Thursday, November 16, 2006

Korean Music Charts - October

Chuseok may be a big season for the movies, but apparently it is not a holiday that inspires people to buy music, as October sales were in general down. Eight of the top-10 were new releases.

The biggest album of the month was, no surprise, the new Rain release. Hitting the stores just halfway though October, "I'm Coming" sold over 71,000 copies. Not bad, but not a number that will make anyone forget the glory days of the late 1990s.

Even Dong Bang Shin Gi did a lot better with their latest release, selling about 120,000 copies in September, despite being released on Sept. 28. Teeniebopper fans might be enthusiastic, however, it looks like most DBSG fans bought their albums right away, because the album sold half as many copies in all of October as it did in three days in September.

Not on the top-10 but notable - Uhm Jung-hwa's latest album made its debut in No. 16 with 7,456 album sales. But since it was released only on Oct. 25, it still has time to build. And SG Wannabe is the biggest-selling album still on the charts, albeit way down at No. 20. Its April 7 release, SG Wannabe Vol. 3, has now sold 294,975.

This MonthArtistAlbum NameRelease DateThis Month's SalesTotal Sales
1.RainVol. 4 - I'm Coming10.1371,21471,214
2.Dong Bang Shin GiVol. 3 - Oh! Jeong. Ban. Hab9.2869,231189,736
3.Sung Shi-gyungVol. 510.1051,60951,609
4.Shin Seung-hunVol. 1010.1045,68245,682
5.Jang Woo-hyukJang Woo-hyuk 2nd Album10.2425,72925,729
6.Big MamaVol 310.1325,02025,020
7.Kim Tae-wooKim Tae-woo Special10.2621,63621,636
8.JaurimAshes to Ashes10.2021,49721,497
9.Sin Ho-yeongVol. 1 - Yes9.1420,65065,500
10.Se7enVol. 410.3116,33416,334

(source: MIAK)

Plus, I believe MIAK has started reported digital downloads, at least when they can. Shin Seung-hun, for example, sold 40,000 digital downloads in October. Only a couple other artists were listed, though.

Foreign Sales:
This MonthArtistAlbum NameRelease DateThis Month's SalesTotal Sales
1.Richard Yongjae O'NeilLachrymae9.079,86213,220
2.Robbie WilliamsRudebox8.065,8286,102
3.BoAKey of Heart10.254,7214,721
4.EvanescenceThe Open Door10.014,1794,179
5.P. DiddyPress Play10.172,5552,555
6.QueenThe Platinum Collection2003.2.252,32856,683
7.ShinwhaJapan Single9.062,26417,316
8.Jo SumiWith Love: Best of Jo Sumi8.252,20013,714
9.Justin TimberlakeFuturesex/Love Sounds9.122,1797,557
10.Pussycat DollsPussycat Dolls9.272,0927,947

(source: MIAK)


Carter Page said...

Why are the sales so low, particularly for foreign albums? Do the kids there just download everything off the Internet?

Mark Russell said...

Pretty staggering, isn't it? In general, Koreans have moved most of their music consumption to online (mobile phone and computer), both illegal and legal. In fact, for the big hits, legal downloads can be pretty significant (if I can ever track down some good numbers, I'll publish them here).

But also hurting foreign marketing has been the huge role of payola and other dubious marketing ploys required here. If you want significant airtime, you simply have to play the game. And most international labels are not willing to play the game (and cannot justify it to their head offices). As a result, American and other foreign music has not been able to secure airplay, causing awareness of their music to drop to the puny numbers you see in the charts.