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2020 vs 2021: The “Big 4” HYBE, SM, JYP & YG’s 1st Quarter Profits 

Published on May 18, 2021

K-Pop’s “Big 4” companies (HYBESM EntertainmentJYP Entertainment, and YG Entertainment) have revealed their revenue and profits for the first quarter of 2021. Last year, many K-Pop companies, including the Big 4, suffered losses due to the 2020 pandemic, but they are finding ways to adapt and profit in the “new normal”. Here’s how the Big 4’s first quarter profits for this year compare to last year.

4. YG Entertainment

Earlier this month, The Korea Exchange announced that both YG Entertainment and SM Entertainment had been demoted from blue-chip companies to regular mid-sized businesses due to profit losses and poor performance. YG Entertainment had been a blue-chip company for eight years, and SM Entertainment had been one for thirteen years.

tumblr_2b517d7107da65943d217e07d7032d7e_21f176f5_1280YG Entertainment artists BLACKPINK | VOGUE Korea

In 2020’s first quarter, YG Entertainment recorded ₩52,800,000,000 KRW ($4,6457,611 USD) in gross sales. The company’s net revenue was a loss of ₩ -2,100,000,000 KRW ($1,847,745 USD) largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Out of the Big 4, YG Entertainment had the lowest net income in 2021’s first quarter: ₩8.65 billion KRW (about $7.68 million USD). The company recorded ₩9.53 billion KRW (about $8.46 million USD) for their operating profit after generating ₩97.0 billion KRW (about $86.1 million USD) in revenue between January and March.

3. SM Entertainment

2020 was one of SM Entertainment’s worst fiscal years, resulting in a net loss of ₩80.3 billion won (about $71.4 million USD). Like YG Entertainment, SM Entertainment’s profit loss was largely attributed to the ongoing pandemic. Their gross sales for 2020 were ₩144,700,000,000 KRW (about $127,318,491 USD), and their net revenue was ₩1,700,000,000 KRW (about $1,495,794 USD).

aespaSM Entertainment artists aespa | SM Entertainment

In the first quarter of 2021, SM Entertainment’s reported income was ₩8.67 billion KRW (about $7.70 million USD). Their operating profit was ₩15.3 billion KRW (about $13.6 million USD) after generating ₩154 billion KRW (about $137 million USD) in revenue between the months of January and March.

2. JYP Entertainment

In 2020, JYP Entertainment saw gross sales of ₩33,900,000,000 KRW ($29,827,898 USD), and a net revenue of ₩13,400,000,000 KRW (about $11,790,378 USD).

Eiv7iyxU0AAI6Zw-scaledJYP Entertainment artists Stray Kids | JYP Entertainment

In the first quarter of 2021, the company was second only to HYBE in profits. It recorded a net profit of ₩12.0 billion KRW (about $10.7 million USD), and an operating profit of ₩13.7 billion KRW (about $12.2 million USD) after generating ₩32.3 billion KRW (about $28.7 million USD) between January and March.

1. HYBE

In the first quarter of 2020, HYBE (the Big Hit Entertainment) brought in the highest gross revenue and net revenue: ₩155,800,000,000 KRW ($137,085,148 USD), and ₩23,200,000,000 KRW ($20,413,192 USD), respectively.

E1g_XXOVIAAXUV8HYBE artists BTS | HYBE

HYBE continues to hold onto the title of top earner in the first quarter of 2021. HYBE’s net revenue for 2021’s first quarter was ₩15.8 billion KRW (about $14.0 million USD). It recorded an operating profit of ₩21.7 billion KRW (about $19.3 million USD) after generating ₩178 billion KRW (about $158 million USD) in revenue between January and March.

For more, check out HYBE’s profit growth from 2018 to now: