On July 6th last year, Melon made a major change to how the online music service calculates its real-time chart. Previously, Melon's real-time chart was updated each hour based on how much a song was streamed/downloaded in the past hour. Since the reform occurred, the real-time chart is now calculated based on the number of a song's unique listeners in the past 24 hours (hence its new name, "24Hits").
The question then becomes: How has Melon's chart reform affected the behaviour of the chart? From reading this forum, it seems like most people believe that the reform has made it more difficult for new songs to rise up the chart, especially to the very top of the chart. This makes intuitive sense, since the reform appears that it dilutes the effects of the mass streaming/downloading that often occurs when a new song is released. However, I wanted to see some actual evidence to back up this claim, so I decided to take a look at the data myself.
My methodology: I visited the web site https://가이섬.com/melon/weeklycount, which collects weekly Melon chart data for the top 250 songs in a given week (thanks to atropos for the link). Unfortunately, this site doesn't allow users to export data, so I had to manually cut and paste the numbers into an Excel spreadsheet, which was a real pain in the arse. I gathered data from the date range 2018-11-26 to 2021-05-10. From there, I rearranged the data into an easier to manage format, and assigned a rank of 1 to 250 for each week's songs.
I then used the VLOOKUP function to look up each song's rank for the previous week, and thus was able to easily determine a song's change in rank, as well as whether or not it was new to the weekly top 250. Songs that were new to the weekly top 250 were assigned a value of TRUE in a "New?" column. Next, I simply used the COUNTIF function to count the number of TRUE values to determine the number of new songs in the top 10 for a given week. The results are graphed below; the vertical red dashed line marks the date of Melon's chart reform (2020-07-06).
As we can see, it's quite clear that the number of new top 250 songs in the weekly top 10 has decreased dramatically since the chart reform. Thus, I have to conclude that it is noticeably more difficult for a new song to rise quickly (i.e. debut) to the top of the Melon weekly chart. Remember, in order for a song to be reflected in the graph above, it would have to be new to the top 250 and in the top 10. This effect is probably what Melon intended.