9:14 am - 10/19/2019

Billboard: Inside SuperM's Big Sales Week & How They Got a Number 1 Album

Since collectible physical packages of albums have proven so popular among K-pop fans in Korea, SM and Capitol offered eight different CD variations -- one cover for each of the seven members, along with a group edition. Plus, more than 60 merchandise/album bundles were available to purchase through their official web stores.

SuperM’s upcoming 10-date North American arena tour, launching Nov. 11, also includes a concert ticket/album sale redemption offer, where a CD copy of the album was bundled into the purchase price of the ticket. Customers could choose to redeem the album and have it mailed to them, but only those redeemed albums could count towards the charts. But given the fervency of K-pop fans, it’s safe to assume these albums were redeemed at above-average rates.

When the album was released on Oct. 4, SuperM celebrated by hosting a week-long, wildly popular pop-up shop in Los Angeles during street week, right next to the Hollywood Walk of Fame, where fans could purchase the CD. The same week, SuperM held hyper-efficient album signings at record stores in the Los Angeles area, where only one band member signed each customer’s CD to avoid bottlenecking -- instead of having the entire group sign a disc.


“SuperM fans bought the mini album in numbers because it was their way of expressing their fandom and support of the band,” says MIDiA Research managing director Mark Mulligan. “Both K-pop and Japanese idol artists have been doing this kind of thing for years in their domestic markets, to such an extent that physical revenues are growing strongly in South Korea, driven by young K-pop fans.”


“Just when everyone tells you young people don’t listen to albums and they certainly don’t buy albums, a clever marketing team who knows how to appeal to a core fan base proves them wrong,” comments Russ Crupnick, managing partner at industry analysis firm MusicWatch.

The promotional master-plan could serve as a blueprint for monetizing fandom, a tactic born in K-pop but with the potential to work for other genres, too.

Source: @billboard | billboard.com
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suggestivepeach 19th-Oct-2019 12:32 pm (UTC)

I read a tweet the other day that was calling out all the antis who criticise SuperM for not having “organic success” because 1. Artists have been doing bundles for years and 2. Following that same logic, streaming your fave’s music videos hundreds of times per day shouldn’t be considered “organic” either. Anyways, this was a cool achievement, so congrats to them.

lil_poisonfrog 19th-Oct-2019 10:13 pm (UTC)
The hypocrisy over mass streaming is so laughable. Are Armys (bc we know that's who's behind this controversy) really gonna pretend that shit reflects their faves' popularity with the general public?? I remember they got so mad when YT changed their view counter to combat bots lol. Then again they also think BTS has hit songs in America so the delusion is pretty unstoppable at this point
katheli 19th-Oct-2019 02:03 pm (UTC)
no explanation on why US sales were almost identical to worldwide sales in the 1st week then

no offense but I don't see what's admirable about this kind of manipulation. Sure others do it too but to this extent? Bundles make it sooo easy to cheat when it comes to sales.

and as for blueprint for monetising, hopefully not - bundles always cost the artist. The money the label loses on the redeeming of albums etc is put on the promotional costs bill, which the artist get deducted from their final gross. So with the way K-Pop works that's just gonna rip off the actual idols even more.
yuzuruhanyu 19th-Oct-2019 02:08 pm (UTC)
still confused as to how the conversation managed to stray away from global orders being counted as US orders (which is ??) to only on bundles (which everyone does)

ig if billboard cosigns on it it's okay but i'm confusion
katheli 19th-Oct-2019 02:15 pm (UTC)
they probably don't want to admit that happened cause they'd lose more credibility than they already have this year
(no subject) - Anonymous - Expand
sapphiredeity 19th-Oct-2019 03:19 pm (UTC)
yea, the true social justice warriors bullying the group in the name of organic success in the music industry
(no subject) - Anonymous - Expand
mishiro_san 19th-Oct-2019 04:10 pm (UTC)
Was the physical album truly even released worldwide tho? I remember reading that the sm global shop wasn't shipping the albums out till November. I didn't even see the album being listed as part of the goods sold at the Super M pop up shop in Seoul either.
ohmylol 19th-Oct-2019 04:15 pm (UTC)
No, it wasn't , people who have tried to buy it have said that it's going to be shipped until November 4th I think , some fan account from my country had 100 copies because someone bought those copies in the US and then shipped it
rainstormraider 19th-Oct-2019 04:29 pm (UTC)

Billboard and Capitol and SM are shady and the system needs an overhaul but can we seriously not just enjoy SuperM’s debut without it turning into a messy investigation?

Also some of y’all continue to show your hypocrisy in all this. The same people questioning why Gaon counts international sales are now trying to normalise this. The same people who made fun of Taylor and Gaga for bundles and crazy album sales tactics are now saying they’re impressed with SM’s strategy.
Y’all really make it obvious that you just want to start fan wars and not actually enjoy SuperM’s music.
ohmylol 19th-Oct-2019 04:34 pm (UTC)
Liking music shouldn't be that exhausting and annoying but here we are , I miss when I only liked old groups because who cares if best band in the world Depeche Mode charts lol , but with current music everything is about charting and views and social media and honestly is getting on my nerves

Edit : I mean I know charts have always mattered lol but it seems to be that right now that's only what matters , if the groups chart or not and not if people enjoy the music , super M debuted 2 weeks ago and already all this mess has happened 💀💀

Edited at 2019-10-19 04:37 pm (UTC)
franklotion 19th-Oct-2019 05:22 pm (UTC)
slightly ot, but i really hope they won't be pushed way beyond their limits (it's SM so it's given they'll be worked like horses), but w/ sulli's passing and, even, jonghyun's, i'm worried about their psyche atm, especially taemin's :/
goshipgurl 19th-Oct-2019 05:33 pm (UTC)
Just when everyone tells you young people don’t listen to albums and they certainly don’t buy albums, a clever marketing team who knows how to appeal to a core fan base proves them wrong,

Been saying this for years. Album sales are dropping left and right except in Korea where bands like bts or exo manage to sell even more copies with every comeback.
Western artists are starting to jump on the bundles concept but Kpop companies are just way better at Marketing.
psharp10 19th-Oct-2019 05:51 pm (UTC)
lmao do we really need multiple separate posts just to talk about the same issue again and again? and my idea of time is anyway messed up but it seems like i've seen this topic discussed in multiple posts within a week

at this point i can't even be bothered to care, it's just funny (and ridiculous) now lol
snowphone 19th-Oct-2019 10:33 pm (UTC)
no need to comment if you can't be bothered to care!
garnetstar38 19th-Oct-2019 06:26 pm (UTC)
Can admins please ban any mention of Twitter bulls*hit? I come into threads constantly here that get derailed by twitter stan drama. And it’s the obsession with one fandom.

Congratulations on this number one. They used the established sales tactics that most every artist uses to chart. Were there albums shipped overseas that were counted towards US sales? Perhaps, but there is no proof at this time.

If more artists use this tactic for sales going forward maybe more information will come out. But I do think it’s very unusual for artists to do US releases only. Most releases are global to maximize sales.

The US music industry feels Bundles are a necessary sales tool. Album sales have tanked and the way people consume music is changing rapidly. So how do you create metrics that accurately reflect what is popular? Many of the existing metrics are susceptible to manipulation by labels. Spotify, Radio are all influenced by money and bias. I don’t know what the answer is. In a global world these kind of charts might become meaningless.
rainstormraider 19th-Oct-2019 09:12 pm (UTC)
I’ve noticed a pattern here for hating or trying to blame one fanbase for all the drama. Every time Twitter drama is brought here it’s with an intention to somehow make it about BTS. I’m okay with talking about things that happen on Twitter but the intentions here are very clear.
The obsession with ARMY is really strange.
merlugd 19th-Oct-2019 06:31 pm (UTC)
"The promotional master-plan could serve as a blueprint for monetizing fandom, a tactic born in K-pop but with the potential to work for other genres, too"....SM always a trend setter.
thebloomroom 19th-Oct-2019 06:37 pm (UTC)
The whole thing is exhausting. Congrats to them, they worked hard and that’s all i have to say
chukachukachoo 19th-Oct-2019 09:07 pm (UTC)
I feel like none of this really matters? Also kpop stans need classes in media literacy.

Congrats to SuperM! Can't wait for them to start up promotions again.
vintage_boom 19th-Oct-2019 11:27 pm (UTC)
babygivenchy 19th-Oct-2019 11:48 pm (UTC)
everything that has been happening, from rolling my eyes when the seeing the term "organic", due to severe misinterpretation of its meaning, to the sudden influx of chart specialists has only made me check for superm (especially BAEKHYUN) more ! LMAO
binderwritings 20th-Oct-2019 01:42 am (UTC)
They really went all out for that number one between the flash sales, listening party, and all the events they had in person and on social media sites it's no wonder why they got number 1.
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