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K-POP Chart Manipulation Issue – Industry Controversy

K-POP CHART MANIPULATION – The K-Pop industry is facing a recurring controversy regarding the chart manipulation issue.

K-POP Chart Manipulation Issue - Songs Boosted On Charts For A Fee
Image from: KpopHit

The Issue resurfaced into the spotlight after an SBS investigative journalism show highlighted suspicious chart trends. Their latest episode was titled “Unanswered Questions”.

According to the show, there are times where a song from a relatively unknown musician would suddenly skyrocket to the charts without any momentum.

Following this, the program showed interviews with local musicians that stated they had come in contact with brokers who offered to manipulate charts for large fees.

On the show, there was an anonymous broker who explained that manipulation is done after a viral marketing campaign. This is done as a tactic to shield themselves from suspicions.

The chart manipulation issue was first put to light in 2013. These were highlighted by top K-pop companies like YG Entertainment, S.M Entertainment, and JYP Entertainment.

Their CEOs pushed for a government investigation into the alleged brokers. However, the case was cut short due to a lack of evidence.

Following this, the issue was raised again in April of 2018 when bands from the “Big Three” companies, S.M, JYP, and YG released albums around the same time. Although they had a huge following, their songs failed to top the charts.

This caused doubts among the majority of music industry insiders. In addition, the public also had questions about the validity of the charts.

According to AllKpop this is how the chart manipulation works based on an insider:

“If you get within the top 10, you at least get hundreds of millions of Won (hundred million Won is equal to $83814.58 USD) a month, so it’s worthwhile. You rent about 5 PC rooms in the countryside, give them 20 IDs in the early morning, and have them work all through the morning. I heard that makes you go up on the music charts.”

Like this article? READ ALSO: K-Pop Star Sulli (Choi Jin-Ri) Died At The Age Of 25

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