Since the formation of Wanna One on the June 16 finale of “Produce 101 Season 2” to the end of 2017, Wanna One is projected to make 30 billion won (approximately $26 million). This remarkable figure is an estimate for the earnings for just this last half of 2017.
The group was formed only two months ago, yet Wanna One has been omnipresent in CFs, variety shows, and music programs on top of their debut showcase and album release. Through so many activities in so little time, Wanna One has reportedly earned 20 billion (approximately $17.6 million) so far which is equivalent to that of a small firm. Taking into account Wanna One goods (merchandise) along with overseas sales, their earnings are predicted to multiply.
Wanna One’s first mini album “1×1=1 (To Be One)” was released on July 7. Stores like Gwanghwamun’s Kyobo Bookstore, had lines up to 100 meters (328 feet) long with fans waiting to purchase Wanna One’s album. The first week of sales sold over 400,000 copies, which is close to million seller veterans EXO’s, whose 4th album sold about 600,000 copies its first week. One album costs about 18,500 won (approximately $16) so 400,000 sold copies would bring about 7.4 billion won ($65 million). Because Wanna One’s popularity has only increased after their debut, their album sales are expected to increase as well.
Then, there are the online music sales. Tracks “Energetic,” “Burn It Up,” “Always,” and “To Be One” all placed high on music charts. Online music sales are calculated three months after, but with the current trend, Wanna One is expected to earn about 1 billion to 2 billion won (approximately $878,000 to $1.8 million).
In addition, Wanna One’s August 7 official debut “Wanna One Premiere Show-Con” brought earnings of over 3 billion won (approximately $2.6 million). With each ticket costing 33,000 won (approximately $29) and 20,000 seats sold out in a flash, ticket sales alone were 660 million won (approximately $585,000). This, however, is raw ticket sales not including sales from goods. Fans stood in lines starting in the morning, hours before the showcase, to buy goods such as light sticks, slogans, and figures. If an estimated one-third of fans at the showcase purchased goods, that would be another 2.4 billion won (approximately $2 million).
Wanna One merchandise is also being sold by retailers. Lotte Mart’s “Toys R US” will start selling limited edition Wanna One figurines for 248,000 won (approximately $218) on August 28 at 11 stores nationwide, with just 200 per store. TMON will sell Wanna One transportation cards and figurine keyring set for 19,800 (approximately $17) or a full set of the card with all 11 figurine rings for 217,800 won (approximately $191).
Currently, Wanna One is under eight contracts to advertise chocolate, beer, games, makeup, school uniforms, and a smart phone payment system. Wanna One’s one-year advertising contract is estimated to have a guarantee payment of 700 million won (approximately $615,090) which is equivalent to that of a top Hallyu star.
And this is all before Wanna One has started doing events. College festivals and the main event season is coming up, which is a major source of income for singers. Last season’s winners I.O.I’s event fees were reported to be 30 million won to 35 million won (approximately $26,361 to $30,754) per event, which Wanna One is expected to surpass.
With more advertising contracts, show appearances, and end-of-year events, Wanna One should earn about 30 billion won(approximately $26 million) by the end of this year. Music columnist Kang Tae Kyu said, “It was reported that the agency of international star BTS earned about 35.5 billion won (approximately $32 million) last year, so the fact that Wanna One can earn 300 million won (approximately $26 million) is amazing.”
Wanna One’s earnings will be split between CJ E&M (25 percent), YMC Entertainment (25 percent), then split between each member and their individual agencies (50 percent), which means each member and his agency will earn about 750 million won (approximately $659,025).