K-pop album exports hit record high in 2022

By Kim Joo-heon Posted : January 17, 2023, 10:08 Updated : July 18, 2023, 10:04

[Courtesy of Big Hit Music]

SEOUL -- Exports of South Korean K-pop albums in 2022 reached $233 million, up 5.6 percent on-year, state data showed. For the first time, more than 80 million copies were sold. 
Data released by the state-run tax organization Korea Customs Service showed that Japan was the largest importer of K-pop albums with $85.74 million, followed by China with $51.33 million and the United States with $38.88 million. Other top 10 importers include Taiwan, Thailand, Germany and France.
In 2022, more than 80 million copies of K-pop albums were sold, up 21.4 million copies from a year ago. The most popular albums were BTS' album called Proof and MAXIDENT by Stray Kids, an eight-member band from JYP Entertainment. The two albums sold more than 3 million copies each.

South Korea's music album exports have consistently increased since exceeding $40 million for the first time in 2017, surpassing $100 million in 2020, and $200 million in 2021.

All BTS members will fulfill their military service in South Korea which is still technically at war with North Korea. In South Korea, all able-bodied males who are 18 and older must do their mandatory military service unless they have a valid reason for exemption. However, new rookie groups such as IVE, a girl group under K-pop band MONSTA X's agency Starship Entertainment, and NewJeans, a super rookie girl group formed by ADOR, a subsidiary label of the agency of BTS are gaining popularity. 
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