Last year, K-pop album exports approached 300 billion won, and concentration in Japan, China, and the US intensified.

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Last year, K-pop album exports reached a record high of 300 billion won.

According to the import and export trade statistics of the Korea Customs Service on the 16th, the number of album exports last year was 233,113,000 dollars (approximately 289.5 billion won), an increase of 5.6% from the previous year. Korea’s record exports have grown yearly since exceeding $40 million for the first time in 2017, exceeding $100 million and $200 million in 2020 and 2021, respectively.

In particular, since 2020, as global K-pop concerts have stopped due to the worldwide pandemic of Corona 19, overseas fans have opened their wallets to purchase albums, and the K-pop music market has been booming.

Last year, the country that imported the most Korean albums was Japan, which recorded 85.749 million dollars (approximately 106.5 billion won). China followed it with 51.326 million dollars (about 63.7 billion won) and the United States with 38.877 million dollars (about 48.3 billion won). Taiwan, the Netherlands, Thailand, Hong Kong, Germany, Indonesia, and France also made the top 10.

Although K-pop is loved all over the world, the fact that album exports are concentrated in the so-called ‘Big 3’ markets such as Japan, China, and the United States is considered a challenge to overcome. The share of the three countries increased by 3.8 percentage points from 71.7% in 2021 to 75.5% last year.

Many music companies in Korea do not disclose specific export performances by the singer. However, look at the annual album chart, which combines exports and domestic consumption last year. In that case, large idol groups such as BTS, Stray Kids, Seventeen, and new girl groups have emerged in the music industry and have led the way in achieving results.

Looking at the Circle Chart’s annual album chart, BTS’ ‘Proof’ recorded 3.48 million copies as the best-selling album last year. This was followed by Stray Kids’ “MAXIDENT” with 3.18 million copies, Seventeen’s “Face the Sun” with 2.87 million copies, and Blackpink’s “Born Pink” with 2.52 million copies.

Ive, the leader of the rookie girl group sensation sold 1.65 million copies of her single ‘After LIKE,’ ranking 10th on the annual chart.

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