Gaon Music Chart

Last updated
Gaon Music Chart
Gaon Music Chart.png
Gaon logo
Gaon Music Chart homepage 2014.png
The homepage of the website in October 2014
Type of site
Record chart
Available inKorean
OwnerKorea Music Content Association
Alexa rankIncrease2.svg 92,829 (July 2017) [1]
LaunchedFebruary 23, 2010;9 years ago (2010-02-23)
Current statusActive

The Gaon Music Chart tabulates the relative weekly popularity of songs or albums in South Korea. It is produced by the Korea Music Content Association and sponsored by South Korea's Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, with an aim to create a national chart for South Korea similar to the Billboard charts of the United States and the Oricon charts of Japan. It started tracking sales since the beginning of 2010. [2] It was officially launched in February 2010 with a launching ceremony held on 23 February 2010 at the Westin Chosun hotel in Seoul. The launch also included a small awarding ceremony, which awarded girl group Girls' Generation with top artist of January and boy band Super Junior with best album of 2009. Meanwhile, Hit single "We Fell In Love", performed by Jo Kwon of 2AM and Ga-in of Brown Eyed Girls, took the title of best weekly mobile ringtone. [3]

South Korea Republic in East Asia

South Korea, is a country in East Asia, constituting the southern part of the Korean Peninsula and sharing a land border with North Korea. The name Korea is derived from Goguryeo which was one of the great powers in East Asia during its time, ruling most of the Korean Peninsula, Manchuria, parts of the Russian Far East and Inner Mongolia under Gwanggaeto the Great. Its capital, Seoul, is a major global city and half of South Korea's over 51 million people live in the Seoul Capital Area, the fourth largest metropolitan economy in the world.

Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism South Korean ministry

South Korea's Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST) is a central government agency responsible for the areas of tourism, culture, art, religion, and sports. It has two vice ministers, three assistant ministers, one commission, and over 60 divisions. The first Minister of Culture was novelist Lee O-young.

The Billboard charts tabulate the relative weekly popularity of songs and albums in the United States and elsewhere. The results are published in Billboard magazine. Billboard biz, the online extension of the Billboard charts, provides additional weekly charts. There are also Year End charts. The charts may be dedicated to specific genre such as R&B, country or rock, or they may cover all genres. The charts can be ranked according to sales, streams or airplay, and for main song charts such as the Hot 100 song chart, all three pools of data are used to compile the charts. For the Billboard 200 album chart, streams and track sales are included in addition to album sales.


In February 2011, it published information on both online and offline album sales of 2010, including a detailed breakdown of online chart data and was the first time that off-line album sales was released since 2008 when the Music Industry Association of Korea stopped compiling data. [4]

Music charts

There are two primary charts: Gaon Album Chart and Gaon Digital Chart. The charts lists domestic artists' sales, international (non-Korean) artists' sales and a combined overall sales in weekly, monthly and year-end format.

Gaon Album Chart, part of Gaon Music Chart, is a national chart that ranks the best-selling albums, including mini and single albums, in South Korea, provided by the Korea Music Content Industry Association. It has been tracking sales since the beginning of 2010 and launched in February the same year as part of the Gaon Music Chart. The charts are made up of charts tracking domestic album sales, international album sales and a combined overall album sales in weekly, monthly and year-end format.

The Gaon Digital Chart is the music industry standard record chart in South Korea for singles, provided by the Korea Music Content Industry Association and published weekly by the Gaon Music Chart. The chart provides rankings on a weekly, monthly, and yearly basis, which are based on an aggregate of downloads, streaming and background music. In addition to rank ranking all songs, it also supplies separate rankings for domestic and international releases. It started tracking sales in 2009, which were published the following February. It is compiled from online data provided by web-based music providers Bugs, Genie, KakaoMusic, Melon, Mnet, Naver Music, Olleh Music, and Soribada.

The Gaon Album Chart ranks physical album shipments, including mini and single albums. It is compiled from offline data provided by record labels and distributors such as LOEN Entertainment, CJ E&M Music, Genie Music, Sony Music Korea, Pony Canyon Korea, Universal Music Korea, and Warner Music Korea.

Genie Music (Korean: 지니뮤직), a subsidiary of KT Corporation, is a South Korean company that specializes in the production and distribution of music content. Its music streaming service is the second most used in South Korea with 2.5 million subscribers as of June 2018.

Pony Canyon video game publisher

Pony Canyon Inc., also known by the shorthand form Ponican, is a Japanese company, established on October 1, 1966, which publishes music, DVD and VHS videos, movies, and video games. It is affiliated with the Japanese media group Fujisankei Communications Group. Pony Canyon is a major leader in the music industry in Japan, with its artists regularly at the top of the Japanese charts. Pony Canyon is also responsible for releasing taped concerts from its artists as well as many anime productions and several film productions.

Universal Music Group American music corporation

Universal Music Group is an American global music corporation that is a subsidiary of the French media conglomerate Vivendi. UMG's global corporate headquarters are located in Santa Monica, California. It is considered one of the "Big Three" music companies, along with Sony Music and Warner Music Group. Since 2004, the corporation is no longer related to the film studio Universal Studios. In 2019, Fast Company named Universal Music Group the most innovative music company and listed UMG among the Top 50 most innovative companies in the world and "amid the music industry's digital transformation, Universal is redefining what a modern label should look like." UMG has signed licensing agreements with more than 400 platforms worldwide.

The Gaon Digital Chart ranks best-selling non-physical, digital music sales, and is an aggregate of downloads, streaming and background music. It excludes radio airplay, and different versions of a song are listed as separate entries. It is compiled from online data provided by web-based music providers such as genie, Melon, Mnet, Soribada, Naver Music, KakaoMusic and Bugs. There is no digital album chart because each song is a separate digital download.

Melon (online music service) South Korea music website

Melon is a South Korean online music store and music streaming service introduced in November 2004, and developed by SK Telecom. LOEN Entertainment became the company-in-charge of the service in 2009.

Soribada was the first Korean peer-to-peer file-sharing service, launched in 2000 by Sean Yang as a Napster clone. The name 'Soribada' means "Ocean of Sound" or "Receiving (downloading) Sound". It was closed in 2002 by court order but continued to be distributed with a stipulation that its users were responsible for any of the files downloaded. On November 5, 2003, Soribada was relaunched as and in July 2004, the website was renewed as a P2P search portal with a paid MP3 service in December 2004.

Naver is a South Korean online platform operated by Naver Corporation. It debuted in 1999 as the first web portal in Korea to develop and use its own search engine. It was also the world's first operator to introduce the comprehensive search feature, which compiles search results from various categories and presents them in a single page. Naver has since added a multitude of new services ranging from basic features such as e-mail and news to the world's first online Q&A platform Knowledge iN.

All charts rank the top 100. Before mid-2014, the digital, streaming, download, and noraebang charts ranked the top 200.

Chart titleChart typeMethodologyDescription
Album Chart all musicphysical shipments
  • Ranks the best selling albums
  • Ranks the best selling domestic albums
  • Ranks the best selling international albums
Digital Chart all musicdownloads +
streaming +
background music
  • Ranks the best selling songs
  • Ranks the best selling domestic songs
  • Ranks the best selling international songs
Download Chartall musicdownloads
  • Ranks digital download sales
  • One of three component charts of the Digital Chart
  • Ranks digital download sales (domestic songs)
  • Ranks digital download sales (international songs)
Streaming Chartall musicstreaming
  • Ranks streaming from digital music stores
  • One of three component charts of the Digital Chart
  • Ranks streaming (domestic songs) from digital music stores
  • Ranks streaming (international songs) from digital music stores
BGM Chartall musicbackground music
  • Ranks background music sales
  • One of three component charts of the Digital Chart
Mobile Chartringtonesringtones and
ringback tones
  • Ranks ringtone sales for mobile phones
ringback tones
  • Ranks ringback tone sales for mobile phones
Noraebang Chartall musickaraoke
  • Ranks most played noraebang domestic songs
  • Ranks most played noraebang international songs

Social charts

The Gaon Social Chart is a weekly chart that ranks the top 50 most popular K-pop artists using data from V Live, Mubeat, SMR, and Mycelebs.

Gaon Social Chart, part of Gaon Music Chart, is a weekly chart which ranks the top 50 South Korean musical artists according to their popularity from data based on the digital platforms V Live, Mubeat, SMR, and Mycelebs.

K-pop is a genre of popular music originating in South Korea. While the modern form of K-pop can be traced back to the early 90s, the term itself has been popularized since the 2000s, replacing the term Gayo (가요), which also refers to domestic pop music in South Korea. Although it generally indicates "popular music" within South Korea, the term is often used in a narrower sense to describe a modern form of South Korean pop that is influenced by styles and genres from around the world, such as experimental, rock, jazz, gospel, hip hop, R&B, reggae, electronic dance, folk, country, and classical on top of its traditional Korean music roots. The more modern form of the genre emerged with the formation of one of the earliest K-pop groups, Seo Taiji and Boys, in 1992. Their experimentation with different styles and genres of music and integration of foreign musical elements helped reshape and modernize South Korea's contemporary music scene.

V Live (website) South Korean live video streaming service

V Live, sometimes referred to as V App, is a South Korean live video streaming service that allows celebrities based in the country to broadcast live videos on the internet and live chat with fans. Streaming is available online or on Android and iOS mobile devices, with replays formerly available on PC. The company is owned by Naver Corporation and was launched in late August 2015.

The Gaon Weibo Chart was a weekly chart that ranked the top 10 most popular K-pop groups and the top 30 most popular individual K-pop artists in China using data from Weibo.


In April 2018, Gaon introduced music recording certifications for albums, downloads and streamings. Album certifications are awarded based on shipment figures provided by record labels and distributors. Download and streaming certifications are awarded to songs based on online data provided by web-based music providers. Albums and songs released on or after January 1, 2018 are eligible for certification.


Thresholds per award [5] [6]
Platinum2× Platinum3× PlatinumMillion2× Million [lower-alpha 1]


Thresholds per award [5] [6]
Platinum2× Platinum3× PlatinumDiamond


Thresholds per award [5] [6]
Platinum2× Platinum Platinum [lower-alpha 2] Billion


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  1. " Site Info". Alexa Internet . Retrieved March 11, 2016.
  2. Han, Sang-hee (23 February 2010). "Korea Launches First Official Music Charts Gaon". The Korea Times. The Korea Times. Archived from the original on 2010-08-04. Retrieved 2010-11-24.
  3. Seung-hun, Kang (23 February 2010). "Korea launches integrated K-pop music chart 'Gaon'". 10 Asia. Retrieved 27 April 2012.
  4. "Super Junior's 4th Album Ranked Top-Seller of 2010" Chosun Ilbo. 8 February 2011. Retrieved 2011-11-17
  5. 1 2 3 "Gaon Certification". Gaon Music Chart (in Korean). Korea Music Content Association. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
  6. 1 2 3 4 5 "Notice: GAON Certification". Gaon Music Chart (in Korean). Korea Music Content Association. April 20, 2018. Retrieved May 10, 2018.


  1. Higher certifications (such as 3× Million) will also be awarded. [6]
  2. Higher certifications (up to 9× Platinum) will also be awarded. [6]