South Korea’s digital music market is buoyant, as we reported in our country profile earlier this year. Now there’s some more data on how album sales are also having a roaring time of it there in 2021.

It comes courtesy of Korea JoongAng Daily, which reports on a study by Hanteo Global showing that album sales grew by 34.3% year-on-year in the first half of this year. That’s 19.4m album sales, with the company adding that first-week sales have accounted for 73% of album sales in South Korea since the start of 2020.

That’s a reflection of a market that’s being driven by superfans buying the albums of their idols, even if they go on to listen to them via streaming services – where intense fan activity to push new releases to the top of the charts is also a notable factor in the market, although sometimes a challenging one for DSPs.

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Stuart Dredge

Music Ally's Head of Insight

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