Data released by the state-run tax organization Korea Customs Service showed that Japan was the largest importer of K-pop albums with $85.74 million, followed by China with 51.33 million and the United States with $38.88 million. Other top 10 importers include Taiwan, Thailand, Germany and France.
In 2022, more than 80 million copies of K-pop albums were sold, up 21.4 million copies from a year ago. The most popular albums were BTS' album called Proof and MAXIDENT by Stray Kids, an eight-member band from JYP Entertainment. The two albums sold more than 3 million copies each.
South Korea's music album exports have consistently increased since exceeding $40 million for the first time in 2017, surpassing $100 million in 2020, and $200 million in 2021.
All BTS members will fulfill their military service in South Korea which is still technically at war with North Korea. In South Korea, all able-bodied males aged 18 to 28 must do their mandatory military service unless they have a valid reason for exemption. However, new rookie groups such as IVE, a girl group under K-pop band MONSTA X's agency Starship Entertainment, and NewJeans, a super rookie girl group formed by ADOR, a subsidiary label of the agency of BTS are gaining popularity.
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