Win Concentration: A Look at the Percentage of Music Show Wins Captured by the Top 5 Artists in Each Year from 1981 to 2020 (The Results May Surprise You)

  • This thread was inspired by a recent exchange between bartkun, Reclaimer, and sassily in another thread that I made a while back.


    The question was whether or not the percentage of music show wins captured by the top artists in a given year has trended up or down over time. Let's call this "win concentration".


    Now the last thread I created actually contained a listing of the top 5 artists with the most music show wins in each year from 1981 to 2020, so I already had the necessary data to perform this analysis.


    Thus, I simply added together the number of wins achieved by the top 5 artists in each year, then divided the result by the total number of wins that year. My calculations are shown below:



    And now here are the results, but graphed:



    It's obvious that there is a downward trend in the percentage of wins awarded to the top 5 artists each year. My guess is that we see decreased win concentration simply because there are so many artists out there competing these days.


    However, the recent successes of groups such as BTS and Twice (who have each won over 100 times) do appear to be opposing the general downward trend, so I'm curious to see if this movement will continue in the future.

  • So back to the point I was arguing in the previous thread.


    Second gen is equal in competitiveness to third gen.


    So even though there are more groups than in second gen, this doesn't affect the dominance by top groups, which have actually managed to take about the same portion of yearly wins. And obviously that's a disadvantage to second gen groups as the number of trophies awarded nearly doubled (from ~140 to ~260)

  • Even though we complain about the dominance of the top groups in music show wins, we were blindsided by the 2011-2015 below 40% era (which is how far in the past most kpop fans can remember) when in fact having a more than 40% domination is the norm.


    I definitely think 40% dominance in 200+ music shows a year is too much, and 2019 was a much more enjoyable year in that aspect.

  • Second gen is equal in competitiveness to third gen.

    Speaking in broad terms, yes that appears to be true. I just calculated the average win concentration from 2007 to 2015 (the heyday of Second Generation artists), and it's 40.52%. From 2016 (when the Third Generation took over) to 2020, it's 39.41%, so both concentration figures are right around 40%. At the same time though, there is still quite a bit of year-to-year variation within generations.

  • Even though we complain about the dominance of the top groups in music show wins, we were blindsided by the 2011-2015 below 40% era

    You bring up a good point. So there was indeed a noticeable dip in the 2011 to 2015 time frame. I'm guessing that this was because some Second Generation artists were slowing down during these years, but the Third Generation (which began in 2012 with the debut of EXO) was still getting started. In effect, it may have been a bit of a transition period between generations, which can explain the low win concentration.

  • You bring up a good point. So there was indeed a noticeable dip in the 2011 to 2015 time frame. I'm guessing that this was because some Second Generation artists were slowing down during these years, but the Third Generation (which began in 2012 with the debut of EXO) was still getting started. In effect, it may have been a bit of a transition period between generations, which can explain the low win concentration.

    Big 2nd gen artists were never as active as big 3rd gen artists, except maybe SNSD some years. When Exo arrived surprisingly they didn't dominate as much as after 2015.

  • I ran the analysis again, but this time using only the top *three* artists of each year. The results are shown below:




    Win concentrations are obviously lower, but the same general trend persists.


    What I do notice is that concentration tends to experience a local peak during generational shifts, that is, when one generation begins to become dominant.


    Just look at the "bumps" in the graph in the late 1990s for the First Generation, the late 2000s for the Second Generation, and the 2016-2018 time frame for the Third Generation. I'm curious to see how the Fourth Generation manages.

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