The Shocking Reality of Manipulation of K-pop Album Sales as Revealed by Record Company Employee

In a recent revelation, an anonymous post on an online forum has shed light on the murky world of K-pop album sales manipulation. 

Claiming to be an employee of a record company, the poster exposed deceptive practices employed to inflate K-pop artists’ sales figures.

According to the post, entertainment companies engage in premeditated strategies to boost album sales. This includes orchestrating special events such as pre-order campaigns and fan signing events. The aim is to artificially inflate sales numbers and secure higher rankings on music charts.

Entertainment companies contact the record company before the comeback articles are released or they contact people they have relationships with.


The recording company asks if they can organize a special pre-order event or a fan signing event, etc.

Entertainment company: How many copies can you buy?

Record company: What events can happen with x00,000 copies?

Entertainment company: (Provides an unreasonable number for organizing events)

Record company: Oh… is this number difficult to adjust?

Entertainment company: Other companies do it a lot, so it’s tough.

Record company: Can we add other things (like special gift events)?

Entertainment company: Um… no!

Recording company: (After many negotiations, the company is pressured to buy with better conditions for the distributor).

Entertainment company: Please reflect the revenue in the ranking chart on the release date and let us know.

The process involves an agreement between entertainment and record companies, where unrealistic sales targets are set, and purchases are made in bulk. These purchased albums are then marked as sold through barcode scanning, only to be resold to fans. Consequently, albums with attached events are effectively pre-sold before reaching the hands of consumers.

While some may dismiss this as the work of a specific company, the post insists that such tactics are widespread, with nearly all major entertainment companies and K-pop idols allegedly engaging in similar practices. Instead, less famous idols only request sales through events.

Some argue that such manipulation not only deceives fans but also distorts the true landscape of the music market. Additionally, it raises concerns about environmental sustainability and the wastage of unsold inventory.

Even if only 10 companies do this trick, the number still reaches tens or hundreds of thousands of copies, so the situation is getting worse day by day.

Despite the outcry, the legality of these practices remains ambiguous, as the transactions involve legitimate purchases by the record companies. Nonetheless, calls for transparency and accountability within the industry have intensified.

K-Netizens’ reactions under the post:

  • What? They don’t display the sales figures of the record company? Could it also be manipulated? Isn’t it impossible?
  • Even if the first-week sales figures are abnormal, don’t sales continue to increase when they organize events and fan signing events?
  • Wow, I feel deceived.
  • Instead of posting anonymously, why doesn’t the OP bring it to the media so they can report on this openly, like a documentary or something?
  • Basically, this is Sajaegi.
Back to top button