The Korea Herald


NewJeans’ new album 'How Sweet' underperforms

By Kim Jae-heun

Published : June 6, 2024 - 17:48

    • Link copied

NewJeans (Ador) NewJeans (Ador)

NewJeans, a highly sought-after K-pop girl group in the current music scene, may be affected by the recent dispute between their label CEO Min Hee-jin of Ador and Hybe, the parent company of Ador.

According to the Hanteo Chart, a local market tracker, NewJeans’ latest two-lead single album “How Sweet” released on May 24, sold 884,717 copies in the first week and 1.03 million in total as of June 5. The figures are nearly half that of the girl band’s second mini-album “Get Up.” It sold 1.65 million copies in the first seven days and 2.09 million overall last year. Their first single album "OMG" released in January 2023, sold over 701,241 copies in the first week, but that is nearly double the amount of the first-week sales for the girl band's debut album "NewJeans," which sold 310,000 copies. OMG sold over 1.64 million as of January, this year.

In Korea, album sales figures in the first week of release are seen as a barometer of the strength of an artist's fandom.

“You can't directly compare the sales performance of a single album and a mini-album (given the difference in the number of songs). Still, the size of the decline in physical album sales for 'How Sweet' is quite surprising," an industry source said, Thursday.

"I think some of the BTS’ overseas fans, who supported NewJeans before, have dropped out due to the recent dispute between Min and Hybe,” the source added. Min alleged that Hybe artists’ record-breaking physical album sales were driven by the company’s marketing gimmicks -- tie-in sales of new albums and photo cards. Hybe artists here include global acts such as BTS and Seventeen.

On digital platforms, the highest position the girl band’s new lead single “How Sweet” achieved is 75th and 80th on Spotify’s Daily Chart and Weekly Chart, respectively, and 16th on Apple Music’s Top 100 Global. Considering that NewJeans’ previous hit albums “Super Shy” and “ETA” were mostly among the Top 10 on both domestic and global charts, the new song's performance on international charts is disappointing.

“Various factors could have led to the unsatisfactory album sales. NewJeans doesn’t have as big of a super-fandom as most popular K-pop groups have. Instead, they have many casual fans, who are not strongly encouraged to buy new albums every time they are out. Here, the recent ‘Hybe-Ador’ conflict probably had a negative influence too,” music critic Lim Hee-yun said, Thursday.

"Their new songs, in the past, not only topped the music charts instantly upon release but also kept their No.1 spots for a long period. This time, 'How Sweet' failed to do the same, defeated by asepa," Lim added.