How SuperM got a No. 1 U.S. album https://t.co/mcYO2KKT4A— billboard (@billboard) October 18, 2019
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