Sunday, November 18, 2007

Korean Music Charts - October 2007

Back when I started this blog, I included the Music Industry Association of Korea's month music sales chart as part of my regular comments, but after a few months I stopped. It was just too depressing. Sales were miserable and the quality of music in the charts was even more miserable. I did not want to spend all my time complaining and being negative, so I decided not to write about it.

But I found myself curious about how the music biz has been doing this year, so I checked out the latest MIAK charts.

The most immediate thing I noticed is that only one album released in 2007 has sold over 100,000 albums. Pretty shocking, really, considering just a few years ago top stars would move 1 or 2 million. But these days, SG Wannabe can become the biggest selling artist of the year with just 190,000 albums sold.

The second thing I noticed was the dominance of ballads in October. The top five albums are all ballad oriented!

It also looks like that brute-force marketing is less and less useful. Super Junior's latest has already fallen to 11th, after being released on Sept. 20. Wondergirls have dropped all the way to 17th, and have sold just 18,000 copies of their first album since it was released on Sept. 13. TELL ME might be catchy and might even be a hit at the karaoke rooms, but Wondergirl fans are not buying CDs at all.

Other notes:
  • Lee Sang-eun's 13th album made its debut in 25th.

  • Hey, Shim Soo-bong has a new album! It's her 11th, and it hit the stores on Oct. 25. Not so many Shim fans left apparently, as it opened in 34th. Not that time or that person anymore, I guess.

  • With foreign music selling so miserably, classical music is growing ever bigger, at least on a proportional basis.

  • Even Paul Potts (the musical equivalent of the Nixon-Kennedy debate) is selling in Korea. And Andrea Bocelli. I'm not sure whose success I find more distressing. Do yourself a favor -- check out their stories on Wikipedia or Youtube or wherever, cry, emote do whatever you feel compelled to do. Then head directly to a music store and completely IGNORE their CDs. Buy something by Jussi Bjorling instead. Your ears will thank you.

    This MonthArtistAlbum NameRelease DateThis Month's SalesTotal Sales
    1.EruVol. 3 - Eru Returns9.1930,97842,228
    2.Brown-Eyed SoulVol 210.3130,09530,095
    3.FT IslandFT Island6.0828,74676,097
    4.See YaVol. 25.2527,80781,393
    5.SG WannabeVol. 44.0619,050190,125
    6.Jo PDVol. 610.2217,36417,364
    7.Cho Shin-seongVol. 110.2515,40515,405
    8.Lee Soo-youngVol. 8 - Set It Down9.1215,02751,035
    9.Lee Seung-chulVol. 9 - The Secret of Color 210.1814,60414,604
    10.Taewangsasingi OSTTaewangsasingi OST10.1713,84113,841

    (source: MIAK)

    And here is the foreign sales chart:
    This MonthArtistAlbum NameRelease DateThis Month's SalesTotal Sales
    1.Once OSTOnce OST8.1412,16013,138
    2.BoAComplete Clips 2004-20063.2112,00013,258
    3.Richard Yongjae O'NeillWinter Journey9.119,9689,968
    4.Luciano PavarottiPavarotti Forever9.203,7305,606
    5.Orchestra de NodameOrchestra de Nodame Live8.233,55212,074
    6.Richard Yongjae O'NeillLachrymae2006.9.073,22230,703
    7.BoALove Letter10.043,1893,189
    8.Andrea BocelliBest of Andrea Bocelli10.253,0633,063
    9.Ennio MorriconeGold Edition10.022,4452,445
    10.Paul PottsOne Chance8.022,1132,113

    (source: MIAK)

    Simon said...

    Thanks for doing another music update, even if it is a bit depressing. I thought Lee Sang-Eun was a lot more popular than number 25. Do grown-up Koreans just not listen to popular music at all these days?

    Mark Russell said...

    I think people listen to music... just no one buys CDs anymore. Even grown-ups tend to listen to the pop garbage. Or else they give up on the scene and move to trot. And of course there are classical fans.

    But Lee Sang-eun is not really a mainstream artist in Korea these days. Sure she has her fans, but not so many in Korea anymore. I think she is much bigger in Japan. In fact, at the last fan event I went to, there were quite a lot of Japanese people attending.

    Anonymous said...

    Don't you think the reason people don't buy CDs is beause they can illegally download anything and everything without any concern of getting caught or punished?
    People here aren't scared in the slightest of getting caught, wereas in the US, people are slightly wary of it, or sometimes have a moral qualm with it. Here its one big freeforall and I haven't seen the music industry attempting to do much to curb it, as they do in the states and UK.
    I don't know a single person that buys CDs in this country.

    Twreckx said...

    There seems to be quite a derth in imaginative names for albums. It seems that every one released a "volume". Sad to see Epik High wasn't there

    Trance lover said...

    Very interesting
    I'm adding in RSS reader