YG, SM Entertainment, and CJ E&M See Massive Increase in Exports in 2012

yg sm cj agency soompi

Following our previous report on the financial state for the K-Pop industry’s biggest companies, a report has been released by the Korea Creative Content Agency (henceforth named Content Korea) and the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism that details the overall health of the creative content industry for 2012, which includes the K-Pop industry as a whole.

First the general picture.

  • The companies that are represented in the report are Danal EntertainmentLOEN EntertainmentCJ E&M, SM EntertainmentSoribadaYedang EntertainmentKT MusicNeowiz Internet CorpCandle MediaYG Entertainment, and lastly JYP Entertainment.
  • According to Content Korea’s 2012 Contents Industry analysis report (music industry specific), total exports for the music industry in 2012 was approximate US$166.4 Million, while total sales for the industry in the same period was US$805.9 Million.
  • This means that foreign exports made up approximately 20% of total sales for the industry in 2012.
  • SM Entertainment‘s total exports for 2012 were approximately US$94.83 Million, a 115.7% YOY (Year Over Year) increase.
  • In 2012, SM Entertainment‘s foreign exports made up a whopping 61% of total sales within the company.
  • YG Entertainment‘s total export in 2012 were approximately US$48.92 Million67.8% YOY Increase.
  • The export gap between SM Entertainment and YG Entertainment is narrowing, with the gap just 1.92%
  • JYP Entertainment posted some dismal export results for 2012. Total exports for the company was approximately US$1.16 Million in 2012.
  • This represents a 55.3% drop in exports YOY for JYP Entertainment
  • CJ E&M saw the biggest export increase in 2012 with US$14.46 Million, a massive 348.9% YOY increase.

The data points that will probably interest our readers are the three major agencies (SM, YG, and JYP), so we’ll mainly focus on those companies for the sake of brevity. Discussing every company posting exports will probably see us sitting here for the whole day. Note that this article will mainly be focused on the export performances of the above companies. General financial information leading up to 2nd Quarter 2013 has already been detailed in our previous article.


First off, SM Entertainment‘s total exports for 2012 were approximately US$94.83 Million (exchange rate KRW1000 to US$0.92)  out of total sales of approximately US$154.29 Million. This means that in 2012, SM Entertainment’s foreign exports made up a whopping 61% of total sales within the company, which goes a long way in explaining SM Entertainment’s strong push into foreign markets in the last couple years. In comparison to 2011, SM Entertainment’s exports has increased by 115.7%, going from approximately US$43.96 Million to US$94.83 Million. This also means that SM Entertainment has seen their exports increase for two straight years as SM Entertainment’s export figures for 2011 were a 13.7% increase compared to 2010.


However, it will be interesting to see if SM Entertainment will be capable of topping or even getting close to the increase they saw last year for this year. Previous reports have already stated that SM Entertainment’s exports have dropped 68% in 2013 with Content Korea’s 2013 1st Quarter Contents Industry analysis report showing a 31.5% decrease in exports for the music industry in general compared to 2012 4th quarter. SM Entertainment also reports similar drops to their exports in the 1st quarter 2013, with exports totalling US$15.64 Million. This is a 32.7% decrease compared to the previous quarter and a 36% YOY quarter decrease.

092812_smtown_3d_japanSM will hope large scale events such as SM Town will help export figures in the later parts of 2013

However in the last two years, SM Entertainment has seen substantial increases in exports during the 3rd quarter reporting period. In 2011 3rd Quarter, SM Entertainment’s exports had increased by 83.8% compared to the previous quarter with 2012 showing similar results with a 59.1% increase compared to 2012 2nd Quarter. SM Entertainment will be hoping that 2013 will show a similar trend or there is a likelihood that their exports could be trending down compared to 2012.


Next is YG Entertainment, who saw their exports grow from approximately US$29.14 Million in 2011 to approximately US$48.92 Million in 2012, a 67.8% Year Over Year growth rate. YG Entertainment did not post any export data before 2011 so the only comparison we can make is from 1st Quarter 2011 to 2nd Quarter 2013. However in 2012 in general, YG posted constant increases in export throughout the year, going from approximately US$3.6 Million in 1st Quarter 2012 to a massive US$22.27 Million in 4th Quarter of 2012. SM Entertainment in comparison showed some fluctuations in their exports, with 2nd quarter and 4th quarter of 2012 showing negative growth compared to the previous respective quarters. 


YG Entertainment’s 2013 1st Quarter export figures was approximately US$15.3 Million. This is 31.4% decrease compared to the previous quarter but a staggering 322.8% YOY quarter increase. What’s more interesting is that the export gap between SM Entertainment and YG Entertainment for 1st quarter 2013 was approximately just US$300,000.


In comparison, the export figures between SM Entertainment and YG Entertainment during 1st quarter 2012 was US$24.4 Million and US$3.61 Million, respectively. In simple terms, the gap between SM Entertainment and YG Entertainment’s exports has dropped from 85% to just 1.92%.

g-dragon coup second teaser picAlbums like G-Dragon’s “Coup D’etat” might see YG Entertainment surpass SM Entertainment in exports for the later half of 2013

The export gap has been slowly narrowing between the two companies since 2nd quarter 2012, with YG Entertainment catching up in exports during 2nd quarter and 4th quarter with the gap being 41.4% and 4%, respectively. SM Entertainment only managed to further the gap in 3rd quarter 2012, with a export gap of 57%.

Next: YG Entertainment and CJ E&M