With the report containing as much information as it does, we predict a considerable amount of controversy to hit the music industry soon. Songs that were targeted to be abusing the sajaegi system include a number of the biggest hit tracks of the year, making it a bigger shock to come. Hit tracks are essentially not becoming hits through the love of fans but through outright manipulation.
▶ Rookies spend upwards of $500,000 USD, established artists around $300,000 on sajaegi
For a while, 'digital sajaegi' has been a well known secret of the industry, with tons of talk about certain idol singers hitting all kills on the digital charts with sajaegi. According to investigations, there are about 3~5 brokers active in the country. For $500,000 USD, rookie singers can maintain a top 20 position on the best digital charts for up to 4-5 days. Artists with more popularity/public recognition pay about $300,000 for the same conditions. Most of the brokers used to be viral marketers, so they're familiar with how real time charts on portal sites are worked.
▶ How does 'sajaegi' happen?
The report contains a detailed explanation of the patterns used behind sajaegi. They'll first create or grab hold of a number of accounts and purchase a large amount of digital streaming coupons. Brokers will then wait for the right timing such as early morning when the rest of the public is asleep and use those accounts to stream the song and create traffic. The song can be streamed thousands of times at once in this manner.
Because songs are an average of 3 minutes long, one account can only stream up to 480 times a day. However, according to investigations, there have been accounts found with over 10,000 streams a day through abusing the system with a hack/mask device emulator program.
▶ Which singers got popular through sajaegi then?
Team 'A' used sajaegi to jump from 160th to 28th on a real time chart while team 'B' jumped from 260th to 30th. According to the report, another singer who released a summer comeback hit track has also been found to have abused the system. Despite the singer's popularity, the singer wasn't able to reflect that popularity onto the digital charts, leading the singer's company to give them the extra push. One account was found to have streamed the song over 3,000 times a day, easily helping the song land at the 1st place position.
The sajaegi effect on the digital charts will of course transition over to the music programs that use the ranking system.
Distribution companies are coming up with a response to this controversy and will be launching legal investigations into the brokers and the entertainment agencies involved with the brokers.
netizens are saying it's EXO lol