Chart king, Instiz, has released several pie charts measuring album sales in Korea for 2012. Some of the results are no-brainers (Super Junior sells a billion copies of latest album!), but there's also a lot that will surprise K-pop fans, too.
For example, did anybody realize that Wooyoung was JYP Entertainment's best-selling artist of 2012? The 2PM star accounted for 36% of the label's album sales last year, followed by miss A with 19%, and Wonder Girls with 17%. Wooyoung's EP wasn't even hugely successful in the overall scheme of K-pop albums last year, which just goes to show how much JYP really relies on 2PM as a group when it comes to selling records.
Over at YG Entertainment, BIGBANG accounted for 50% of the label's 2012 album sales, while the group's leader, G-Dragon, followed with 26%. That means that a whopping 3/4 of YG's yearly sales came out of just BIGBANG alone.
PSY ranked third with 12%, followed by 2NE1 with 4%, and Epik High with 3%. 2NE1's low percentage is understandable considering that the girls only released one song last year, but Epik High's showing is disappointing -- especially with their success on the singles chart.
Out of the "big three" companies in K-pop, it was SM Entertainment who had the most even amount of best-sellers. Super Junior made up 36% of the label's sales, followed by TVXQ at 22%, SHINee at 13%, EXO-K at 9%, and Girls' Generation-TTS, also at 9%. The regular Girls' Generation managed to account for 6% of SM's 2012 album sales despite not releasing an album that year, while f(x) trailed slightly behind at 5%.
When ranking by label, SM was the clear winner with 28%, followed by YG in second place, and surprisingly, Woolim Entertainment in third. Woolim had a big 2012 thanks to INFINITE's hugely-successful INFINITIZE EP, on top of Sunggyu's chart-topping solo debut and two new albums from popular rock group, Nell. Helping Woolim out further is the fact that all their releases last year were from male artists. (Male artists generally tend to sell more physical records, while the females excel in digital sales.)
Overall, the top five album-sellers in Korea last year were Super Junior, BIGBANG, TVXQ, INFINITE, and SHINee. All male, and all groups.
As for the ladies, T-ara was the highest selling female act of 2012, defeating the likes of Girls' Generation-TTS, IU, f(x), and KARA. It just goes to show how high the group's popularity was before their mid-year scandal, which has been so damaging to their reputation that they've had to go and promote in Japan instead of Korea for the time being.
B.A.P was the only rookie act to place on the pie chart, but considering that they had the most physical releases of any K-pop artist last year, their placement is hardly a shock.
Check out the pie charts in full, below.
[Via Netizen Buzz]