Sunday, June 17, 2012

Big Bang dominates first half of 2012, expected to surpass half-million mark in album sales

Idol group Big Bang has dominated the K-Pop scene for the first half of 2012, both online and off.

Big Bang is currently in first place with the most albums sold within the first half of the year. Their mini-album ‘Alive‘ and their special edition album ‘Still Alive‘ have combined to surpass 400,000 units in sales. Their force was strong on the music charts as well. Title songs “Fantastic Baby” and “Monster” along with many of the subtracks on the albums ranked highly on the charts. The boys who boast a wide and solid fan base in Korea have kicked off their World Tour, and are also slowly dominating the market overseas. Because the boys made a comeback after members Daesung and G-Dragon went through some difficult and trying times, this album is that much more meaningful for both the group members and the fans alike. 

At this rate, it looks like Big Bang’s album sales will be able to easily surpass the half million mark. ‘Alive’ released last February (280,000 copies), and ‘Still Alive’ released earlier this month (120,000 copies) sold over 400,000 copies as of the first week of June. In second place was Girls’ Generation‘s sub-unit TaeTiSeo and JYJ‘s Kim Junsu (XIA) who both sold 120,000 copies. That’s a difference of nearly 300,000 copies between first and second place, so Big Bang is comfortably leading the race. An insider from album distribution group Korean Music Partners remarked, “420,000 albums have been shipped, and nearly all the albums have been sold in the markets. Without a doubt, Big Bang is in first place when it comes to most albums sold within the first half of the year. They will easily surpass 500,000 copies.” 

“Super Junior will be releasing an album around July,” the rep continued. “It looks like the two groups will be battling it out for most album sales this year.” 

Big Bang is the only artist this year to have all the songs on their albums rank high on music charts. Their agency YG Entertainment remarked, “All the songs on the album were dubbed title tracks. We did not focus on promoting just one song, rather, we wanted to introduce all of the songs. That’s how much confidence we had in the quality of the album. The hard work seems to have paid off, reaping positive results when it came to sales numbers and success on the music charts.” 

The boys received an explosive response from overseas as well. As of June 15th, the MV for their song “Fantastic Baby” recorded 27,600,000 views on YouTube, while the MV for ”Blue” received more than 23 million views. They are both in first place for the highest viewed K-Pop music videos released this year. What’s more, Big Bang’s albums and merchandise are now being sold to all corners of the world on newly opened YGStore on E-bay. According to E-bay Korea, over $12,000 worth of merchandise was sold in a single day, breaking a new-seller record in the past two years. 

Responding to the fans’ response, the boys have kicked off their world tour. Their tour was produced by Live Nation, the experts behind tours for world-famous pop stars such as Madonna and Lady Gaga. Live Nation recently opened up a branch in Korea for the very firs time, and Big Bang is the first Korean artists they have worked with. Live Nation’s Alan Ridgeway remarked, “I am glad to be able to bring Big Bang to K-Pop fans all over the world. It will contribute to further spreading K-Pop all over the world.” 

Big Bang has just completed shows in Osaka and Yokohama, and are headed to Saitama and Fukuoka next. Once their Japan tour comes to an end, the boys will be traveling to China, Indonesia, Singapore, Hong Kong, and more.

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