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Saturday, March 2, 2024

K-pop album exports reach record high

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Girl group NewJeans wins Top Global K-pop Artist at the 2023 Billboard Awards [BILLBOARD]
Girl group NewJeans wins Top Global K-pop Artist at the 2023 Billboard Awards [BILLBOARD]

This year’s K-pop album exports surpassed 300 billion won ($230 million) as of October. That’s the highest that number has been in October of any year, and means that international K-pop sales turned more profit in the first 10 months of 2023 than they did in all of 2022.

K-pop albums sold $243.8 million overseas from January to October of this year, which is a 20.3 on-year percent increase, according to a trade report that the Korea Customs Service released Sunday.

This figure has already exceeded last year’s total exports, marking the highest annual export value to date.

The annual export value of albums has grown 70 percent over the past three years; it was reported to be $136.2 million in 2020, $220.9 million in 2021 and $231.4 million last year.

Japan, the United States and China were the top three importers of K-pop albums, followed by Taiwan, Germany, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Canada, France and Britain.

Exports to the United States increased 67.3 percent on year. Exports to China, by contrast, dropped 51.1 percent.

Album exports to the United States from January to October of this year amounted to $54.3 million — more than double the value of exports to China, which brought in $23.3 million.

The numbers reflect the growing popularity of K-pop stars in the U.S. market. Multiple K-pop artists have landed on the Billboard charts and appeared in award ceremonies this year.

Jimin and Jungkook of BTS have reached No. 1 on Billboard’s main singles chart, the Hot 100.

Other groups, including, Tomorrow X TogetherStray Kids and NewJeans have also appeared on the publication’s main album chart, the Billboard 200.

BY HYEON YE-SEUL [kjdculture@joongang.co.kr]