It's a big day for Korean music as two government agencies have just launched five official Korean charts, collectively called the Gaon charts.
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in association with the Korea Music Content Industry Association officially announced the Gaon charts today at a hotel in Seoul. Culture Minister Yu In-chon said during the event that "Music charts work as a bridge that introduces, spreads and exchanges musical contents to the world, and I believe this will be a chance to nurture the music industry."
Gaon is Korean for "center", and this term was coined to "represent fairness and reliability." Gaon will be divided into five main charts - The Gaon Chart, Digital Chart, Online Chart, Mobile Chart and Album Chart. Rankings for all charts will come from a combination of digital and physical sales.
Six major distribution (not talent - eg., YG, JYPE) companies will be included on the album charts - LOEN Entertainment, SM Entertainment, Sony Music Korea, Warner Music Korea, Universal Music and Mnet Media and data will be collected from their total sales. The mobile chart will focus on ring tones, the online chart is for digital sales and streaming services (e.g., MelOn, Mnet, Dosirak and Cyworld) while the digital chart will be a combination of both digital and mobile charts. These charts will be released every week.
The Gaon Chart is a compilation of all four charts and will be released twice a year, every six months.
The Gaon charts differ from the pre-existent Hanteo charts as they don't only count physical album sales but also digital single and album sales, as well as data from streaming services.
According to Steve Choi, the director of the Korea Music Content Industry Association, there is more to come from the Gaon charts. "The Gaon Charts you see today is not the final product. It's the beginning of Korea's official chart and we need to polish it up for the time being," he elaborates.
The Gaon charts are up right now, and you can view them at the official website, http://www.gaonchart.co.kr/ - 2NE1, SNSD and 2AM currently occupy the top three spots. As of now though, they are only in Hangul and are not available in English.
Source: Korea Times