the-scenes footage from their Wings Tour. They then dropped a movie version of their documentary called Burn the Stage: The Movie in theaters, which reportedly brought in nearly $14 million in ticket sales worldwide during its opening weekend alone.
BTS, the money machine
According to Forbes, the group was worth $50 million in 2020 and is the 47th highest-paid celebrity in the world. Some reports claim it is worth more than $100 million now. In 2019, before the Covid-19 pandemic halted their tours, the K-Pop band had grossed $170 million on the road, more than any American band except Metallica.
Besides their music, merchandise, and tour earnings, the BTS members had received 68,385 shares when Hybe Co, the agency that manages the band, entered the stock market.
According to the Korea Times, BTS earned up to about $4.5 million for every Korean brand they endorsed—and that fee soared even higher when it came to global endorsements.
The Bangtan Boys have served as brand ambassadors for Samsonite, Seoul Tourism, Louis Vuitton, Formula E, Puma, FILA, Coway, LG, Hyundai, and Samsung, among many others. The band has been so influential that they reportedly bring about $3.6 billion to the South Korean economy.
BTS has also released products with Baskin Robbins, New Era, Sidiz, LeSportsac, Sketchers, Mattel, Casetify, Tamagotchi, VT Cosmetics, and Jamie Wander. cosmopolitan said their BTS Meal promotion at McDonald’s earned them over $8.5 million.
J-Hope is worth $24-26 million, the highest-earning member among the seven, followed by Suga at $23-25 million.
Jin reportedly spent $1.7 million in cash on his apartment. According to a Business Insider report, j-Hope spent $1.6 million, Jungkook $1.74 million, and Suga $3 million on their apartments.
Jin, who has a net worth of $20 million, makes additional money from his producing and writing credits on some of BTS’ albums in addition to their music releases and touring. He’s also ventured into the food industry by opening a Japanese-style eatery in South Korea with his brother. The leader of the band, RM, earns a lot of cash for his talent at writing songs.
Meanwhile, shares of Hybe Co plunged by a record after the band’s hiatus announcement.
Hybe sank as much as 28 per cent on Wednesday in Seoul, headed for its lowest close on record since its trading debut in October 2020 and wiping out as much as $1.7 billion in market value.