• (SM Entertainment, YG Entertianment, JYP Entertainment, Big Hit Entertainment)
Reports show a big difference in earnings between top A-list entertainers and the rest.
17 Jan 2017 - 12:06 PM  UPDATED 18 Jan 2017 - 10:49 AM

Becoming an entertainer within the acting and music business is a dream for many-a-teenager, but for those hoping to hit it big in Korea, it appears only a handful of stars are wealthy.

According to new reports from the National Tax Service in Korea, a total of 15,423 actors and actresses reported an annual average income of 43 million won (approx. AUD$48,500) in 2015. But upon digging further into the earnings, the top 1 per cent of actors and actresses (totalling 154 people) earned a whopping annual average income of 1.96 billion won (approx. AUD$2.2 million) per person, which accounts for a massive 45.7 per cent of the total income of all actors and actresses.

When the top 10 per cent of actors and actresses earnings are taken into account the numbers are even more skewed, with the average annual income sitting at 367 million won (approx. AUD$415,000), which is 86 per cent of the total income.

This means that the remaining 90 per cent of actors and actresses earned only an average annual income of 7 million won (approx. AUD$8,000), showing a massive wage discrepancy between the top earning actors and the rest of the pack. 

It's not just the acting industry that's skewed in terms of earnings. This income imbalance is also evident in the music industry.

A total of 4,587 singers reported their income in 2015, with the top 1 per cent earning a whopping average annual wage of 3.1 billion won (approx. AUD$3.5 million), which accounts for 45 per cent of the total income earned by all Korean singers.

When taking the top 10 per cent of singers into account, the average annual wage amounts to 604 million won (approx. AUD$680,000), which accounts for a massive 88.9 per cent of the total income earned by Korean singers. 

What this means is that the remaining 90 per cent of singers earned an average annual wage of only 8 million won (approx. AUD$9,000), once again highlighting the massive wage imbalance between A-list entertainers and struggling artists.

What are your thoughts on this big wage imbalance in Korea's entertainment industry?

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