Report: South Korea becomes fastest-growing music market in 2020 due to K-pop

Published March 24, 2021, 12:35 PM

by Jonathan Hicap

BTS and BLACKPINK (Twitter) 

Thanks to the global explosion of K-pop, South Korea emerged as the fast-growing major music market in 2020, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), an “organization that represents the recorded music industry worldwide.”

IFPI released its “Global Music Report 2021,” which revealed that the global recorded music market grew 7.4 percent in 2020 with total revenues of $21.6 billion.

This growth was led by streaming, especially the paid subscription streaming revenues, which rose by 18.5 percent. It said there were 443 million users of paid subscription accounts last year.

The report said Asia’s music market grew by 9.5 percent in 2020, an increase compared to 3.9 percent in 2019.

“The year also marked the first time Asia’s digital revenues surpassed a 50 percent share of the region’s total revenues,” it said.

Asia experienced high regional growth despite a decline in income in Japan, which had a 2.1 percent decrease in revenues in 2020 compared to 2019. Excluding Japan, it said, Asia would have been the fastest-growing region with 29.9 percent growth.

IFPI made special mention of K-pop, saying this drove the South Korean music market to grow last year.

“A record-breaking year for K-Pop drove South Korea to 44.8 percent growth and the position as the fastest-growing major market in 2020,” said IFPI.

Top 10 Music Markets in 2020 (according to IFPI)

  1. US
  2. Japan
  3. UK
  4. Germany
  5. France
  6. South Korea
  7. China
  8. Canada
  9. Australia
  10. Netherlands

IFPI also revealed the figures of its IFPI 2020 Global Album Sales Chart with K-pop superstars and Grammy nominee BTS’ “Map of the Soul: 7” finishing on top with 4.8 million units sold in 2020.
It earlier announced that BTS emerged as the winner of its 2020 Global Album Sales Chart, Global Album All-Format Chart and Global Recording Artist of the Year award.

Here are IFPI’s top 10 artists under the 2020 Global Album Sales Chart:

  1. BTS – “Map of the Soul: 7” – 4.8 million units
  2. BTS – “BE (Deluxe Edition)” – 2.69 million
  3. Kenshi Yonezu – “Stray Sheep” – 2.54 million
  4. Taylor Swift – “Folklore” – 1.99 million
  5. BLACKPINK – “The Album” – 1.51 million
  6. AC/DC – “Power Up” – 1.37 million
  7. Justin Bieber – “Changes” – 1.22 million
  8. BTS – “Map of the Soul: 7 – The Journey” – 1.17 million
  9. Arashi – “This is Arashi” – 1.01 million
  10. King Gnu – “Ceremony” – 0.99 million
 
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