One reason of many about what makes this article so important is the recent revelations have shown that despite years of rumors, the sex tape of Kim Kardashian that established her brand and has been the most watched sex video on the Internet, its release was never a planned get rich quick scheme. Neither her mother nor Kim intended for the release of the tape in any way, shape, form, or fashion. According to sources, a third party had a copy of the tape and was negotiating with Vivid productions to pocket some easy money.
Presuming these recent revelations are true, then getting rich was never a plan, at least not about making money from the video. Ask yourself whether you would have done the same thing if you were in her position. The video is coming out in any event, and you have the choice to make some money or not. As it turns out, the video was the beginning of her celebrity fame and fortune, currently estimated at $175 million. She did not turn into a porn star but perhaps is one of the last celebrities, male or female, who will be able to turn a sex video into a celebrity career and franchise. In the 10 years since the tape was released it has added an estimated $50 million to her coffers.
Few people can go from shame to fame, and even though Kim has been able to take in $50 million from the shame, she has taken advantage of the opportunity that most people would overlook. That may be a reason to consider her to be a reasonably smart business person or just greedy. But it is hard to argue against success, whether you like the person or not.
One of her most innate business senses is that she knows her audience. These days it doesn’t matter if you are selling books or breast implants, you will have critics. Kim knows who will buy what she is selling – and the rest are of no importance to her. This may sound very cold, but it is good business. It may even be a good argument that her goal is to take advantage of the original opportunity.
In 2016, Kim Kardashian was ranked #46 in Forbes Celebrity 100 list with an annual income of $51 million. Where did that income come from? Anyone who follows her knows about her reality TV shows, which are generally thought to be a waste of time by non-Kardashian followers. You can add $5 million from the sex tape views. She has developed a “Kim Kardashian: Hollywood” app that has generated an average of $50 million over a three year period (it can be presumed she doesn’t get 100% of the take). This is another smart business move, taking her brand to mobile devices for consumption. Continuing on her technology strategy, 2016 saw her personal line of emojis make their presence felt.
It was natural for Kim to take advantage of her celebrity status to produce a line of fashion wear. One of those lines, The Kardashian Kollection, split $600 million in a joint venture with her sisters in a single year. This is only one of many collaborations with her sisters that generate profit and spread the family wealth around. Then there is the Kardashian Beauty line of cosmetics, which she receives a profit from on all wholesale sales.
You can’t ignore the scads of money companies such as Facebook make on ads, and Kim Kardashian is definitely cashing in. One digital marketing firm says that the Kardashian brand makes up about one quarter of the company’s profits. Some deals are rumored to be offering as much as $500,000 just to be able to place ads on her social media platforms. Again, though the offers keep pouring in, the current status is that Kim does not take any advertising from companies that do not positively reflect and fit in with the Kardashian brand. As was said before, she has the luxury to making a ton of money by being very selective of who she wants to market to, making her a savvy businesswoman.
One of the first things that seems odd about the reported net worth of the celebrity is all these numbers seem to add up to way more than $175 million. The 2016 list of top earning celebrities mentioned earlier has her annual income at only $51 million a year. It doesn’t take much research to verify this number, so she likely takes some of that wealth and includes it with her husband’s income, then divides by two. It is also likely she shares some of that earning power with her sisters and mother.
The bottom line is the way she has amassed that $175 million net worth is by selling to young women. It’s hard to imagine a 55 year old woman buying something from the Kardashian Kollection or downloading a Kardashian emoji. What is interesting is she has kept up her brand and her image even though she was 27 years old when the sex tape first came out. She is approaching 40, so it will be interesting to see what happens to her brand when she crosses the 40 mark. What is more likely to happen in the near future is for that net worth total to eclipse the $250 million mark.