Keeping CDs Viable In Korea

With album sales continuing to decline in Korea, major record companies are adopting various measures to keep their business viable.

South Korea is the most Internet savvy country in Asia, with a larger percentage of broadband users than any other region in the area, including Japan.

For a while, record companies had been offering CD purchasers special premiums including cell phone straps with the names and logos of Korean pop stars.

Newer incentives include free background music downloads and tickets to special invitation-only showcases. The first 3,000 people who bought Bohemian, the new album by soul singer Park Ki-Young, were given free “passes” to a popular Internet community site. And fans who purchased the CD of Ha Don-gyun’s new album, Stand Alone, received a coupon to freely download several songs not available on the record.

In addition, people who bought YB’s new album, appropriately titled Why Be?, in August were given tickets to a showcase by the artist in Seoul that took place August 28th. Even Rain, Korea’s biggest pop star who recently announced a 35-performance tour of Asia and America in December, did a showcase at Seoul’s Olympic Stadium on October 13th for 10,000 people who bought his latest album.

– Philip Brasor