K-pop superstar boy band BTS [Photo provided by Bighit Music]
Exports of South Korean albums reached a new high in the first half of this year as K-pop fandom culture continues to spread around the world.
According to the Korea Customs Service’s import and export trade statistics on Tuesday, K-pop album exports stood at $132.93 million in the first six months of this year, up 17.1 percent from the same period last year. It is the highest figure ever for the cited period.
Korean album exports exceeded $40 million for the first time in 2017 and have been growing every year, reaching $233.1 million last year.
Japan accounted for most of the exports with $48.52 million, followed by the U.S. with $25.51 million, and China with $22.64 million.
Germany, Taiwan, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Canada, and the U.K. were among the top 10 export destinations for exports.
The U.S. overtook China as the second-largest destination. Previously, China had ranked second every year since 2012 except for 2020.
Analysts say it is a sign that K-pop is gaining ground in the North American market after the success of BTS and BLACKPINK.
U.S. music market analytics firm Luminate released its midyear music report using data from the first half of this year and showed that Korean songs ranked the third among the top 10,000 songs consumed in the U.S. with 0.9 percent, behind English songs with 88.3 percent and Spanish songs with 7.9 percent.
BTS member Jimin, who released his solo album “Like Crazy” in March, became the first K-pop solo artist to be ranked No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 main singles chart. Rookie girl group FIFTY FIFTY’s “Cupid” also proved to be popular and was listed on the same chart for 16 consecutive weeks.
By Chung Joo-won and Choi Jieun
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]