Even with less than a year’s worth of activities, hit rookie group I.O.I has already reaped about 10 billion won (approximately $8.3 million)!
An industry insider revealed on January 5 that from just the 10 advertising contracts that I.O.I has signed, the group has earned an estimated amount of more than 2.5 billion won in sales (approximately $2.1 million). I.O.I has been models for nearly everything under the sun, from instant noodles to school uniforms, and even banks. Most of the contracts were signed before official activities had even started.
The girls have also collaborated with most of the influential magazines and pictorials, such as Marie Claire. An industry insider estimated that I.O.I earned, at the very least, above 30 million won from pictorials (approximately $25,000).
For music sales, it’s been observed that their earnings amount to more than 1 billion won (approximately $800,000). From their debut song “Dream Girls” to the most recent “Very Very Very,” their music releases have enjoyed such long-standing success on the charts that the revenue generated has far surpassed the fees paid to Loen Entertainment for distributing their releases.
A source said, “I.O.I’s songs are still on the charts on music sites.” They added, “Music sales have surpassed 1 billion won. It’s at least 1.1 to 1.2 billion won (approximately $900,000 to 1 million).”
Participating in events has earned the group another 1 billion won. An event organizer revealed, “The cost of each event appearance by I.O.I is between 30 to 35 million won (approximately $25,000 to $29,000). If they participate in about 30 events, they’ll have earned about a billion won.”
The group’s upcoming concert “Time Slip – I.O.I,” their final activity before disbanding, is also a significant part of their earnings. Tickets were all snapped up within a minute of opening, with each priced at 77,000 won (approximately $64). Telecom services like KT Mobile are also offering live streams of the concert for 20,000 won (approximately $16).
Furthermore, the I.O.I members also have their own activities under their respective agencies. A source from the music industry said, “If [we] add up product placement fees, broadcasting appearance fees, etc., the revenue from I.O.I’s group activities and the members’ own activities likely amounts to nearly 100 billion won.”
The distribution of I.O.I’s earnings after deducting cost of expenses is as follows: 25 percent to their producing agency CJ E&M, 25 percent to their management agency YMC Entertainment, and 50 percent to the members’ individual agencies.
A spokesperson from one of the members’ agencies said, “When a new girl group debuts, we usually run a deficit in the first few years. The cost of producing the album and filming the music video, among other things, is usually more than the profit earned from activities. [But] I.O.I’s sales are really shocking. More than anything, the name they’ve built up for themselves through activities cannot be bought with money. It’s really a huge success.”
What has been your favorite part of I.O.I’s promotions?