There’s no denying that the K-Pop music genre is growing more popular each year on an international scale. Artists like BTS, BLACKPINK, Stray Kids, and more are seeing a ton of popularity and album sales in international markets, and it seems to just continually increase each year.
This year saw a new record in physical K-Pop album sales, which is especially impressive given the increasing digitalization of music and media in general. According to Circle Chart, there have been a total of 74,195,544 albums sold by the top 400 K-Pop artists in 2022, compared to 57,089,160 in 2021. That’s an increase of over 17.1 million albums, or 130%.
Not only that, but the top 15 K-Pop artists alone accounted for around 45.5 million of those sales (or about 61.3% of the total)! Several of the artists that ranked in the top 15 only released one album this year, too, which makes their achievement all the more impressive.
To start with the top seller of the year, BTS, the nearly decade-old K-Pop group released just one album this year — PROOF — and yet they still remained on top of the chart!
Stray Kids, meanwhile, released two Korean-language mini-albums (ODDINARY and MAXIDENT) in 2022, and saw record sales numbers for fourth generation K-Pop artists.
The third best-selling artist was SEVENTEEN, and they also released two albums — the full studio album Face the Sun and its reissue, Sector 17 — showing just how much of an impact they’re making on the industry now.
Fourth place went to NCT DREAM (who released three albums — Glitch Mode, Beatbox, and Candy), fifth went to BLACKPINK (who earned the spot with just one album release, BORN PINK, this year), and sixth was taken by TXT (who also released just one album, Minisode 2: Thursday’s Child, in 2022).
The rest of the top 15 best-selling K-Pop artists and their album releases of 2022 are as follows:
- 7th: ENHYPEN (Dimension: Answer and Manifesto: Day 1)
- 8th: IVE (Love Dive and After LIKE)
- 9th: NCT 127 (2 Baddies)
- 10th: Red Velvet (The ReVe Festival 2022 – Feel My Rhythm and The ReVe Festival 2022 – Birthday)
- 11th: ITZY (Checkmate and Cheshire)
- 12th: aespa (Girls)
- 13th: TWICE (Between 1&2)
- 14th: TREASURE (The Second Step: Chapter One and The Second Step: Chapter Two)
- 15th: LE SSERAFIM (FEARLESS and Antifragile)
Here’s a look at how each of the top 15 K-Pop artists contributed to the total sales they made together.
Fans have been commenting on an online post discussing the incredible sales numbers to show their astonishment and admiration for how many physical albums the top 15 artists sold this year.
- “LE SSERAFIM made it too❤️”
- “K-Pop seriously grew in such a ridiculous way. If you showed this to me a few years ago, I’d call you a liar”
- “Just the fact that TREASURE is here is so admirable”
- “TXT only had 1 comeback, they are selling well”
- “So Stray Kids were a group that sold this well huh, wow…”
- “aespa with 1 mini album this year”
- “The Bangtannies with PROOF at the top as they should 🥰”
- “IVE with 2 single albums they did well monster rookies”
- “BLACKPINK are a wall wow. With only one comeback they did this. BTS are even more impressive considering the fact that their album and title track weren’t even intended to show off, so it was really impressing”
We expect that sales numbers for 2023 will be even higher!