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Top 5 Richest K Pop Groups in 2019

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It's no secret that K-pop is one of the most lucrative industries in the world and has even been hailed as "South Korea's Greatest Export" by TIME magazine.
With billions of music views racked up on YouTube, the Big Four entertainment companies raking in almost US$1 billion in combined earnings, and it only shows the power and money-making ability of the industry.
But every industry has its top earners, and K-pop definitely has its fair share. Money magazine recently compiled a list of the top earning groups in the K-pop industry and the results are surprising, to say the least.

Number 1 , BTS

At the top of the list is K-pop phenomenon BTS — the seven-member boy band consisting of Jin, Jimin, J-Hope, Jungkook, Suga, RM and V — who skyrocketed to fame on the back of their wildly popular songs like "Fake Love", "Idol" and most recently, "Boy With Luv". Their revenue comes in from album sales, concert tours, merchandise — their most recent album Map of the Soul: Persona sold 3,229,032 copies in its first month in South Korea, and with their expansion into mobile games, their revenue looks set to grow even more in the coming years. In terms of concert sales, their most recent Love Yourself World Tour brought in more than one million fans worldwide and generated more than US$71.7 million in ticket sales. Is it any wonder they're the kings of K-pop?

Number 2, TWICE.

Formed by JYP Entertainment in 2015, the girl group earns second place on the list thanks to their many lucrative endorsement deals, on top of strong album and concert sales, reports Money. Their numerous endorsements deals include beauty brands such as Estée Lauder, beverages such as Pocari Sweat, and more than 30 other brands across clothing, online and mobile games, food and beverages, credit cards and more.

Number 3, BLACKPINK.

BLACKPINK is undisputedly one of the most recognisable names in K-pop right now — thanks to their ground-breaking inclusion at Coachella. Despite having only 15 songs and seven music videos under their belt, the girl group is a killer when it comes to album and concert sales. Their latest album, Kill This Love sold over 350,000 copies in China in the first week of its release and over 250,000 copies in South Korea in just eight days. Add to that their popularity in Japan and endorsement deals with brands such as Samsung, Louis Vuitton, Dior Beauty, and moonshot, and you'll get an idea of the earning power of this girl group.

Number 4, TVXQ.

Avid fans of K-pop will remember TVXQ, the boy band who skyrocketed to fame in the 2000s. The group managed to sell over 10 million physical records in the first 10 years of their career, which continue to bring in revenue for them, and are also Japan's best-selling foreign artist in CD singles of all time.  Although the group subsequently rebranded as a duo in 2011 with original members  U-Know Yunho and Max Changmin, their popularity has not diminished — their Begin Again tour sold out three shows at the Nissan Stadium in Japan and sold one million tickets.

Number 5, EXO.

Dubbed the "Kings of K-pop" by the media, EXO has been a commercial and critical success since their debut. A snapshot of their successes: Their first album, XOXO, sold over one million copies, while their latest album, Don't Mess Up My Tempo, sold 1.1 million copies in pre-sales. That's not even mentioning their wildly popular concerts — in 2018, their encore concert, "ElyXiOn [dot]", had more than 1.15 million people queuing virtually to get tickets, koreaboo reported. Topping off their revenue list includes multiple brand endorsement deals with Samsung, Nature Republic, and even the Star Wars franchise!

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