Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Gary is one of the Highest Music Royalty Earner

There has been so much talk on the special feature about the Top 10 Highest earners in music royalty by TVN. Kang Gary made it to the Top 10. We just want to make some clarifications.

Click here to read the review of Mr. Gae, Kang Gary's first solo mini album. 

#1. He has more than 157 songs under his name

Click here for a review of Kang Gary's single The Scent featuring Jung-In. 

Kang Gary has been writing his own raps since X-Teen days. He has registered a lot of songs and some of them never made it to recording. He has a lot of songs under his name.

#2. 1.3 Billion for The Scent is deceiving

The feature said he earned more than 1.3 Billion Won just for digital downloads of The Scent. That's gross worth and only on selected digital download platforms not on ALL digital download platforms across the world.

Take into consideration that:

  • the download platform will take a cut. FOR EXAMPLE, for a song worth $1.29 on iTunes, Apple gets 40 cents. See the graph made by Rolling Stones below.

  • Kang Gary needs to pay taxes for his income and a whole lot of other taxes. The 20 cents he gets as a recording artist and 9 cents as a songwriter is taxed. He doesn't take home the whole amount. A lot goes to the government. 

  • They divide the earnings with featured artists and co-writers. The percentage that goes to the artist and co-writers are negotiable. Jungle Entertainment (LEESSANG'S former label) gave the songwriters 100% more than standard industry rate however, the earnings are divided among the songwriters and recording artists.

#3. LEESSANG Company is different from Kang Gary

The standard 60 percent that goes to the label goes to LEESSANG Company and not to Kang Gary. I know you will say that LEESSANG Company is owned by Kang Gary and Gil anyway. That is true but the company is a separate entity. LEESSANG Company pays for expenses involved in producing the album, operational expenses, marketing and others.

When all expenses are deducted, the company still takes a cut to grow the business. Whatever is left is what Kang Gary gets as a dividend. He may get it monthly or yearly, that depends on the company arrangement.

#4. The distribution changes from country to country

US and Canada have different income distribution rules than that of UK and Asia. They don't differ all that much but still different and when you are talking about millions of downloads, a cent makes a big different.

Also take into consideration that different download platforms have different profit share.

Last Words

Take all these computations with a grain of salt. There are way too many factors to consider and even the musicians themselves, often, don't understand everything fully.

Kang Gary has been open about the fact that he is earning more than he ever expected to ever earn but the exact figures may only be determined by his banks, himself and the tax bureau of South Korea and the countries where he earns from. Yup, he pays taxes in the US too.


  1. Wow. This is so informative. Are you a CPA Mr. Raymund? How did you know all these? :D Somehow, do you have anything to do about the music industry? :D

    1. No. I work in the entertainment industry.