On April 25, the way K-pop albums are produced and sold came under scrutiny when ADOR CEO Min Hee Jin held a press conference to criticize the entertainment industry.

The recently revealed sales of American pop star Taylor Swift's new album in a week are less than half of the sales of No. 1 K-pop group in terms of 1st week of albums sales. Even taking into account the differences in Billboard's counting methodology, it is an indicator that the K-pop record sales market, which is built on fandom, is extremely overheated.

Taylor's 11th official album, The Tortured Poets Department, sold 1.91 million physical, vinyl, and other traditional album units in the week, according to Billboard. It topped the Billboard 200 by about 220,000 copies of Beyoncé's Cowboy Carter.

Meanwhile, if you include it in South Korea's 1st week of sales rankings, a similar metric, it barely cracks the top 20. Based on the Hanteo Chart, the top three all-time first week of sales rankings for albums sold in the first week of release are “SEVENTEENTH HEAVEN” by SEVENTEEN, which was released on October 23 last year, with approximately 5.09 million copies; “★★★★★(5-STAR)” by STRAY KIDS, which was released on June 2 last year, with approximately 4.61 million copies; and “ISTJ” by NCT Dream, which was released on July 17 last year, with approximately 3.65 million copies.

This phenomenon, dubbed “album inflation” in the K-pop industry, began after the COVID-19 pandemic, when several agencies made album sales a key way to secure revenue. With random merchandise and fan autograph sessions as drivers, they have been able to exponentially increase album sales by leveraging the purchasing power of their strong fandom.

Some credit the rise in popularity and status of K-pop globally. However, it is difficult to conclude long-term growth due to the high proportion of “bulk buy purchases” where buyers, mainly in China, purchase dozens of albums at once. More than 1.14 million of the initial sales of Stray Kids and 1.07 million copies of NCT Dream, which ranked third, were sold through Chinese bulk buys.

The industry's “push” to get album orders first and fill sales is a well-known practice" said Min Heejin, CEO of ADOR, at a press conference on the 25th. “It is not good for the fans and singers that they go on buying albums over and over again, as well as the market as a whole", she criticized.

original post: here

1. This is indeed strange. Seriously, why is the first week of sales that important...

"Near Shibuya Park, boxes of Seventeen's BEST albums were being discarded. If they're going to throw it away like this, does the album and its sales have any meaning anymore? What are they gonna do about the trash?"

3. The titleㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ I just read it quickly and laughed

4. Someone said that Seventeen surpassed Taylor Swift?ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ they are talking nonsense

5. Earth-yah, I'm sorry


7. This isn't Seventeen's fault though

8. How important is the first week of sales that people have to go to such extent...

9. Seventeen who are selling more physical albums than Taylor ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ

10. Just sell the photocards alone...

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