K-pop album sales are soaring, matching Japanese market size, while concert numbers reach record-breaking levels.
According to Hyundai Securities on June 15th, K-pop album sales in May increased by 7% compared to the same period last year, reaching a solid growth of 10.7 million copies.
HYBE, with artists such as BTS, SEVENTEEN, TXT, ENHYPEN, and LE SSERAFIM, recorded the highest sales with 4.81 million copies. SM Entertainment showed the highest growth rate with 2.05 million copies (+130%) thanks to aespa’s recent comeback.
JYP and YG recorded 410,000 and 210,000 copies, respectively. The latest album of (G)I-DLE sold 1.1 million copies, contributing to the growth of entertainment companies outside of Big4.
Kim Hyun Yong, a researcher at Hyundai Securities, explained, “With the achievement of 10 million monthly album sales for the third time and an average of 8.94 million copies per month, K-pop album sales this year have reached a level similar to the Japanese market, which has an average of 9.15 million copies per month.“
Last month, K-pop concert attendance increased by 190% compared to the same period last year, reaching 1.34 million, surpassing the previous record of 1.25 million set in December 2017, and reaching an all-time high.
Asia led the market with 920,000 attendees (490,000 in Japan), and the United States recorded 340,000 attendees, accounting for 25% of the total.
HYBE attracted 560,000 attendees with BTS Suga and TXT U.S. tour, JYP attracted 250,000 attendees with TWICE, and YG attracted 220,000 attendees with BLACKPINK. SM recorded 160,000 attendees with Red Velvet and NCT Dream tour.
This month, K-pop album sales are expected to increase by 1% compared to the same period last year, reaching 8.72 million copies, and concert attendance is expected to increase by 89% to reach 1 million.
Researcher Kim said, “Major comebacks include Stray Kids (4.62 million copies in the first week), NCT Taeyong (440,000 copies in the first week), ATEEZ’s 9th mini-album, and SHINee’s 8th full-length album. In terms of entertainment companies, JYP is expected to lead the market with 5.1 million copies, followed by SM Entertainment with 1 million copies and HYBE with 800,000 copies.“
Major concerts lined up include TWICE’s U.S. tour (210,000 attendees), TVXQ’s dome tour (200,000 attendees), BLACKPINK’s BORN PINK tour (160,000 attendees), and Suga’s U.S. tour (100,000 attendees).
TWICE has already made their second entry into U.S. stadiums, filling the SoFi Stadium with 50,000 fans on June 10th, following BTS. Among big entertainment companies, SM Entertainment is expected to attract 350,000 attendees, JYP 230,000 attendees, YG 160,000 attendees, and HYBE 130,000 attendees.