CD sales rise as pandemic ends and K-pop goes global

BTS sold 2.16 million copies of “Proof” in a single day. [BIG HIT MUSIC]

When “Proof” hit the market on June 10, 2.16 million copies of the BTS CD were sold in a single day. The boy band sold 2 million copies of “Map of the Soul: 7” when it was released in 2020.

Seventeen, a HYBE group, sold 1.76 million CDs in a single day last month.

As the pandemic lifts, more albums, invariably in CD format, are sold.

In Korea, many people buy music in physical media in order to get promotional items, such as meet and greet tickets. Sometimes they buy many copies and throw away the CD to get the giveaway and help increase sales for the bands or bands they support.

According to a report from Hyundai Motor Securities, last month, 9.96 million K-pop albums were sold, up about 93 percent year-on-year. This is a significant increase from the previous record of 7.62 million copies in June 2021.

Cumulative sales from January to May totaled 28.65 million, an increase of 38.6% over the same period last year.

In May, Seventeen sold 2.24 million albums and Tomorrow X Together sold 1.63 million. Together, their sales accounted for 40% of total K-pop album sales that month.

Lim Young-woong, a solo artist, has sold 1.4 million albums, NCT Dream 670,000, Le Sserafim 410,000 and GOT7 400,000.

HYBE groups sold 48% of all K-pop albums that month.

Album sales are important given that most consumers today opt for streaming services and buy songs in digital format online.

The increase in sales is partly the result of the expansion of K-pop groups overseas, including BTS, Blackpink, Seventeen, Stray Kids and Twice.

Recognition of K-pop has increased during the pandemic as many teenagers who stayed home due to social distancing have been exposed to K-pop through YouTube, Twitter and other services.

K-pop’s growing influence on mainstream culture is becoming increasingly apparent.

Last month, Korean-American singer AleXa became the first artist to win the NBC-produced “American Song Contest” as a K-pop artist.

“A few years ago, K-pop was only popular in some Asian countries, and it was treated as non-mainstream music in the United States and Europe,” said Lee Hyun-ji, researcher at Eugene Investment. & Securities. “Since BTS successfully entered the US market, the potential of K-pop is developing remarkably.”

According to Gaon Chart, over the past 10 years, BTS has sold 32.7 million albums. NCT, Exo and Seventeen have sold over 10 million. Twice, Stray Kids, GOT7, Wanna One, Tomorrow X Together and Monsta X have sold over 3 million.

In May, 410,000 people attended K-pop concerts, and in June 390,000 attended. The numbers are approaching pre-pandemic levels.

HYBE, SM, JYP and YG are expected to achieve record results this year.

“As the release of new artist albums and overseas touring schedules increase in the second half, earnings estimates are expected to be revised higher,” said Lee Hye-in, a researcher at Yuanta Securities. “In addition to concert resumption, new business ventures such as blockchain and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) that entertainment companies are currently working on should see results within this year.”

BY BAE JUNG-WON [[email protected]]

Jack L. Goldstein