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Salaries of South Korea’s Top Entertainment Agencies Revealed!

The Salaries of Big 4 Entertainment Company Employees Revealed
Among SM, JYP, YG, and HYBE
Which Pays the Highest and Lowest?

Source: Online Community

As HYBE audits its subsidiary label, ADOR, and its management team, notably CEO Min Hee Jin, scrutiny shifts toward the operational dynamics of prominent entertainment companies in Korea.

How do the industry’s Big 4 entertainers —SM Entertainment, JYP Entertainment, YG Entertainment, and HYBE—renowned for producing popular idols, treat their staff?

Contrary to their perception as symbols of financial struggle, some entertainment companies reportedly offer salaries comparable to large corporations.


According to a summary of business reports from each entertainment company reported by News Tomato last month, the average annual salary for male employees of the Big 4 is 98 million won ($82,670), and 69 million won ($58,250) for females.

The highest salaries were found at HYBE. Male employees at HYBE earn an average of 128 million won ($107,970), while female employees earn an average of 87 million won ($73,450). This discrepancy is due to the company’s tendency to recruit highly experienced professionals compared to other companies.

Indeed, HYBE has recruited talents such as former Nexon Korea CEO Park Ji Won and former NCSoft Senior Vice President Jung Jin Soo. The currently controversial Min Hee Jin, CEO of ADOR, is also a former SM Entertainment employee.

The company is also known for its top-tier benefits. The headquarters includes an in-house clinic, nap rooms, and a fitness center. Employees can use the cafeteria for just 2,000 won ($1.69).

Source: Instagram@twicetagram

The next highest was JYP Entertainment, with an average salary of 111.4 million won ($94,000) for males and 79.08 million won ($66,720) for females.

JYP’s best welfare benefit is its in-house cafeteria. Through variety shows, it was revealed that employees can use the cafeteria for free, and they receive 50,000 won ($42) in welfare points each month.

Staff members are also entitled to perks such as concert tickets for artists affiliated with the company, assistance for annual summer vacations, and one month of paid leave after completing six years of service. Additionally, employees experiencing mental distress have access to psychological counseling services.

It is said in the industry that “Park Jin Young, the executive producer who values creativity, is most interested in employee welfare.”

SM Entertainment’s salaries were 90.88 million won ($76,680) for males and 61.67 million won ($52,000) for females. Employees receive welfare points and comprehensive health checkup support.

A former SM employee once sparked a discussion by posting online that all employees were given iPads to commemorate the move to a new office in Seongsu-dong.

YG Entertainment had the lowest average salaries, with 72 million won ($60,720) for males and 49 million won ($41,350) for females. Compared to the highest-paying HYBE, this is 70% of their salaries.

However, YG has gained popularity for its renowned in-house restaurant, where employees enjoy complimentary access to the cafeteria.

So, how much do the heads of these agencies earn?

Yang Hyun Suk, the executive producer of YG, known for having the lowest employee salaries, received a salary of 1.183 billion won ($998,000) and a bonus of 889 million won ($750,000) last year, summing up to 2.072 billion won ($1.75 million).

Producer Park Jin Young of JYP received a salary of 534 million won ($450,000) alongside a bonus of 1.5 billion won ($1.27 million), totaling 2.039 billion won ($1.72 million).

HYBE’s Chairman, Bang Si Hyuk, received a salary of 50 million won ($42,000) and a bonus of 300 million won ($253,000) last year, resulting in a total of 357 million won ($301,000). Chairman Bang deliberately sets his base salary at 1 won to emphasize the significance of responsible management.

SM Entertainment’s CEO, Jang Cheol Hyuk, earned a salary of 380 million won ($320,000), accompanied by a bonus of 270 million won ($227,000), for a total of 650 million won ($548,000).

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