Over 111 million physical albums sold in Korea so far this year
Over 111.6 million physical albums were sold in Korea from January to November this year, according to data by Circle Chart on Tuesday, based on the combined sales of the most-sold physical albums ranked No. 1 to 400.
This figure is an increase from last year's total annual album sales by 144 percent, which was around 80 million copies, setting a new record yet again without even including album sales from the month of December.
This year's cumulative album sales had already exceeded last year's total annual sales by 106 percent as of September, and in October, the figure passed the 100 million mark — a first in Korean history.
In November alone, over 15.1 million physical albums were sold, marking a 217.2 percent on-year increase, and setting a new record for the highest monthly sales after October.
"Last year, there was only one month in which sales exceeded 10 million copies, but this year, it happened in six months,” Circle Chart said.
“It appears that the scale of K-pop physical album sales is continuously growing."
The recent surge in the album market appears to be driven primarily by boy band fandoms, as indicated by the distribution of album sales by artists.
Boy band Stray Kids topped the charts with a market share of 27.7 percent in album sales as of November. The band was followed by BTS's Jungkook and boy bands Enhypen and ZeroBaseOne.
Other boy bands dominated the top spots in the monthly album sales market share from July to October, with NCT Dream, NCT, BTS's V and Seventeen each taking the lead.
BY LEE CHAE-MIN [firstname.lastname@example.org]