According to a senior researcher from Gaon Chart, the annual sales of K-pop albums this year will see a significant increase compared to the previous years. This prediction was made after considering the millions of copies sold in the past months.
Keep on reading to know which K-pop groups led the album sales in the first half of this year.
Gaon Chart keeps track of the popularity of songs and albums in South Korea, daily, weekly, and monthly. It releases various charts, including the two primary ones: Gaon Album Chart and Gaon Digital Chart.
Gaon Chart Unveils Some K-pop Groups Who Sold the Most Albums in the First Half of 2021
From January to June of this year, several K-pop groups sold more than one or two million copies of their old and new albums.
In particular, NCT Dream sold the most albums, recording 3.24 million copies. This figure is a combination of the sales of their two new works: "Hot Sauce" and "Hello Future."
The second K-pop artist with the most album sales is BTS, even though the boy group didn't release new albums in the first half of 2021. According to Gaon Chart, the septet sold 2.37 million copies.
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Next is EXO, which sold 2.2 million copies, more than one million copies of which were recorded by the boy group's special album "Don't Fight the Feeling."
After EXO is SEVENTEEN who sold 1.47 million copies. Many can recall that the group sold over 1.05 million copies of their eight mini-album "Your Choice."
When it comes to fourth-generation idol groups, the two best-selling artists in the first half of 2021 are TXT and ENHYPEN, who sold 850,000 copies and 730,000 copies, respectively.
Gaon Chart Projects 2021 K-pop Album Sales Would Steadily Rise Compared to the US Album Sales
Considering the album sales of several K-pop groups mentioned above, Gaon Chart's senior researcher Kim Jin Woo predicted that if the current trend of album sales would continue to ascend, more than 50 million copies are expected to be sold this 2021.
Jung Byung Wook, a popular music critic, further explained that this prediction was made after taking the consumption of K-pop fans into account. He said that fans are shifting their consumption to collectible albums as there are limited things to do at the moment due to COVID-19.
In the second half of 2021, JYP Entertainment's Stray Kids is continuing the upward trend of K-pop's album sales after selling more than one million copies of their third full-length album "NOEASY."
BLACKPINK Lisa is also predicted to sell an incredible number of copies of her single album "LALISA" thanks to her global fans.
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Gaon Chart said that K-pop album sales have been experiencing an unprecedented increase in the past years. The sales jumped from 6.8 million copies in 2011 to 10.8 million copies in 2016, and 41.7 million copies in 2020.
Album sales in Korea are opposite to the United States, the world's number on the popular music market. According to Gaon Chart, after recording 224.8 million copies in 2011, it decreased to 122.9 million copies in 2015, and 47.5 million copies in 2019.
In 2020, it eventually decreased to 30 million units. Some analysts said that the US album sales could drop to 20 million copies this year.
With K-pop's remarkable album sales this 2021, it is expected that more idol groups will appear on the Billboard 200 chart in the future.
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Written by Mhaliya Scott