Thanks to the global success of girl groups such as Blackpink, Red Velvet, Ive, (G)I-DLE, Espa, and Le Seraphim, K-pop album sales this year are expected to exceed 80 million copies, a record high.
According to the Circle Chart (formerly Gaon Chart), on the 25th, 74,195,554 physical albums (based on the top 400) were sold from January 2nd to December 10th of this year. This is a 29.9% increase from last year’s 57,089,160 copies. The music industry predicts that it will easily exceed 80 million copies sold by the end of this year.
Analysts say that the significant increase in album sales this year is due to the expansion of the global fandom of girl groups.
Of the cumulative album sales, girl groups accounted for 32.6%. This figure needs to catch up to the 66.2% of idol groups. However, sales of idol groups decreased by 17.3% compared to the same period last year, while sales of girl groups increased by 16.5%, showing that this year’s performance has achieved that much. While the number of idol groups that sold more than 1 million cumulatively decreased from 12 last year to 11 this year, the number of girl groups increased from one to 10 this year.
In particular, newcomer Ive’s sales increased to 2.6 million copies, a whopping 2.4 million copies compared to last year, drawing attention. It also recorded sales of nearly 2.82 million copies of Blackpink, which took first place in the girl group.
One in cumulative album sales this year was the group BTS, which sold 6.7 million copies. BTS, which has led the explosive growth of the K-pop market over the past five years thanks to its global popularity and fandom, has scheduled individual solo activities and enlistment in the military after an anthology album in June. As a result, a change in the perception of the K-pop market was expected, but their actions had little impact on the overall market.
Circle Chart senior researcher Kim Jin-woo said, “The solo albums released by BTS’s Jin and RM sold 1.03 million and 680,000 copies, respectively.” Therefore, BTS’s military enlistment’s impact on the album market will be limited.”
Following BTS, Stray Kids sold 5.83 million copies. It sold 3.2 million more than in the same period last year.