With the return of many big-name singers and the high popularity enjoyed by idol singers, the slump of the Korean music industry has been enjoying a revival. But if you analyse closely, a situation is developing where there is a great disparity in album sales between popular singers and rookie singers which has left many people in the Korean music industry worried about the future.
Thanks to the return of big names like Seotaiji, Rain, DBSK, Kim Jong Kook, etc, the music industry in 2008 has been more productive than the past few years. Their return have been reflected in the overall album sales. According to the Recording Industry Association of Korea (RIAK), up till August 2008, the sum of the total album sales of singers placed in the top 100 came up to 500 million. This is double of the total album sales in 2007 which numbered just 277 million copies. The numbers for 2008 is expected to hit 600 million eventually.
Athough album sales have been doubled compaered to 2007, the disparity in album sales between popular and rookie singers have been growing which cannot be ignored. Judging from the statistics offered by the RIAK, although there was a decline in overall album sales for 2007, the numbers were evenly distributed. Even a rookie singer is able to sell 5,000 albums and above.
The return of big name singers in 2008 have greatly affected the rookie and B-list singers. Some rookie singers can barely sell 2,000 albums. This compared to Big Bang who have sold 459,000 copies for two albums and 326,000 copies sold for DBSK 4th album, the great disparity is clear for all to see.
An industry expert expresssed, “The numbers for this year looks pretty good because of the big name singers return. But if you look from the perspective of the B-list and rookie singers, the situation is even worst than previous years. The big name singers comeback have meant that the numerous B-list and rookie singers have had their promotions cut short or being unable to do a good promotion. This situation doesn’t really look promising in the long-term.”
(note: if figures are wrong anywhere, please tell me)