Income ranking of AKB members: Money-wise, election results doesn’t matter that much!

  July 3, 2012

Money-wise, election results doesn't matter that much!

Income ranking of AKB members: Money-wise, election results doesn't matter that much!

These days, when it comes to the word “election”, AKB48’s general election has become tremendously popular that sometimes people have an impression that it’s more popular than the national elections. And this year, AKB48 4th election was aired on Fuji TV live on June 6.

As most of people expected, Oshima Yuko won the election. The runners-up was Watanabe Mayu who made a big leap from 5th spot she got last year. Sashihara Rino, who has become a TV sensation this year with her Hetare character, got 4th position.

The point that had got the most of the attention was “Where will Maeda’s votes go?”, which mean “who those people who voted for Maeda last year vote for this year?”

Members who have drastically increased the number of votes they got from last year were Watanabe Mayu, Sashihara Rino and Matsui Jurina, but what drew our attention the most is, of course, Sashihara Rino, who increased by almost 50% (22,000 votes) from last year.

Related article: How much is Sashihara Rino earning per month?

Probably the decisive factor for her big leap is her regular TV appearance in Waratte Iitomo, but it’s surprising that even for AKB48, which is based on Stage performance in the tiny theater in Akihabara, appearance in major TV programs will have a huge influence on their popularity.

Another surprise is that Oshima Yuko, whose fans had run a magnificent campaign which was dubbed something like, “Get back 1st spot after 2 years for Yuko!!”, decreased her votes in a very large-scale (14,ooo votes), while Kashiwagi Yuki only decreased a little 3,176 votes.

This basically means if this pace would continue, Oshima Yuko will be overtaken by Watanabe Mayu or Sashihara Rino.

But even Oshima Yuko might be going to lose to Mayuyu or Sashiko in the near future, her position in this ranking will be secure for a while.

income in 2011. Pro Ogi means Ogi production.
This ranking is made by Yucasee Media based
 on their own investigation. (not confirmed by the members)

Around the time when this years election was held, the “income ranking of AKB48 members” were disclosed. The winner is Acchan, followed by Shinoda Mariko, Itano Tomomi, Oshima Yuko and Kojima Haruna.

There is no surprise in this ranking at all, and familiar faces dominated the list. Though Tomochin has increased from 5th to 3rd, best five members are the same as the last year.


So here is the big question.
Why don’t Mayuyu or Sashiko show up in this ranking?
This is probably because they have an image that have their own quirks (which are not accepted positively by everyone) and their fan base are not as broad as top 5 members in the money ranking.

Sales of records, TV shows work fee, etc. affects their incomes but the most decisive factor is , of course, commercials work fee, especially when they are featured “solo” in commercials. But to get this job offer, they have to have a broad fan base spans every generation and gender.

So no matter how high their positions in the election will be, as long as their public image is not suitable to market products to the general public, these members won’t get commercial offers and thus have little effects on their incomes.

According to a president of a major agency, even top-class actress can’t earn much money from Drama or Movie works. Even the most prestigious “Monday 9(PM)” Drama only pays 30 million yen ( more or less US$ 293,220 ) for one season (3 months) at the maximum. As for movie it only pays 50 million at the maximum. Dramas or movies take up long hours and make it impossible to participate in other works. So it’s by no means can be said to have a high ROI (return on investment)

While commercials sometimes pay tens of millions of yen just for one Ad, which is exactly “a money maker”. And this is the whole reason why agencies hate “scandal” so much.Looking at this year’s income raking from commercial work, there’re names of 2 members from AKB48, namely Maeda Atsuko and Oshima Yuko.

Acchan got a huge media exposure through her work for global clothing brand Uniqlo’s casual line, “g.u.”, and Oshima Yuko is often dubbed “Commercial queen” as she starred in 19 commercials last year, including the solo appearance in Final Fantasy XIII-2’s TV Ad campaign.

It actually started with her blog. She is originally a huge fan of Final Fantasy series, and when she wrote her passion and devotion to the game series, people at Ad agency and the game company saw her post, and it lead the commercial offer for her. To those who are engaged in advertising industry, it’s one of their routine to read popular personalities blogs or SNSs regularly. 

By the way, commercial work fee for Oshima Yuko this year has scored 45 million yen per commercial, increased from last year’s 25 million yen. Acchan has been overtaken by Yuko but there’s little difference as she earn 44 million yen per commercial. As she now started to focus on her career as an actress, it’s likely that commercial work fee for her will increase to overtake Yuko again.

But what they must fear about is “scandal”. Anyway, even being involved in a relationship is prohibited in AKB, and recently, Sashihara Rino was revealed her relationship with her boyfriend in a weekly pictorial magazine, and demoted(?) to HKT. Probably this leads to a severe decrease of her commercial endorsement. Whether she will make a comeback or just gradually become forgotten from public eyes, many are still paying attention.

(Skip: they talked how much Miyazaki Aoi suffered the severe income decline after her and her husband’s scandal)

Maeda Atsuko is enjoying a thriving year, as she doubled her income to 40 million yen, and won the ranking for 2 years in a row.

She is also having a thriving year as an actress as she starred Fuji TV’s Drama series “HanaKimi 2011“, the mid-night Drama series “Majisuka Gakuen 2” which has somehow become a huge sensation (among young audience), and she played the main cast of Movie “MoshiDora ~ What If the Manageress of a High School Baseball Team read Drucker’s “Management”?“.

Now Acchan is 20. She started her career as an idol when she was 14, and run all the way to the world pop phenomenon, the summit of the all active idols in the world. But there’s no limit to things. There is a legendary actress, Yoshinaga Sayuri, who has been in this business for over 50 years. It’s said to be that commercial work fee for her had been over 100 million yen per commercial until recently.

Source: Yucasee media, Shukan Post via  moneyzine