K-pop albums sold 57 million copies in 2021

Published January 14, 2022, 11:44 AM

by Jonathan Hicap

A total of 57.09 million physical copies of K-pop albums were sold in 2021, according to Korea’s Gaon Music Chart.

The total is an increase of 15.38 million albums, or 37 percent, compared to 41.7 million copies of K-pop albums sold in 2020. The total physical album sales in 2021 were based on the top 400 albums in Korea.

(Clockwise from top left) BTS, IU, Brave Girls and NCT 127 (Big Hit Music, Twitter, Instagram)

The Gaon Music Chart report stated that physical album sales may slow down slightly if in-person concerts return to normal again but based on the annual sales of 50 million albums, it is expected to increase from mid to long-term perspective.

From just 8.26 million physical albums sold in 2013, the number jumped to 57.09 million copies in 2021, or an increase of 48.82 million copies, or 591 percent.

In digital music, the sales of the top 400 songs decreased by 10.3 percent compared to 2020 and lower by 23.8 compared to 2019.

Here are the top 10 best-selling physical albums in Korea in 2021, according to Gaon Music Chart:

1. BTS – “Butter” – 2,999,407

2. NCT 127 – “Sticker” – 2,427,559

3. NCT DREAM – “Hot Sauce” – 2,097,185

4. Seventeen – “Attacca” – 2,059,073

5. NCT – “Universe” – 1,630,715

6. Seventeen – “Your Choice” – 1,462,405-

7. EXO – “Don’t Fight The Feeling” – 1,326,189

8. Stray Kids – “NOEASY” – 1,303,106

9. ENHYPEN – “Dimension: Dilemma” – 1,205,949

10. BTS – “BE” – 1,049,496

Here are the top 10 songs in 2021 based on the overall digital chart, according to Gaon Music Chart:

1. IU – “Celebrity”

2. Brave Girls – “Rollin’”

3. BTS – “Dynamite”

4. IU – “Lilac”

5. Aespa – “Next Level”

6. Justin Bieber – “Peaches” (feat. Daniel Caesar and Giveon)

7. BTS – “Butter”

8. Lee Mu-jin – “Traffic Light”

9. KyoungSeo – “Shiny Star”

10. MSG Wannabe (M.O.M) – “Foolish Love”

 
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