The Idol Groups That Were Accused Of Manipulating Charts: LABOUM, BTS & More
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The Idol Groups That Were Accused Of Manipulating Charts: LABOUM, BTS & More

The word Sajaegi is getting more attention nowadays after LABOUM was accused of committing it on “Music Bank” that resulted in controversy among K-Pop communities.

According to Allkpop, Sajaegi happens when companies purchase their artists’ album in order to boost sales and their chances to winning in music awards. Little did we know, a lot of K-Pop groups have been accused of committing Sajaegi over the years. Check out this list to find out which K-Pop groups that have been involved in Sajaegi.

LABOUM just won its first award in a music program after being in the industry for approximately 3 years. However, the winning on “Music Bank” was considered unlikely since the idol group has never been in the top spot of local music charts. Netizens couldn’t believe that an underdog group like LABOUM wins over IU, who has just received all-kill records both in digital and physical album sales.

KpopStarz previously reported KBS statement about LABOUM’s unlikely winning. The production team stated they determined the winner based on the data, so it’s impossible if anyone would try to manipulate it.

Back in 2014, SISTAR was targeted for Sajaegi. Mainly, people targeted Soyu’s solo track “Some”, since it reigned over major artists like Girls’ Generation, 2NE1, and PSY on multiple charts. What makes people wonder why “Some” would top major artists in the chart was due to the fact that its streaming number was 1st among 40-50-year-old audiences, which was very unlikely.

BTS is hands down the top-selling K-Pop group of the year. Despite the international recognition the group has been receiving, people couldn’t believe the group could gain such fantastic number in album sales, hence the Sajaegi issue. Fans and other experts in music have tried to debunk the accusation by collecting sales data from both online and offline purchases. Since then, the Sajaegi issue has basically disappeared since BTS has been consistently at the top of album sales.

With its incredible popularity and chart-topping songs, IOI was naturally accused of Sajaegi, especially when it seemed to be getting ahead of major idol groups like TWICE and AOA. IOI’s huge increase in album sales had people wonder if the company played a big part to doctor it. Even though IOI has the biggest number in sales, the now-disbanded group still couldn’t win MelOn’s “Rookie Award” in 2016.

B1A4 was accused of Sajaegi back in 2014 when netizens pointed out their theory following the group’s odd increase in album sales during the end of promotional period. The unlikely increase was because B1A4’s second album sold 67,186 in a week, which was a realistic number for the group, especially when compared to its first album that only sold 22,000 in a week.