Thursday, 13 June 2013

Fan Club Sizes vs Physical Album Sales

Gaon recently published a list of album sales versus fan club sizes in an article questioning what fan club sizes really represent.
























Here is a chart of official fanclub member numbers (Naver/Daum, with a few exceptions, 2nd column) and sales of a single album from those artists in 2012 (3rd column) with the exception of Cho Yong Pil's Hello and SNSD's I Got a Boy which were released this year. Artists like Super Junior, SHINee, SNSD, Busker Busker and Cho Yong Pil have higher album sales than fan club members with BIGBANG also fairly close. The extra sales can easily come from overseas fans who cannot be part of official fanclubs on sites like Naver and individuals switching fanclubs to support a comeback causing fluctuations.

The real question is those artists who have a much bigger fanclub than sales.  If an individual is dedicated enough to pick being in an artist's fanclub, why wouldn't they buy the album? Infinite, Xia Junsu, B2ST and DBSK all have significantly bigger fanclubs than physical sales. The simple answer might be that many fans chose to buy digitally or perhaps even did not like the specific album and did not buy it. Others have noted that some fans wait to buy repacks if the artist is known for doing them meaning a portion of the fanbase did not buy the original album but did buy the repack, but with sales also coming from overseas and fans not in the specific fanclub, the discrepancy may be even higher.





















(Super Junior, BIGBANG, DBSK, SHINee, B2ST, Infnite, Xiz Junsu, Busker Busker, Cho Yong Pil)

This chart shows the same information in bar graph form with red representing album sales and green the number of fanclub members. There may be other explanations but it is certainly a very interesting look at changing sales patterns and public recognition. Perhaps if digital whole album sales were taken into account we might see that many fans simply prefer to buy digitally or that some artists have fans who are older and do not join online fanclubs but buy albums nonetheless. What do you think these numbers mean?

source of graphs: http://www.gaonchart.co.kr/main/section/special/opinion/view.gaon?idx=68

*What is written in this article is not a direct translation of Gaon's article but an assessment of the graphs.

8 comments:

  1. Very interesting article, thanks!
    The numbers for Big Bang are misleading because the sales for Still Alive Repackage aren't listed. :P Combined, the sales exceed the number of offical VIPs by 150k+.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yes that is why in the article I specifically discussed how repack might impact the number.

      "Others have noted that some fans wait to buy repacks if the artist is known for doing them meaning a portion of the fanbase did not buy the original album but did buy the repack, but with sales also coming from overseas and fans not in the specific fanclub, the discrepancy may be even higher."

      But realistically there is some overlap of people who buy the album and repack, its just hard to know how many. Still BIGBANG's numbers are close so they aren't really an issue.

      Delete
  2. for super junior they don't have official fanclub ,there's like three other fanclubs.
    anyway i think this can describe K-ELF "some artists have fans who are older and do not join online fanclubs but buy albums nonetheless"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Super Junior does have an official Korean online fanclub which is where does numbers are from. Its not the same as a fanclub run by the company that you have to pay to become a member of though.

      Delete
    2. Actually, if by the "official Korean online fanclub", you are referring to Daum, then SJ does indeed have two official clubs on there. Otherwise, I'm curious as to where Gaon got their fanclub numbers from. Would you happen to know where it is that these mysterious numbers come from?

      I mean their numbers do make sense though. SJ is known for being much more popular internationally (especially SE Asia) than they are in S. Korea. Thus, these international fans cannot join the Korean fanclub but can easily buy the Korean version of the albums.

      Delete
  3. Oh also, I find it surprising that Gaon would use Naver/Daum numbers because many of these "fanclubs" shut down their membership acceptance. Some fanclubs accept new members without Korean ID numbers while others do not. Thus, groups like TVXQ have an open fanclub where all you have to do is click "Join" whereas with one of SJ's clubs you have to provide an ID # only available to Korean citizens.

    I think that might account for some of the difference. TVXQ's fanclub #s for example are at 600K+ but for the longest time (while they were most popular) no ID # was required. Thus, all you had to do is make a ton of accounts on Daum (which isn't hard) and then click join on TVXQ's fanclub. That was back when people put much more stock in Daum's #s. Nowadays, most people in S. Korea really don't pay attention to Daum fanclubs, especially not the senior groups.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't control what GAON chooses to use in their articles. The issue is the companies do not post their official fanclub numbers so this is the only indication of a fanclub that there is, even if apparently people don't pay attention to it anymore. If you want more information its on the original article which goes into more depth.

      This is what it says: *except for Jo Yong Pil singer's fan club members, the following comes from Naver or Daum cafe's fan club, and in the case of Jo Yong Pil's own fan club members, they come from the sum of three running clubs.

      Delete