“Digging consumption” drives K-pop album sales to new record high amid year of global economic hardship
불황에도 K팝 음반은 호황 ‘디깅 문화’가 이끈다
Also on the entertainment front.
Exports of K-pop albums posted a fresh high last year amid a fan culture that places emphasis on fervent collection.
Lee Eun-jin has more on this phenomenon.
Long lines at the department store as shoppers wait for the doors to open and it’s not for a big discount offer.
These are fans of K-pop waiting to purchase the latest goods and music items from their favorite groups.
From CD albums to posters, photo cards, and key chains freshly stocked items sell out very quickly.
“Different versions of photo cards included with the album I think there’s fun in collecting these various photo cards.”
“K-pop in general is much more interesting than a lot of music in America, just because there’s more stuff going on. We don’t have stuff like this in America”
Along with the growing number of global fans of K-pop, the demand for their albums has also increased.
Export sales for albums reached a record high in 2022.
Exports have been steadily rising over the past five years, with sales reaching a new peak of over 2-hundred-and-33 million U.S. dollars last year.
By country, the top three markets for album sales are Japan, China and the U.S.
And 7 of the top 10 selling CD albums of 2022 in the U.S. were from K-pop groups.
This success is driven by a fandom culture that features a desire for collecting.
Fans purchase these CD albums not only for the purpose of listening to the music but to further immerse themselves in their fandom by adding to their collection.
Experts in consumer science call this “digging consumption”.
“Whether it’s a hobby or personal preference, making the effort to collect certain items makes a person more inclined to immerse themselves in it.”
A trait of millennials and Gen Z’s is getting a sense of satisfaction from immersive experiences, and that includes the habit of collecting.
And this seems to be one of the biggest driving forces behind the fast-growing success of the K-pop content industry.
Lee Eunjin, Arirang News.
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2023-03-07, 14:00 (KST)