I Collected Over 10 Years of Gaon Monthly Physical Sales Data into a Spreadsheet, so Let's Take a Look at the Supposed Growth in the Physical Market

  • 2016-2020 : BTS Worldwide growth --> Better Kpop album distribution globally


    2020 : Pandemic

    This deserves best answer. BTS's effect on the distribution of kpop albums in the west and on online platforms such as Amazon really changed the game. Several years back my friend who is a 2nd gen stan had to physically go downtown to the lone kpop store we had to buy physicals (she didn't like to ship from stores in Korea bc they took ages to arrive). But nowadays every store in America, online or in person, is selling albums so ease of access is the biggest reason for growth in sales during that period of time. And that access only came because of BTS's growth here.

  • Thanks for the hard work!


    I'm bookmarking this for reference. It clearly shows how BTS was the reason for growing physical market- sales were on the same level until Wings and the sales started increasing after 2017 thanks to global distribution, increased competition between fanbases and the new stanning culture BTS brought where international fans actually support groups by buying albums.

  • It's less about the total numbers but more about how the trend will be affected I mean. Will the rise in 2016 still be there? The 2020 one will definitely be there but will it be to the same degree or more? Maybe some the 2016 rise will start later?

    I think rise in 2016 would still be there. Maybe not this huge but who knows? Kpop was always growing genre and always had fierce fan bases.


    ~ 𝔍𝔲𝔰𝔱 𝔩𝔦𝔰𝔱𝔢𝔫 𝔱𝔬 𝔪𝔢, ℑ'𝔩𝔩 𝔰𝔦𝔫𝔤 𝔣𝔬𝔯 𝔶𝔬𝔲 ~

  • Nice work.


    The rise in 2016 also happens to coincide with the hallyu ban in china (no more concerts etc), so wouldnt suprise me if that also contributed to chinese fandoms increasing their numbers in physicals when they no longer could spend money on concerts (as we can see the same rise in 2020 with covid, but this time globally)

  • Is it easy for you to grab the info regarding who had the top 10 sellers in each year and the proportion the release contributed to the top 100 (if you have the data already in an excel).


    You could infer most of the story from that.

    Oh yeah, I do have the data necessary to perform such an analysis. I'll just need to do some maneuvering in Excel, so it's something I'll work on.

  • I think everyone has touched on the answers, but certainly in the US, I cannot emphasize enough the impact of expanded distribution. It is so so much easier to find albums at your local Target or buy at a Target or Amazon than paying really high shipping fees or going to a specialized store. I don’t buy physicals any more but man, I wish it had been as easy as it is now when I started following EXO. ^^

  • Oh yeah, I do have the data necessary to perform such an analysis. I'll just need to do some maneuvering in Excel, so it's something I'll work on.

    Good stuff - personally it's something I think will work in a table rather than a graph.


    When you see which groups are in the top 10 for each year you'll see the transition periods and the power of the groups releasing in the year which will impact this to a large extent.


    I was tempted to look at some numbers recently regarding album sales but don't have time. I'm not saying you should do this (genuinely) but I've become curious about what other metrics correlate with sales for a release so was tempted to do a scatter plot (album sales versus spotify streams for the release, youtube views for the title, Korean digitals for the release etc).


    Ateez selling 800k+ yet I've never seen any other metric to show that they've got this kind of reach. Their number got me curious.

  • 2011 to 2016 was when hallyu started expanding and around 2017-2018 was when it finally broke out.

    idol was one of the first global kpop hits (excluding psys one off hit) you can really see that from the youtube rewind and other moments where they go *kpop!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!*. the love yourself trilogy's last two volumes in general were the break out hits for kpop and boom boom, love scenario and d4 all rose and rode that wave.


    boom boom went 500 mil, love scenario did 500 mil and we all know how d4 did.

    twice also did pretty well that year but nothing too stand out from their 2016-2017 success.


    2018 is when hallyu truly broke out and reached a wider audience in a way that it became mainstream, and after that it's only grown

    r o s e s   a n d   p e a c h e s

  • this is what people mean when they say BTS paved the way. you can be an anti and admit you probably wouldnt even be stanning your faves now if BTS hadnt brought kpop to the global scale to the extent that they did.

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  • BTS was a huge part of the boom. Now though, we're seeing other groups starting to explode as well, which is overall better for the Kpop industry. I'd like to see more GGs join the 500k club at least, i think if you can sell 500k per comeback and 1M albums per year plus back catalog sales, you can go on forever as a group.

  • this is what people mean when they say BTS paved the way. you can be an anti and admit you probably wouldnt even be stanning your faves now if BTS hadnt brought kpop to the global scale to the extent that they did.


    lol actually it was BP that brought me to BTS. I first heard of BTS in the mid 2010s but i never bothered to really listen to their music until after i became a Kpop fan because of BlackpinkHouse and Boombayah in early 2019. My first ever comeback as a Kpop fan was KTL and then BWL.

  • lol actually it was BP that brought me to BTS. I first heard of BTS in the mid 2010s but i never bothered to really listen to their music until after i became a Kpop fan because of BlackpinkHouse and Boombayah in early 2019. My first ever comeback as a Kpop fan was KTL and then BWL.

    Blackpink wouldnt have gotten the level of international hype they got if BTS hadn't brought kpop to the global stage

    :pepepizza:

    CLICK AND SIGN FOR 100 YEARS OF GOOD LUCK

    MARIAH CAREY CHRISTMAS EVENT BADGE

    let us gather around for the lord’s prayer:

    Nævis we love you. You are the one who protected me when i was in trouble. MY victory, one SYNK DIVE. I know your sacrifices. Let’s meet surely after the resurrection.

    Æmen

    :pepe-angel::pepe-angel::pepe-angel::pepe-angel::pepe-angel:


  • How much do you think this will change if we take BTS numbers out?

    The numbers will go down but the trend will remain the same.

    I think the rise would be here 2018 onwards ...

    I think rise in 2016 would still be there. Maybe not this huge but who knows? Kpop was always growing genre and always had fierce fan bases.

    It was actually very straightforward to generate a new chart with BTS sales removed. All I did was filter my data set for all rows with BTS as the artist, then deleted their sales figures. The resultant chart is shown below:


    GaonMonthlyTotals_NoBTS.png


    As we can see, the same general trends remain, though I will note that the rise in sales in 2016 does appear to come a little later in the year in this scenario.


    Furthermore, we see again that sales increased dramatically starting in 2020. In fact, the rise in sales is even greater in this case, going from around 1.5 million a month at the start of 2020 to roughly 4.5 million currently.

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