2022 was an incredible year to be a K-pop fan. From some of the hottest releases yet (hellllo BTS and IVE), to compelling news stories like BigBang’s massive comeback, it really was a banner year. And we’ve got you covered with this top five of all the major K-pop happenings on Melon that you definitely want to reminisce about as we turn the page to a new chapter in 2023.
#1 Melon by the numbers (spoiler alert: many, many hours of streaming!)
Let’s start with the numbers because Melon was off the charts this year:
- 45.5 billion total streams
- 2.7 billion hours streamed
- 123.7 million likes
- 8.8 million comments
- 1.1 billion searches
What else can we say besides, “thank you.” We love all the engagement. Also, we hope everyone found what they were looking for…👀 That’s a lot of searches. Truly mind-blowing.
Now, let’s turn to some of the big acts. Here are the artists that bubbled to the top of listeners’ playlists.
- BTS, highest website traffic: reached on June 10 at precisely 6 p.m. when their album “Proof” dropped
- BigBang146,721: That’s the highest number of simultaneous listeners, for their song “Still Life”
- Kim Min-seok (MeloMance) 42: Number of days at No. 1, for the song “DrunKen Confession”
- G(I-DLE) 993,257: Number of playlists the group’s song “Tomboy” appeared on
#2 The Indie Scene is baaaack!
Okay, it was never really gone, but since Melon’s Track Zero project kicked off in April, there’s been a huge K-indie revival. Track Zero is all about finding hidden gems in the underground indie scene, with selected artists winning a spot on Melon’s Track Zero Playlist every Thursday. There’s also a Track Zero program, where artists get to introduce their music to their fans. Melon even took the K-indie act offline with a live performance stage in the bustling Hongdae district.
It was a big boost for the 360 artists who debuted on the Track Zero playlist. As these songs are also featured on the Melon main page, this helped increase their streams by up to seven-fold. Eighteen artists appeared on the Track Zero program and 26 gave listeners some amazing performances on the Track Zero Alive stage in Hongdae, including Silica Gel, Maria Kim, and Hollow Jan, all of whom were discovered by Track Zero.
#3 Switching on the Melon Spotlight for cool new releases
Launched in March, Melon Spotlight introduces the latest releases from the biggest stars. Exclusive video content was created with the artists and streamed on both the Melon main page and the giant screen at K-pop Square in Gangnam. So far, 44 artists including BTS, IVE, NewJeans, and BLACKPINK, as well as foreign acts like John Legend and Charlie Puth, introduced their newest music to fans in the Melon Spotlight.
#4 You name the theme, we got the chart
Let’s say you just broke up with your significant other and you need a song to get you through. Or maybe some new workout jams to get you up and moving? Music is eclectic, and Melon covered it all this year with a new chart campaign called “Top 100 of Everything.” The campaign kicked off in June, introducing just about every top 100 list you can imagine. They even made a video with top celebs like IU and Yoo Hee-yeol that went viral with over 20 million views.
Best of all, stream counts for these theme charts increased ten-fold within four weeks of the launch, and we saw tons of engagement from listeners. That’s huge for Melon’s 5 million premium users who love exploring new music.
#5 Getting our groove on with local biz in Seoul
Melon’s “HotPly (short for Hot Place Playlist)” puts a new spin on culture by seeking out hip stores and restaurants playing catchy playlists. More than 80 best playlist restaurants were selected from user recommendations. All 314 recommended lists can now be found on Melon’s DJ Hot Place Playlist account. We’re pretty chuffed with this because the project helped promote small businesses like barbershops, stationery stores, and even flower shops. Music truly does bring everyone together.
There’s no single way to define what a year 2022 has been, but there’s one thing that can be said about this year’s K-pop: our artists continue to break records and take the world by storm. Melon will keep on amplifying all the best K-pop sounds – online and off – with discoveries and promotions. And we absolutely can’t wait to see what 2023 brings for K-pop.