I often see users on this forum hyping up Ktown4u sales, a phenomenon that was made very apparent by this recent thread.
This made me wonder: how well do sales figures on Ktown4u predict actual Gaon sales?
To find out, I took the sales figures for the top 100 best selling albums on Ktown4u, and then located the corresponding Gaon sales for each one (combining versions if necessary).
Following, I simply generated a graph that plots Gaon sales for each album against its Ktown4u sales, as shown below:
As we can see, the results are all over the place. For example, just look at albums that have sold around 100,000 copies on Ktown4u.
On one hand, we have Winner's Remember, which sold 97,072 copies on Ktown4u, and then went on to sell only 113,346 copies according to Gaon.
Compare that to BTS' Love Yourself: Her, which sold only 92,308 on Ktown4u, but has Gaon sales of 2,514,204.
That is a huge range of Gaon sales for almost the same Ktown4u sales, and there are similar examples of such disparities throughout the data.
Also, when I tried to fit a trend line to the data points, I got an R2 value of only 0.2, which is quite low. If you're not familiar with R2, it's a statistical value that describes how much of the variation in the dependent variable (Gaon sales) can be predicted by the independent variable (Ktown4u sales).
In the end, remember that Ktown4u is just one retailer out of thousands where people can purchase their K-pop albums.