Have boy bands peaked?

With BTS going on hiatus, there’s a chance the best days of the boy band genre are behind us.

Boy bands have come a long way since Justin Timberlake fronted NSYNC with bleach blonde curls.

But with K-pop sensation BTS recently going on hiatus, there’s a chance the musical format has reached its economic pinnacle.

BTS…

… is signed to Big Hit Music, a record label owned by the Hybe Corporation. Hybe went public on the Korea Stock Exchange KOSPI index in October 2020, and quickly became the country’s most profitable entertainment agency.

Hybe Corporation:

  • Derives ~90% of its revenue from BTS, which means its valuation is a fairly accurate estimation of BTS’ market cap
  • Reached a peak valuation of $13B in November 2021
  • Lost $1.7B in market cap after the band announced its hiatus earlier this month

Despite its recent losses, the company is still worth ~$4.5B.

But how does that translate to wealth for BTS members?

Not as well as you’d think. In 2022, the group’s collective net worth was estimated at ~$100m (~$14m per member). For comparison’s sake:

  • One Direction reportedly had a collective net worth of ~$398m before splitting in 2015 (~$80m per member)
  • The Jonas Brothers are reportedly worth a collective $150m (~$50m per member)

While it’s harder to pin down a reliable net worth for the early-aughts boy band elite in their heyday, it’s clear members of NSYNC and Backstreet Boys have done well for themselves.

But BTS may not be done

When the group announced its hiatus, they promised to return to making music together at some point (something Hybe Corporation must be pretty excited about).

While being in a boy band certainly offers a lucrative financial opportunity, the lifestyle isn’t without its faults. When looking back at his NSYNC days, Timberlake says, “I looked like a moron.”

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