BTS famously started from the bottom before they rose like a phoenix to the top. As much as the fans and the boys themselves are credited for the success, Bang Shi Hyuk also famously invested hugely into the boys’ future. In an interview, he shared just how much it takes to fully train a trainee at BIGHIT Music just for a year.
It costs about ₩120 million KRW (about $96,900 USD) to train a trainee for a year. This value, although provided by Bang Shi Hyuk himself, is not specific to BIGHIT Music. He claims it to be the average cost for any company to invest in a trainee, given all the proper lessons and training. This value can rise if the company decides to send the trainee for an expensive experience such as overseas training.
Not only this, but the trainees may be provided with dorms, depending on the company. Some trainees may continue to live with their families until their debut team is confirmed. Once their debut team has been formed, the members will begin living together in dorms for a year and a half. During this time, the company will pay for lodging and food.
Thankfully, big companies such SM Entertainment, JYP Entertainment, YG Entertainment, and BIGHIT Music do not request for trainees to pay this back after their debut. This means their artists get to earn money from the moment they start promoting. However, smaller companies may ask their trainees to pay this back after they debut, and they only start receiving income once the debt is paid.
It’s certainly not cheap to put together a group!
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