K-pop Album Sales Dropped in China & Southeast Asia, Europe on the Rise? 

Recent album sales data reveals that the major market for K-pop consumption has been leaning towards the US & Europe over China and SEA.

On July 5, a topic titled “K-pop album exports drop in China and Southeast Asia” was published on the Korean forum “theqoo”, drawing significant attention.

The topic in question attached album sales export data recently published on Circle Chart, showing the trend from 2022 to 2023. 

In particular, the album sales exports data across these 2 years is as follow:

Taiwan: About $9M (2022)  → About $13M (2023)  

Vietnam: About $3M (2022)  → Less than $2M (2023)  

Indonesia: About $4M (2022)  → About $3M  (2023) 

Thailand: About $4M (2022)  → About $3M (2023) 

Philippines: About $2M (2022)  → Less than $2M (2023) 

Hong Kong: About $4M (2022)  → About $8M (2023) 

Netherlands: About $4M (2022)  → About $5M (2023) 

Germany: About $4M (2022)  → About $9M (2023) 

UK: About $3M (2022) → About $4M (2023) 

Canada: About $2M (2022)  → About $4M (2023) 

France: Less than $4M (2022)  → About $4M (2023) 

Australia: About $1M (2022)  → About $2M (2023) 

USA: About $40M  (2022)  → About $60M (2023) 

Japan: About $80M (2022)  → About $120M (2023) 

China: About $50M  (2022)  → About $35M  (2023) 

It can be seen that while Japan maintains the top position when it comes to K-pop album exports and even sees significant growth, this number in China and Southeast Asia witness dramatic falls, leading to the US surpassing China. Meanwhile, all European countries are purchasing more K-pop albums across the years. 

album kpop-china

This means that if limited to only album exports, Europe will surpass the Southeast Asian market starting in 2023, while the US had a negligible sales volume until 2017, but it has grown significantly since 2018 and has risen to 2nd place in album exports.

Finally, the decline in the Southeast Asian market is said to be mainly due to a shift in popularity of local singers from Southeast Asia.

Upon learning of this data, netizens pay special attention in the changes in Japan, the US, Europe, China, and Southeast Asia, leaving comments such as, “There are fewer and fewer reasons for Southeast Asians to watch K-pop. Public opinion toward Korea is not very positive, and their own culture is strong. Quality is also rising”, “It’s amazing how Japan continues to rise”, “It feels like China’s consumer market has changed to offline concerts rather than K-pop’s popularity declining”, and “It’s amazing how Europe is growing”.

Source: theqoo

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