• jilyn199519

    Okay Im alittle (Read:VERY) shocked at Super Junior’s placing.
    Seriously?
    I thought they were the ones that spreaded Kpop around the globe last year.
    Sure, they had no US album or anything,
    but we got to know that a huge bulk of their album sales comes from overseas.
    Restricted to just Korea and Asia? I don’t think so.
    Besides, their concerts are highly wanted around the world (not just Asia).
    I don’t see why they did not achieve the best placing.
    Even if Forbes is about money and stuff, they sold the most albums.
    hmm…

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/YQ53WK5K4DPXQ5DIBKDELB6WPE Camille

      Thing is, it’s the power list IN Korea. Super Junior are nowhere in nugu status, but everyone they’re more famous outside of Korea than in Korea itself. Now, they’re more of famous for being famous. Sure, individually, some of them are few of the most popular idols in the scene: Siwon, Heechul, Eunhyuk, Leeteuk, Donghae, etc. through all of their individual gigs and own respective fanbases. As a group though, they’ve never been in the same level as DBSK, Big Bang, or SNSD, all of whom manage to be popular with huuuuuuge fanclubs, as well as also be very well-known to the majority of the Korean public that don’t follow idol groups at all.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/K7MVR2CQELHXYDKVDUFPJ4D66M sarah anisarahma

        seems you know everything. are you Korean?

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/YQ53WK5K4DPXQ5DIBKDELB6WPE Camille

          Nope. A close friend of mine is Korean, though, and she keeps me updated on things whenever she’s on extended visits there. :)

      • Anonymous

        They have around the same fanclub numbers as the top 3, but they have a lot of controversy which the Korean public don’t like. They are also getting older so they are not gaining new young fans since they would be more adjusshi age than Oppa age to the new kids. They are also seen more as variety idols, than heir music the last few years. The Korean public know them, they just don’t give them the recognition they give the other 3. They are still the most popular Korean act overseas from what I’ve noticed.

      • http://twitter.com/Sophstravels Sophia

        Nugu status? What does that mean?

        • Anonymous

          Nugu is similar to “newbie”.

        • Anonymous

          Nugu is similar to “newbie”.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/YQ53WK5K4DPXQ5DIBKDELB6WPE Camille

    That’s always how DBSK was though, ever since they debuted in Japan. They’d do an awesome round of promotions in Korea once a year then be gone the rest of the time to focus in Japan. It makes sense that they (and even JYJ) rank lower than others. They’ll always be the cream of the crop, revered by their fans, the press, and the general public, but no one will deny that DBSK (the current and the old one) is past its prime. They’ve been around for 8 years now. Had the lawsuit not happened, they could’ve gone even further than they already had.

    Kim Taehee cemented her spot in the A-list ever since “Stairway to Heaven” and “Love Story in Harvard” became huge hits years ago. She’s not the best actress ever, far from it, really, but she’s popular and can afford to just live off of her endless CF deals if she wanted to. That’s where she stays relevant and will stay relevant in for years to come.

    I think many K-pop fans seriously underestimated the fame of actors and actresses in Korea. Shin Sekyung’s more relevant to the general Korean public than a good 80% of the idols her age, including her ex-boyfriend Jonghyun and the rest of his SHINee buddies.

    • Anonymous

      I personally don’t think that dbsk are past their prime. I think the breakup tore the fandom in half and they never regained the momentum they were building up before the breakup. Just look at Big Bang, they have been together for 6 yrs and their fandom is stronger than before.

      • http://twitter.com/alianessa Alia Nessa Utami

        I don’t think DBSK gained any momentum before break-up. 

        After their mirotic promotion, DBSK did almost nothing in Korea. God, the amount of CFs HoMin did in 2011 alone trumps the amount of CFs DBSK did during and after their Mirotic promotion. The only exception, their fandom was still so freaking strong at that moment. However, after 2008 and before the break-up, DBSK focused on Japan and SNSD-or idol groups started to become super popular due to hits that DBSK lost their light in general public. The only thing relevant DBSK-wise in general public during 2009 is their break-up news.Actually, DBSK lost their general public attention after 2006, right at the moment they fully focus in Japan for their Japanese activities. It doesn’t mean so much to fans tho bcs we can see them growing musically in Japan or so.

        Also, OP, I’m not really surprised SSK did that high. Speaking matter-of-factly, in SK actresses/actors are much more relevant than idols. I’m actually surprised DBSK did #15 bcs IMO they literally did almost nothing in SK during 2011 bcs all they did is just to ~comeback~, some CFs, and then went to Japan and be a cash cows there.

        • Anonymous

          First of all your opinion seems to be formed from the pov of a SK fan. Second of all DBSK has/had a massive following in Japan that was gaining momentum at the time of the group’s break up. Years of work garnering fans in Japan pretty much shattered overnight.
          Lastly there aren’t too many actors or actresses who had sold out arena tours or platinum record sales overseas last year.

          • Anonymous

            If what you meant was their Japanese activities, then I’d have to agree that they gained momentum and it was all shattered because of the lawsuit. But those huge following kind of seen even in recent TVXQ, seeing how 985,000 people sent application for their dome tour (not included public sales).

          • Anonymous

             I meant the whole DBSK fandom in general not just SK or just Japan… Afterall, at the time of their breakup DBSK did hold the Guiness world record for the world biggest fanclub…

  • Anonymous

    I’m actually surprised at Yoo Jae Suk’s ranking.  I’ve always viewed his popularity to be higher than that of Kang Ho Dong, who’s had his share of scandal this year.  Now I’m not sure what sort of difference there is in influence between one rank and another but even with that YJS and KHD’s rankings are vastly different.

    mind you I’m not well versed in MC popularity in Korea so maybe I’m just mistaken. 

    • Anonymous

      YJS is popular with ppl between 10s – 40S while KHD has a broader fan base of ppl in the teens to elders. Older ppl like KHD because he was a champion traditional Korean wrestler (similar to sumo) in his younger years.

  • kwenchanayo kreah

    Actually it isn’t accurate, cause not all celebrities submit their financial earnings to Forbes, some keep it private.  So the ones that are included in the top 40 list are only those who have submitted their financial earnings.  Mostly, its their agencies who submit that record..

    Some top actors and actresses are more private so they dont submit their earnings that is why they are not on that list.

    • Anonymous

      IT’s not just earning, but their influences in South Korea as well 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001916642407 Vic To Ry

    2008 The Korean Forbes

    #1 Kim Yuna 
    #2 BigBang
    #3 Wonder Girl

    • Anonymous

      DBSK is #11 in 2008? :O

  • http://twitter.com/Laava90 Lava

    “He’s like that bit of biscuit that always falls in your tea no matter what.” This line had me cracking up for ages!! >__<

  • http://weeatlemon.blogspot.com conanblue

    I can’t believe a bunch of teenagers are the most powerful people in Korea. I’m not sure if that should be a good thing or a bad thing. Also, the domination of K-pop. I know that they’re huge over there, but 70% of the list? That’s unbelievable. I can’t deny their talent, but I just feel not okay with this. Maybe because I’m just so used of actors in the US version. The only actors, or anyone in the film industry really, are only two people who are mostly known for their beauty than talent. Okay, so Shin Se-kyung has it in her, but I don’t think she’s the best young actress out there. What about the directors? Or the legit musicians? Or, I don’t know, socialites or whatever? The list seems very black and white and, like every other list or rankings and whatnot, it’s just another popularity ranking. Sure, it’s mostly about money, but I don’t know. It just feels iffy to me.

    Do you have a link as to who are in the rest of the ranking? I feel like I can’t make a final verdict before actually seeing the whole list.

    • Anonymous

      Korea is tiny compared to US when it comes to cultural exports. Compared to American or British actors or musicians who makes hundreds of millions for just waking up in the morning Korean entertainment industry has only a handful of actors or directors who can sell theater seats in the overseas market. That’s why Kpop artists have charted Forbes since the groups mentioned can sell out concert venues and albums overseas raking in millions if not hundreds of millions in revenue.

      • http://weeatlemon.blogspot.com conanblue

        Ah yes, I just realized that even though many Korean films are truly brilliant, none of them gets even remotely the same kind of exposure as K-pop. Sometimes I feel bad, because in terms of quality, Korean films have been really stepping it up lately while K-pop have been relatively stagnant and sometimes even boring recently. If only international films can get as much exposure as Hollywood movies, who have been relying way too much on huge budgets and poor story lines these days.

        • Anonymous

          Keep your eyes open this year for Park Chan Wook, Bong Joon Ho, and Kim Ji Woon’s American directorial debut…
          Also, Kpop is getting boring because every producer and record label has decided to jump on the idol group bandwagon over flooding the market with mediocre idols…

          • http://weeatlemon.blogspot.com conanblue

            That’s cool! I hope they can still retain their charm without being dragged into the Hollywood money-making machine.

          • Anonymous

            I hope so too… Hollywood is basically responsible for killing John Woo’s career.

  • Anonymous

    You know, this isn’t the first time Forbes shows its bias. Their 30 Under 30 List was so ‘white’ that it did not feature a single African-American brilliant mind, revealing that these lists are predominantly media-oriented. Their most worldwide powerful women lists tend to be dominated by 70% of American names even though the world outside America does not recognize many of those names (and the stereotypes they rely on for their judgments are astonishing; after all, what could possibly be the reason for Michele Obama ranking in #1 other than being the wife of a president?). Billionaire power lists reveal a preference for enterprisers than investors; makes one wondering if these guys have learned anything with our past economic crisis.

    I tend to dismiss Forbes’ attempts at making lol-lists, but this time I went to check their criteria as I was curious why BoA was disqualified from the top 20. Considering, you know, it’s about powerful celebrities…? So here’s the criteria Forbes used last time, and I presume the same used for this one:

    1 – the most-searched names on South Korea’s Internet portals
    2 – the celebs’ annual income and donations to charity 
    3 – number of endorsements
    4 – mentions in Korean and international media
    5 – the number of magazine cover appearances.

    Some K-pop sites explain the selecting process in this way:

    “They first gathered a list of the most-searched celebrities from portal sites, then trimmed the list by keeping the top 100 that had appeared on many variety shows, dramas, movies or was active in sports. Then they examined how much each celebrity earned with one filming of a CF or a drama episode. Then an examination of how frequently they appeared on music videos and on the first page of various magazines and took over one whole page of a printed newspaper.”

    Well, that makes sense. It has nothing to do with power though, but more with companies’ skills at promoting their celebrities. That also explains why 2AM ranked in #8 position last year (yeah…).There’s also a visibly underestimation of overseas popularity and recognition, even though these lists claim to explain the expansion of K-pop fever. Unfortunately they did not take into account that the reality of South Korea is different than the other realities, where idols are slaves to the entertainment business rather the other way around. Again, these lists purely reflect media visibility and not actual influence or power.
     
    Another aspect to consider is which critics were involved in the list making, and what were their interests. These lists are never accurate in reflecting reality, but they hold power in dictating and influencing public opinions. Some celebrities I have no idea what the hell they are doing there (Kim Tae-hee), others I have no idea WHY they are still in there and ranking so high (Kang Ho Dong).

    Now aside from criticism, there are always positive things about these lists. They do tend to reveal underrated names to the general audience and do not focus too much on music and drama activities. Which is good. As for music celebrities, I think this list is better than last year’s which was terribly male-oriented and only underlined the gender pay gap in SK. 

    • Anonymous

      i have the same problem with this list because it’s heavily skewed towards visibility and accessibility. they’re not even counting number of endorsements, they’re counting the number of ads each endorsements films. so if you happening to be endorsing 4 different varieties of pizza and each of them has an ad, then according to forbes that’s 4 ads. but what about another star who gets paid much more for endorsing a product that films only one ad. does that necessarily mean they’re less powerful?

      and what about a company that markets its stars differently or a star that chooses to not be exceptionally visible but still holds incredible power? seo taiji shows his face once every 2 years if he can help it and shows up in an article once every year, but he’s still the highest paid cf endorser in the business and someone with huge influence. but he’d never make this list. same with bae yong joon or jang dong geun.

      i was surprised to see kim tae hee so high on there but she’s one of the cf “it” girls and unlike shin min a, has been active in tv both in korea and japan this past year. and the sheer amount of press kang ho dong (good or bad, forbes doesn’t care) got for his scandal last year would keep him on the list.

    • http://twitter.com/LulcKathy kathy

      Exactly, this list is really just a popularity/income ranking of celebrities in Korea, K-culture expansion is purely a false claim. If the list was really based on contribution to K-culture expansion, the ranking would have gone a lot differently, because local popularity does not reflect international popularity.

  • Anonymous

    looks like forbes has got hallyu fever and that makes this list look even more ridiculous than usual. the top 5 looks fine but the rest is quite suspect.
     
    b2st is the biggest surprise, especially over 2pm. b2st did better sales-wise this year but they didn’t beat 2pm by much. 2pm did better in japan and did an asia tour. b2st has started their world tour. but the biggest difference is cfs. 2pm equals bigbang in the number of cfs they have and both groups rank much higher than other boy groups when it comes to cfs. b2st took over bigbang’s fila contract and fila’s sales promptly fell 30% in that quarter. given the list’s kpop bias, they definitely need to be on it, though i’m not sure about the top 10.

    and there’s no good reason for yoo jae suk to be that low. i can see how forbes’ criteria would put him there but to think he has less power than the rest of this list, except maybe 5-6 other people/groups, is ridiculous.

    suju’s rank is not surprising. their “hallyu” prowess is not really extraordinary any more since most groups are also branching out into other countries with favourable results. some like 2pm, bigbang and dbsk are pretty much their equals depending on which country you poll. and suju doesn’t do particularly well in one of the most profitable hallyu countries – japan.

    dbsk’s rank is similarly not surprising.

    • Anonymous

      woAH, 30% that’s a lot.

    • http://twitter.com/Sophstravels Sophia

      I suspect you don’t know this – but Super Junior have never official debut in Japan, not sure why. Quite frankly, thats were the cash is!

      Strange that Yoo Jae Suk is so low and maybe B2st scored so high is based on its future potential?

    • Anonymous

      O: Is there an article where it says that FILA’s sales dropped by 30%? I would like to see that *_* curious

    • http://twitter.com/LulcKathy kathy

      Emm… SJ never debuted in Japan, how well do you expect them to do? They are actually selling very well for a group that has had no promotion there. The reason they are placed at 16 is because they don’t do cfs in Korea, unlike the people/groups above them. Number of cfs have major effects on the ranking because cfs bring the most cash.

    • Anonymous

      O_o 30% Are you for real!? Oh I don’t think SJ ever debuted in Japan. Not sure why though?

  • Anonymous

    No, its not accurate. Its actually quite laughable imo Even if i do agree on some points

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PZTDM22TIZIEUL2A3ALLRLFFQE Elizabeth

    I guess what my Korean friends told is true. Homin seem to be irrelevant now in korea due to the split, and Sm is doing nothing to prevent this.

    They still have Japan but in korea the general public doesn’t care for them, only inside fandom they are popular and with all the fighting it seems that they are stuck.

    JYJ are lucky that they are doing well in dramas and musical, because of that now they are known more widely.

    • cancertwin2

      It’s not actually a big deal.
      The same thing happened when DBSK5 went away to Japan for extended periods of time. They were mentioned but not as much when they were actually in Korea.
      The way that the fickle Kpop industry works is, out of sight out of mind. If you’re not actively promoting in Korea then you are put on the back-burner.
      The fact that they even made this list despite only being active in Korea for the first part of 2011 attests to their popularity. A lesser Kpop act wouldn’t even be honorably mentioned.

  • Anonymous

    I guess the list makes sense from a pop idol point of view. But why has the Forbes list focused so heavily on entertainers? I feel like South Korea is stuck in the high school mentality where it becomes more a question of popularity as opposed to power. Can we all grow up, and focus a little more on the brilliant minds that the country churns out?

  • Anonymous

    It’s a list of who’s most popular and how popular this year, not so much power and influence. I vote knetzens for most powerful in the entertainment. They have the power to empower fame and then taken it away while telling you to go die. Beast had a great year, but didn’t earn that much money or showed up anywhere enough to be higher than some below them. I think the announcing world tour helped them a lot (being the first to do so). For Cubes sake I hope it turns out to be a good $200 million investment. Their tour is either going to make or bankrupt the company.

    • http://twitter.com/LulcKathy kathy

      I thought SJ announced world tour first? I guess my time-line is messed up.

    • Anonymous

      Agree on Beast. It’s too fast IMO. I’ve seen the reality of k-pop artist who needed to sell their tickets free everywhere in order to fill up seats and everything, I don’t want it to happen to BEAST (it had happened for United Cube Concert tho). I just hope the tour will be profitable, even though not much.

      • Anonymous

        Yea, I dont know how they’re affording to invest $200 million on a works tour, promote their other acts, and debut a new boy and. Even their big investor JYP isn’t having the most financially profitable year. The business side just looks iffy.

  • Anonymous

    How are you not familiar with freaking YOO JAE SUK!? 
    ಠ_ಠ

    • Anonymous

      my first thought when i see this list is: yoo jaesuk should rank higher!!!! haha. xD

  • Anonymous

     HoMin ranked a little higher than what I expected though. You are right when you said they really did almost nothing in Korea in 2011 (only comebacks and some CFs), but they still somewhat managed to get #15 and still higher than one of the most active star in Korea in 2011 (T-Ara), and DBSK didn’t even manage to get ranked in 2010. Sales wise, they are better than JYJ in Korea, but general-public wise, JYJ are more known due to popular dramas and musicals. HoMin still rule Japan however, whatnot with their 550k-attendees-tour, almost 1 million applicants for dome tour, and huge single sales. Popularity in Korea doesn’t mean much to them because their popularity in Japan means much more huge chunks of money.

    The one that bugged me is the “failed CFs” you mentioned though. HoMin helped Missha to beat The Faceshop (the consecutive incumbent for 6 years) in yearly sales and helped Shilla Duty Free experiencing huge profits after their contracts as models. Not to mention other high-class CFs. Not featured in as many CFs doesn’t mean you have necessarily failed CFs, IMO.

    having said that, I actually agree on the list :)

  • cancertwin2

    My biggest qualm with lists like these is the measurement they use to quantify “influence” or “power”. It just seems a bit intangible especially in the world of Kpop.

  • Mara Hamilton

    OP how can you not be familiar with Yoo Jae Suk the guy is THE best MC and incredibly funny as hell. How long have you been into kpop because even new fans of kpop know about Yoo Jae Suk. OP watch family outing, running man, happy together and countless variety shows. The guy is like the main mc for almost half of variety shows

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/Z55DR7S3GYJOUDUMZOIK6M4PA4 dhea

      tell me about it.. yoo jae suk is the “National MC”

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Christopher-Sim/100001939586089 Christopher Sim

    Yoo Jae Suk in the last 3 spot? wtf. Did the people who made the list even know anything about the korean entertainment industry.

  • arina25

    personally my no 1 spot goes to  Yoo Jaesuk…everyone in and outside Korea loves him…

  • seo-keroro

    how about KIM HYUN JOONG???

  • t.biscuits

    I was a lil’ suprised writer didn’t know Kim Tae Hee, I was like ‘Really??? “

  • Riiaru

    Yoo Jae Suk = 19?????? ?!!?!?! In previous years he made it to Top 10, and he’s only getting better. I’m gonna go look for 2012 and 2013 results and hope they actually put up an accurate ranking now.

  • sali chikhladze

    okay but come on when it comes to wealthy choi siwon is the first :