[K-POP] SNSD : Know How The Girls Dominate Music Bank (INFO)

Here’s how Music Bank points work. It’s bit complicated. You don’t have to know this, it’s only for those interested. If numbers give you a headache skip this and just look at a nice graph at the end.

The 4 categories considered by Music Bank

Digital points (60%) – This is based on digital music sales from Melon, Mnet, Bugs, Dosirak and Soribada. Then mobiles sales are also added. Majority of mobile sales are from Nate ring tone sales.

Album points (10%) – This is based on sales numbers from Hanteo plus sales numbers submitted by offline music chain stores Hottracks and Synnara.

Broadcast count (20%) – the number of times the song was played on radio and TV. The points from this category is not as reliable as before, mainly because Music Bank now considers broadcasts from only KBS and disregards SBS and MBC.

Viewer preference (10%) – This is voted by viewers. Viewers can register with the KBS research site to participate(Korean id needed). Then every week Music Bank will select a sample from the registered members and allow them to vote. Viewers of all age/sex are evenly selected.


The detail of Music Bank ranking points

First Music Bank starts with total KChartpoints of 200,000.
The digital sales category gets 120,000 KChartpoints (60%).
The album category gets 20,000 KChartpoints (10%).
The broadcast counts category gets 40,000 KChartpoints (20%)
The viewer pref category gets 20,000 KChartpoints (10%)

Now let’s look at how these KChartpoints are distributed to each song in each category. The process is very simple actually. For the digital sales category in order to simplify things only the top 100 selling songs are considered by Music Bank. Then the digital sales of all these 100 songs are examined, for example…

song1 : 230,000 total digital sales this week
song2: 210,000
song3: 195,000
song4: 174,000

song99: 5,500
song100: 5,000


Total digital sales 7,320,000 (total of all 100 songs above)

How many KChartpoints does song1 get now?
Out of 7,320,000 total digital sales, song1 has sales of 230,000.
That is 3.142%
So song1 gets 3.142% of the 120,000 KChart points allotted to the digital sales category.
Thus song1′s KChartpoint for digital category is 3770 points.
And so on for other songs

And it works the same for other categories of album, broadcast count, and viewer pref.

Now what is wrong with this Music Bank KChart formula? The problem is that the way the points are distributed can allow one single album sales to dominate the KChartpoints. For example,

album1: 50,000 copies sold this week
album2: 3,000 copies
album3: 2,500

album100: 50 copies

Total album sales :80,000 copies this week
album1 alone sold 62.5% of the week’s total
album1′s KChartpoint will be 12,500 points out of 20,000 KChartpoints allotted for this category.

So unlike other categories, album sales can have these giant selling albums that can result in huge KChartpoints. See how tricky this formula is, the “10%” for album category makes it look like albums are worth only up to 10% but in fact that’s not the case as seen here.

With KChartpoints of 12,500 it is easy to win Music Bank even if the song is not popular at all and ranks very low on digital charts. We can obviously see there’s going to be controversy about this. Music Bank tried to fix this problem by adjusting the album category percentage from 15% to 10% but the problem is still there because the problem is still with the point distributing formula itself. Mathematically there are many ways to make a better formula for this case but well, we don’t need to get into that here

And as noted SNSD is not affected by these formula controversies because of their dominating power in all the categories. If Music Bank lowers album category percentage even more, there will be no change in SNSD’s top Music Bank power status.

In fact during the Gee days Music Banks used only the digital sales for the Kchart. And Gee won 9 weeks with that formula. Then people including some antis complained that Gee was able to win so many weeks because of the digital only formula so they demanded that Music Bank start including album points etc. So that was one of the reasons Music Bank changed the formula after Gee’s reign to include the 4 categories.

And nothing really changed for SNSD they would still keep winning and winning, setting Music Bank records. And there have been numerous errors and glitches with sales data for SNSD especially compared to others. Even this week Nate misreported Hoot mobile sales and Ksones had to complain and correct it(it may still not be corrected). They probably lost a couple of Music Bank wins over the years because of these problems but Sones dont dwell over these little things^^

This single graph shows the dominance of SNSD on Music Bank. It is few months old, but when this graph is updated after Hoot promotions, SNSD’s number will be even more dominating.


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