Sister Wives documents the lives of Kody Brown's massive family, including four wives and 18 children all under one roof. Of all the unconventional aspects of this family's life, one stands out: their financial stability. Somehow, Brown alone seems to earn enough money to keep them afloat, and many fans have a hard time understanding how.
However, looking closely, there are a few clues about how Brown makes his living. First and foremost, it is important to remember that reality TV stars are paid for their work. It may not show in the first season of a show or even the second, but as the years go on many celebrities in this genre show a level of comfort and stability thanks to their network wages.
According to a report by Soap Dirt, Brown and his family have an extremely lucrative deal by reality TV standards. The patriarch created a company called Kody Brown Family Entertainment, LLC, which collects a full 10 percent of the production budget from TLC as wages for the cast.
Those wages reportedly total about $375,000 — no small sum, though perhaps smaller in a household like Brown's with so many people to account for.
Still, Brown and his family are likely not living entirely off of the earnings of Sister Wives, even after 13 seasons. This is evident by their luxury housing, new cars and Brown's other lavish amenities. On top of that the family has taken vacations to Disneyland, sent kids to college an even staged huge spectacle weddings.
To fund this, Soap Dirt's report notes that the Brown's likely rely heavily on product placement and advertisements. The whole family is on social media, and with brands more eager than ever to get personal, organic-looking ads on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, it makes sense that they would take this route.
The Browns stand to be especially successful in the wild west of social media marketing thanks to sheer force of numbers. With 23 people in the household, they can operate as many social media accounts, and draw a different income from each one. The Browns can routinely be seen online promoting everything from energy drinks to home decor.
Finally, the latter ties into the family's best-known business — Meri Brown's Bed & Breakfast. Fans of the show know that Lizzie's Heritage Inn is a passion project for Meri Brown, but it also also brings in even more money thanks to the visibility of the family. Since the Browns are reality TV stars, brands will pay to have their products featured in the B&B, as some of Meri's Instagram posts show.