Recent reports of JBJ’s sales and net profit suggest that JBJ may have started out as an underdog but has emerged as a winner.
JBJ debuted in October 2017 and consists of members Kim Yong Guk (Jin Longguo), Kwon Hyun Bin, Takada Kenta, Noh Tae Hyun, Kim Dong Han, and Kim Sang Gyun. The members were all former contestants who hadn’t made it to the top 11 on Mnet’s “Produce 101 Season 2.”
Kakao M (formerly Loen Entertainment) and CJ E&M jointly invested and produced JBJ while FAVE Entertainment, a label under Kakao M, took charge of the group’s management.
After their debut, JBJ released two mini albums and participated in active promotions including a solo concert and an overseas tour. 22 million albums were sold and the group even grabbed their first win on a music show.
JBJ recently finished accounting for the work they’ve done so far. According to sources, their sales amount to roughly 4 billion won (approximately $3.7 million) as of February while net profit is estimated at 20 to 30 percent of the sales. Kakao M and CJ E&M each claim 25 percent of the net profit while the members and their agencies take 50 percent. How the profit is divided between the agency and the member varies according to each member and his contract with the agency.
A staff at one of the agencies shared, “When we first launched JBJ, the initial sales goal for the seven-months promotion was 7 billion won (approximately $6.5 million). At this rate, I think we’ll be able to wrap up promotions with the goal roughly reached.”
Another agency’s representative further explained that JBJ didn’t simply aim for higher profit. “Compared to other idol groups, operating profit and net profit ratio to sales aren’t high,” they said. “Because we began the project for fans, the original plan was to show quality content. We pursued the best quality rather than profit. From music production to music videos, the members’ rooms, hair shops, and the quality of performance stages, we’re proud to say that we’ve paid attention to and made investments in every aspect.”
It was also pointed out that JBJ’s achievement was remarkable considering that the group wasn’t the winning team on “Produce 101 Season 2.” One staff commented, “It was a new project that added energy to the industry.”
Unfortunately, JBJ’s promotion comes to an end in April. On March 14, it was revealed through an official statement that JBJ’s contract would not be extended, with their promotions concluding on April 30.
A source at one of the agencies explained, “The co-investors, the production company, and most agencies and members were eager to extend their promotion. However, we finally concluded that we should respect the opinions of some agencies and members who disagree. We all feel sorry for the fans.”