Right now, we’re seeing Lim Youngwoong fans, Kang Daniel fans, and boy group stans mass-downloading songs to get high peaks on Gaon Digital. However, this is not foreign to long-time fans.
Years ago, before the Streaming chart was implemented in 2015 (and YT Music was nonexistent), that’s how songs were consumed in the form of ringtones and traditional digital downloads on Korean music platforms. Except it wasn’t just the fandom of a group doing it, everyone did that. That’s why mega hits (like Gangnam Style, Good Day, You & I, etc.) didn’t have the longevity that characterizes hits from 2018 to now. Songs charting for more than a year in top 100 on Gaon was nearly unheard of, which is why IU’s Friday is such an anomaly.
You can look at Melon as well, since it had a much bigger market share years ago. A YouTube video from KKTop10 details the top 100 longest-charting songs on the platform. Here is a breakdown of years with most songs (How You Like That by BLACKPINK needs to be included in the next video before it’s pointed out).
2007: 1 (BB’s Lies)
2010: 1 (IU’s Merry Christmas in Advance)
2013: 1 (IU’s Friday)
Going by the above data, 2014 produced a lot of hits with good longevity compared to years around it. 2016, 2018, and 2020 are all similar. The real outliers are 2017 and 2019, each with 21!
Another thing I’d like to point out is the real-time chart vs. the 24Hits chart. Songs released before July 2020 had the advantage of the real-time chart, where it was much easier to mass-stream or download to maintain position on the chart. It is now MUCH harder to enter Melon. And the current common argument that “once you get on, it’s easier to stay”, it’s false. Songs can drop and have dropped like rocks on the new Melon chart (see Happening by AKMU and What Do I Call You by Taeyeon for recent examples).
Now let’s discuss. What do you think?