Kim Soo-hyun lowered appearance fee to 300 million won per episode “Foreign OTTs sweep up talented actors and productions”

It was reported that the per-episode appearance fee for actor Kim Soo-hyun, who appears in "Queen of Tears", is 300 million won. This is also said to be significantly reduced

When Kim Soo-hyun appeared in Coupang’s original series “One Ordinary Day”, which was released in November 2011, it was reported that he received 500 million won per episode. When reports surfaced that Kim Soo-hyun was receiving 800 million won per episode for “Queen of Tears“, officials actively stepped forward to clarify. An official stated, “The reported 800 million won per episode is an absurdly inflated amount. Kim Soo-hyun actually reduced the amount compared to his previous work.”

The total production budget for “Queen of Tears” is known to be around 40 billion won. If calculated at 800 million won per episode, Kim Soo-hyun’s appearance fee alone would amount to 12.8 billion won, which is one-third of the total production budget.

kim soo hyun-kim ji won

It seems that Kim Soo-hyun is receiving a lower per-episode appearance fee than in his previous work to alleviate the production cost burden amid recent difficult drama conditions.

However, local OTT companies still find a per-episode fee of 300 million won burdensome. It was explained by industry insiders that until recently, the ransom for lead actors was 100~200 million won.

Foreign OTTs such as Netflix and Disney+ have drastically increased the pay for lead actors in Korean dramas. According to the OTT industry, the appearance fees for lead actors in Netflix and Disney+ productions are more than double those of broadcasting companies.

With their substantial financial resources, they are sweeping up talented actors and productions. Recently, it was reported that lead actors in Disney+ productions received 400 million won per episode. The per-episode appearance fee for Lee Jung-jae, the lead actor in Netflix’s original series “Squid Game Season 2”, is said to be 1 billion won.

The appearance fee for IU, who appears in Netflix’s drama “When Life Gives You Tangerines”, is reported to be 500 million won, but the production company denies this.

However, even production company representatives have come forward to say “Famous actors demand 1 billion won per episode“, putting the actors’ high fees in question.

kim go eun

Kim Go-eun appeared on YouTube and admitted “I think it’s a matter of conscience and responsibility as an actor to receive a fair pay“, acknowledging the increased appearance fees for actors.

According to a “Actor Wages” report released during last year’s National Assembly inspection, the appearance fees for lead actors exceed 100 million won per episode on average. Many actors receive 200 million won per episode. Foreign OTT productions pay even higher rates.

Just a few years ago, domestic OTT platforms were pouring out numerous productions, but the decrease in drama investments is attributed to the skyrocketing fees for lead actors.

Wavve has no dramas to offer this year. In 2022, Wavve released 4 original dramas, but last year, there were only two, including “One Day Off” and “The Deal”.

Even broadcasting companies are seeing a decline in dramas. SBS has no weekday dramas. Production companies refuse to produce dramas without platforms predetermined to take them.

An industry insider stated, “The production cost per episode for miniseries on terrestrial channels is around 500~800 million won. It’s impossible to cast famous actors.”

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