Korea University Professor Estimates The Economic Effect Of BTS’s 2019 Fan Meetings

Professor Pyun Ju Hyun and his team at Korea University’s Business School recently estimated the economic effect of BTS’s fan meetings in Busan and Seoul earlier this year.

On July 24, the team announced that BTS’s four fan meetings had had a combined economic effect of 481.3 billion won (about $408.6 million). The team estimated BTS’s Busan fan meetings on June 15-16 at the Busan Asiad Auxiliary Stadium had had an economic effect of 135.5 billion won (about $115 million) and their Seoul fan meetings on June 22-23 at the Olympic Gymnastics Arena had had an economic effect of 345.8 billion won (about $293.6 million).

The team broke down “direct economic effect” into three areas: company profit as represented by the sales of tickets and merchandise (minus expenses), local profit in areas like venue rental fees, the cost in setting up the stage, labor costs in running the event, the cost of artists’ accommodations, food and lodging for the fan meeting participants, and domestic profit in areas like transportation and other associated costs for the fan meeting participants.

“Indirect economic effect” included creating additional consumption in the area and promoting the area for local and foreign tourists.

The team estimated the Busan fan meetings had a direct economic effect of 34.5 billion won (about $29.3 million) and an indirect economic effect of 101 billion won (about $85.7 million). The combined total, 135.5 billion won, is the equivalent of 1.6 percent of Busan’s GRDP (gross regional domestic product) last year. In other words, BTS had the same economic effect in two days with their fan meetings that all of Busan’s businesses combined would have in six days. Furthermore, it is estimated that just one day of their fan meetings had 5.5 times more of an economic effect than the 10-day annual Busan International Film Festival.

In contrast, the Seoul fan meetings had more foreign participants than the Busan fan meetings, increasing their indirect economic effect. The team estimated the Seoul fan meetings had a direct economic effect of 34.1 billion won and an indirect effect of 311.7 billion won. The Seoul fan meetings also included the profit from the V Live broadcast on June 23.

The Korea University team estimated that the combined total of 345.8 billion won was 0.9 percent of Seoul’s GRDP last year. In other words, BTS’s two-day fan meetings were equivalent to the economic effect of all of Seoul’s businesses combined over three days.

Professor Pyun Ju Hyun said, “We confirmed that BTS has had an economic effect of over 400 billion won with their fan meetings. Through this report, we have confirmed the importance of the culture industry in driving economic growth, and we perceive that events like this can be an opportunity to vitalize the domestic economy and create further opportunities for foreign tourism.”

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