NCT DREAM‘s repackaged album Beatbox may be topping the charts but their fans are currently at war with album retailer KTOWN4U. KTOWN4U is known to be a regular retailer for large scale group orders. These orders are usually opened by fanclubs or fangroups. Chinese Baidu bars also often open group orders and entice fans to order with them by providing freebies with the order. These group orders are highly important in what fans call the “first-week sales”. First-week sales determine the initial results of the album on charts and help to ensure that the group will win on music shows during their promotional period. As promotional periods are getting increasingly shorter, it is imperative that first-week sales are high so that they can snag a win close to album release date. As such, fanclubs make group orders as pre-orders with retailers.
KTOWN4U is one of the rare retailers that promise to reflect all pre-orders in first-week sales. They have been operating under this premise for a long time. Hence, NCT DREAM fans decided to go with KTOWN4U over other retailers for Beatbox. This time though, fans were worried about the changing rules for Hanteo Charts and checked with KTOWN4U beforehand. According to NCT DREAM’s Chinese Bar Union, KTOWN4U assured them that all pre-orders and sales would be reflected in the first-week sales. As a result, a total of 8 Bars decided to host their pre-orders with KTOWN4U. Not only did Chinese fans participate, but Korean and international fans also made their orders with the Chinese Bars.
An unexpected wrench was thrown in the works. SM Entertainment had recalled a large portion of albums due to quality failures. This led to a shortage in stock and the album soon went out of stock online and offline. KTOWN4U was unable to receive stock and were only able to release 11,000 copies that they had on hand. They informed the Bars that these 11,000 would be reflected in the first-week sales charts first. The rest of the orders would be unable to be reflected until they were stocked with KTOWN4U. Fans were incredibly upset as thanks to the delay, the first-week sales were recorded at only around 800,000 copies rather than the 900,000 to 1,000,000 it would have originally been. In addition, other retailers were reflecting the pre-order numbers just fine and only KTOWN4U had been affected. This led fans to be suspicious about the retailer.
If the pre-order numbers with KTOWN4U had been reflected, NCT DREAM would have achieved a new personal record. Beatbox would have been their first repackaged album to achieve a million-seller record in the first week of sales. KTOWN4U is also unsure about when the albums would be stocked and hence, they are unsure if these pre-order sales would be reflected in time.
KTOWN4U continues to be unable to give a proper response. This is not the first time they have gotten in trouble with fans. They previously had to refund $2.3 million USD in sales as they had promised a reprint without prior consultation with SM Entertainment.
In the meantime, support NCT DREAM by watching their music video for “Beatbox” below.