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The importance of eco-friendly albums, What about overseas charts?

There is a trend in the K-pop industry that singers are introducing eco-friendly albums in different forms, such as platform albums or albums made with environmental-friendly materials.

Korean pop music chart Circle Chart (formerly Gaon Chart) recently made a big change in its chart organization with the intention of being reborn as a global chart that reflects the new status of K-pop in the global music market. Among the changes, the most eye-catching detail was the establishment of a chart for environmentally-friendly albums (tentatively titled “Clean Chart”).

J-Hope Jack in the Box

The new chart for eco-friendly albums established by Circle Chart is operated as part of a campaign to encourage the production of products, such as K-pop albums, that minimize pollution. They plan to prepare standards for eco-friendly album production directly and reflect them in music charts by redefining albums in line with the changing times.

j-hope

In fact, environmental pollution is currently one of the hottest issues in domestic and foreign music markets in recent years. Amid the rapid growth of the music market, the need for CDs has reduced significantly, but countless albums are stills released and consumed in the form of physical albums, accelerating unnecessary pollution in the environment. The fact that fans buy albums in bulk to collect goods, such as photocards and photobooks, which are components of physical albums has been a serious problem in the K-pop market for a long time.

Album Of The Year Mama 2021

Various attempts have recently been made to overcome this problem. In January, VICTION drew keen attention by releasing a “platform album” which only provides fans with photocards and message cards written by the members for physical purchases instead of real CDs. All the additional content including the album photobook can be viewed through a digital platform.

viction j-hope jack in the box

The idea of using eco-friendly materials has also been proposed. NCT DREAM introduced environmental-friendly albums for the first time in March. They have actively made more changes last month by using paper certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), soybean oil ink that decomposes naturally, and eco-friendly UV coatings that do not emit volatile organic compounds. YG artist, such as Song Mino, BLACKPINK, TREASURE, iKON, etc., have also participated in the search for solutions to environmental problems by producing albums and goods using eco-friendly materials.

nct album

The issue of solving environmental pollution with eco-friendly albums is also a hot topic overseas. For example, the U.K is seeking a way to cope with the music market’s worries by producing recyclable LPs. 

However, there is still a long way for people in the music industry to go before the concerns of the global music market lead to bigger moves. This is because the environment to support these kinds of changes is not properly prepared while they keep insisting on the need for albums that are both eco-friendly and sustainable. 

J-Hope will release his first solo album “Jack in The Box” in the form of Weverse albums on July 29th. Weverse album, which was chosen by J-Hope as an alternative to physical albums, is a kind of platform album without a CD. Through an application on Weverse, a fan community created by HYBE, it is a service that recognizes QR codes and allows you to enjoy all the songs of the album and photo content.

Fans who wanted to own the album were disappointed by the news, but some said it is also evaluated as a notable challenge at a time when the need for an eco-friendly album emerged.

J-Hope Jack in the Box

However, what drew attention along with this was “whether or not the billboard chart was reflected.” Unfortunately, according to his agency Big Hit Music, “Jack in the Box,” which does not have a physical album, does not reflect sales volume in the U.S. Billboard’s main album chart, “Billboard 200.” However, the sales volume of the album is also expected to be reflected in the tally of the number of digital albums and sound source downloads.

Entering Billboard’s main charts “Billboard 200” and “Hot 100” in the domestic and foreign music market is very meaningful. This is because it is one of the indicators that represent the level of achievement that has been achieved in the global music market. However, it is almost impossible to expect a spot at the top of the chart as it is dropped from the tally if no physical CD is released.

j-hope jack in the box

Of course, it is said that different challenges make sense, but how many singers can lead the era of “eco-friendly albums” while giving up visible results? To date, Billboard and other top global charts have had the flexibility to change their charting standards in line with changing industry conditions. To expect a significant change, I think it’s time to organize again.

Source: daum

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