Fact Check: Did The 2023 “MAMA Awards” Make A Major Change To Its “Album Of The Year” Criteria?

Each year fans argue about the set criteria.

Each year, the MAMA Awards honors the achievements of K-Pop groups during one of the most anticipated ceremonies. This year, the event will occur November 28 and 29 at the Tokyo Dome.

| Mnet

On October 19, the list of nominees for the various awards was revealed, though many K-Pop fans felt some artists were robbed of nominations.

“It Has To Be Rigged!” Netizens Debate On The K-Pop Idols Who Were Robbed Of Nominations For The 2023 “MAMA Awards”

Another concern for many fans is the criteria for how each award is awarded. There has been controversy over the weight of the judges’ opinions, and fears of award rigging have been strong.

However, for this year’s awards, some concern has been shown over an alleged change to the qualifications shared in a viral tweet on X (Twitter).  According to the tweet, the MAMA Awards allegedly changed the “Album of The Year” criteria from 80% based on song downloads/streams to 80% based on album sales.

The difference in physical album sales vs. song downloads and streaming has been well-documented, with many groups performing better in one segment than the other, as discussed by the Director of the Circle Chart.

Some fans feared this alleged “change” would remove the show’s credibility and ignited accusations of rigging.

But was this an actual change?

Criteria for awards can often change as the musical landscape changes and evolves. In 2021, MAMA notably announced a change in criteria to reflect K-Pop’s much more global nature.

| CJENM.com

In order to make sure that global trends are reflected in the results, global data will be integrated in the judging process. For the first time ever, MAMA will be introducing a global music chart to reflect worldwide trends in the results through its partnership with global streaming service Apple Music, currently serviced in 167 countries. Through Apple Music, K-pop fans all over the world will be able to take part in 2021 MAMA. Apple Music’s global charts will join Gaon Chart, Twitter, and YouTube.

Looking back on last year’s criteria for the “Album of the Year” category, there is a difference from this year. Last year’s criteria were based on 60% album sales and 40% judges’ panel.

Album of the Year predictions from the 2022 MAMA Awards. | theqoo

This means the actual change in criteria was a decrease in the weight of the judges’ opinions, something that many K-Pop fans actually would approve of as it leaves the decision more based on numbers.

What do you think about this?