Jul 14, 2023

Melon strengthens K-Pop influence on Billboard in new data partnership

July 5, SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA – Melon, Korea’s No. 1 online music streaming service and a subsidiary of Kakao Entertainment, recently entered a new partnership with Billboard that is now helping to amplify K-Pop’s global clout. Thanks to the new deal, both the number of K-Pop songs appearing on Billboard charts and their average ranking have increased since last month, significantly contributing to K-Pop’s global influence.

Through a deal inked with data and insights company Luminate Data Holdings that started on June 5th, Melon has been providing its music and download data to Billboard. That data is now being incorporated into three Billboard charts: South Korea Songs, a chart that focuses on Korea only, the Billboard Global 200, which compiles data from more than 200 countries including the U.S., and the Billboard Global Excl. U.S. Chart, which aggregates rankings outside of the U.S.

Melon’s impact on the charts was immediate. In just the second week of June, when Melon’s weekly data was fully reflected on the Billboard charts for the first time, 14 K-Pop songs appeared on the Billboard Global 200, up from 12 in the previous weeks. Among the new entrants was Stray Kids’ ‘S-Class.’ With the addition of two more Korean songs on the chart, the average ranking of K-Pop songs rose from No. 97 to No. 80.

Several previously released songs climbed back up the chart. (G)I-DLE’s ‘Queencard’ moved up 14 notches to No. 21 from No.35, and ‘I AM’ by IV leaped to No.47 from No.82. ‘Kitsch,’ another song by IVE, reentered the chart at No.187. Others joining the strong K-Pop comeback include BLACKPINK Jisoo’s ‘Flower’ (No. 65), SEVENTEEN’s ‘Super’ (No. 90), New Jeans’ ‘OMG’ (No. 93) and ‘Ditto’ (No. 153). As of the last week of June, K-Pop was maintaining its strength on the chart with 14 songs.

Melon’s impact is also evident in the Billboard Global Excl. US chart. In the last week of June, when Melon’s data was shared with Billboard, 20 K-Pop songs made it onto the chart, a 25% jump from 16 in the last week of May. The top five from Melon’s weekly chart in the last week of June – (G)I-DLE’s ‘Queencard,’ IVE’s ‘I AM,’ Aespa’s ‘Spicy,’ and LE SSERAFIM’s ‘Eve, Psyche & the Bluebeard’s Wife’ and ‘UNFORGIVEN (feat. Nile Rodgers)’ – secured positions in the Top 100 of the Billboard Global Excl. U.S. Chart, at No. 20, No. 37, No. 79, No. 42, and No. 61 respectively. Melon’s partnership with Billboard is expected to add to K-Pop’s ongoing global success and help it increase diversity.

While only 4 K-Pop groups including BTS appeared on the Billboard Global 200 in the last week of June 2022, the number almost tripled to 11 in the same period this year. The Billboard Global Excl. U.S. chart also saw a stronger K-Pop presence with 12 groups, up from 8 last year, further underscoring the importance of the partnership and the influence of Melon in general when it comes to gaining global recognition for K-Pop.

“The alliance with Billboard has opened the door for Melon’s popular artists and their songs to gain global recognition,” said Doo-wan Park, Head of Melon Strategy at Kakao Entertainment’s Music Business. “We’re committed to our mission of becoming a leading music platform that precisely reflects music market trends and promotes K-Pop artists and their songs globally.”