In the K-Pop industry, idols are known for making money in a lot of ways other than just through their music releases. Depending on their popularity, some have the chance to become powerhouses in brand endorsements, ambassadorships, and advertisements.
These avenues often become significant income streams, sometimes surpassing earnings from music. As in most industries, some stars shine brighter — bringing in staggering personal profits through their diverse engagements.
One such shining star is IVE‘s Wonyoung, who, according to industry insiders, amassed close to ₩2.50 billion KRW (about $ 1.90 million USD) in profit in 2023.
Wonyoung’s rise to fame and fortune is a story of strategic branding and market appeal. Reports suggest that she has been the face of not only high-end fashion brands like MIUMIU but also has had ongoing engagements with labels such as Kirsh, Innisfree, and Samsung Galaxy. The constant stream of offers from these major corporations underscores her market appeal and influence.
💡 [INFO] Jang Wonyoung amassed $ 2.05 MILLION earned media value with 17% engagements for her appearance at the Paris Fashion Week making her the 40th most influential celebrity who attended the said event.
🔗 https://t.co/qh0yaberqt#IVE #아이브 #JANGWONYOUNG #장원영 pic.twitter.com/jwRUV6reL0
— WONYOUNG GLOBAL (@WonyoungGlobal) October 22, 2022
In 2022 alone, Wonyoung filmed a total of seven individual advertisements, showcasing her versatility and appeal across different segments. This diversification not only broadened her reach but also significantly boosted her earnings.
But Wonyoung’s success is not just limited to her individual endeavors. As a member of IVE, her contributions have been pivotal in the group — selling over 2 million album copies within just nine months of activities. This remarkable achievement hints at the immense revenue generated, a portion of which undoubtedly contributes to Wonyoung’s personal income.
Wonyoung’s popularity has been soaring since her debut in 2021, as well as her days in IZ*ONE. Every song she releases with IVE tops various charts, showing her strong fan base. Furthermore, IVE is set to expand their influence with their first world tour in 2024, which will likely boost Wonyoung’s profile and earnings even further.
Wonyoung is one of the prime examples — alongside other popular icons like BLACKPINK‘s Jennie and Red Velvet‘s Irene — that K-Pop idols are more than just musicians. They are brands in themselves, capable of influencing and earning from various markets. The IVE star’s success in 2023 is a clear indicator of how profitable these ventures can be for popular idols, which explains why brand deals are so sought after by their companies.