Posted by : KPopRanter August 07, 2013

Oh, snap! You better hide your kids, hide your wide and hide your husband because the biggest bullies of K-Pop are coming after the digital sajaengi, filing a report against it and asking the good-for-anything-but-policing police to investigate the claim. As released by both YG and JYP, the reason as to why they're against it goes as shown:

YG - "Digital sajaegi ['mass buying'] must be stopped as agencies which properly release digital albums are at a disadvantage, and the public [lost] faith in music site charts' fairness. Digital music business need to work together and a preventative measure must be put in place to prevent these illegal acts." 
JYP - "The manipulation which [hurts] agencies that release and distribute music fairly and tarnish the faith in digital music sites has to be immediately stopped. All digital music businesses must work together to arrange a system to prevent the corruption of music businesses and manipulation of digital numbers."

You better run, run, run, run, run~ Literally.
I feel as if these companies have every single right to be mad, making a smart move by filing a report and finally getting to the bottom of the illegal digital chart manipulation. I mean, though a lot of people would believe that these companies have "nothing to lose" and always top the charts because of course, they're home of the largest groups, it still is unfair for the non-manipulators (the companies filing the complaint) whether or not it's a member of the Big 3, Star Empire Entertainment or a nugu company, they'll all lose money, group popularity or as said by YG, music site chart's fairness and reliability because in the end, someone who doesn't deserve it is topping the charts, raking in money, getting extremely popular, winning music shows over your own artists and more. Likewise, when you see the big 3 companies coming together in harmony, you have to believe that shit got real and it's damaging them more than we could ever even dream of. As many netizens and people already pointed out or guessed, it seems as if the people who'll have the biggest trouble/be looked at will be not only SISTAR with their unexpected rise on the charts (odd how on music shows, their digital points are extremely high but viewer preference and album sales aren't even close), but also Crayon Pop (although, I find it unlikely they manipulated charts with Bar Bar Bar) and the companies Cube and Brave Brothers

On a different note though, SISTAR is at a metaphorical coin toss here, if you say. If they land on heads and are actually caught purchasing the digital sajaengi, they should say goodbye to their careers... in fact, I feel as though disbandment is basically the only option left. Due to their lack of a huge, stable fan club to fall back on like with T-ara with their scandal, they'd be at a loss completely, be unable to recuperate and lose all reliability, faith and of course, sales. However, on the other hand if they actually didn't purchase a digital sajaengi and just got lucky with Alone, they could seriously just flip everyone off for suspecting them and definitely speak up about the unfairness of the Big 3's power when handling situations, maybe, even gaining more supporters and fans of SISTAR through that action... not to mention, SISTAR will still be on their winning streak, continuously rising with each and every song they release while other groups start to fall from their heights.

As a final point, illegal chart manipulation is wrong, all groups having to work their way up the hard way whereas with just the snap of a finger, you fly to fame. By the same token, although I can't necessarily say which groups actually did it and when (SISTAR, I'm secretly looking at you), I can say that whoever it is who gets caught is seriously fucked.

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{ 14 comments... read them below or Comment }

  1. Is it really illegal, though? Or just unethical?

    If these shady digital music "boosters" really exist, then they're basically the music equivalent of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) companies. Those are companies who are experts on how to boost rankings on search results in Google. They get paid by other companies to essentially "game" the system to get their website to rank higher. It is a constant annoyance that Google has to deal with but certainly not illegal.

    The only way to fix it is to close the loopholes that allow it to happen. The responsibility ultimately rests with the digital music chart companies themselves.

    I certainly believe that manipulation is possible but I doubt it has the impact that all the conspiracy theorists say that it does. Maybe you could boost a song initially but to keep it going for months seems absurd to me. The cost would outweigh the benefit.

    I don't expect much to come from this. I'm pretty sure the police have better things to do than investigate why 4minute's shitty song charted so high. This sounds more like a PR move to me to make these companies seem more "honest". I'm sure if we investigated all the business practices of these "big three" we'd find a lot worse stuff than some digital chart manipulation.

  2. As said by YG above which was translated, he referred to them as "illegal acts"... not to mention, I have seen other Korean sites refer to it as illegal.

    Actually pretty decent analogy--it makes sense. However, I'm very sure there's a difference between website popularity and being able to Google a website, finding it on search engines and between spending nearly half a million behind closed doors to top charts digitally. Not to mention, why would they need the police to investigate if it was simply 'unethical'?

    Very true--but it's hard to go against charts, to be honest. I mean, the only way that you could close the loopholes is to close the chart completely or get better security... but if someone is paying me half a million or even more to simply raise them a few ranks, I wouldn't exactly be the happiest flower in the meadow to do it so easily.

    True but as said in the albums vs. digital sales article, getting digital sales helps boost popularity... and once popularity is instilled then that means more sales... those sales could actually be legitimate sales from people who are now finding out about the track and wanting to buy it.

    lmao, true tbh. But then again, the Big 3 have so much influence.

    'I'm sure if we investigated all the business practices of these "big three" we'd find a lot worse stuff than some digital chart manipulation.'

  3. i don't understand digital sagaeji meaning. If it really means bulk buying. how about international fans. most of us bought our bias cd in bulk, to save delivery cost. Did this action jeopardize our bias idol?

  4. Bulk-buying and sajaengi are two different things... bulk-buying is buying more than one physical album which is definitely legal and not done behind closed doors. It helps them move up the charts however, it's fans who buy it normally.
    But digital sajaengi is done behind closed doors, people spending around $500,000 for the music chart companies to make numerous accounts, buy their songs and then raise them on the charts which is not only illegal, but unfair for other companies and entertainers since those songs that get the sajaengi usually surpass them on charts.

  5. I also doubt that 300,000 individuals bought EXO's last album. Saesang fans are known to buy dozens of copies each to boost their group's ranking on the Hanteo charts.

    Same shit, basically. The fact that it's being done by their small army of fans instead of some company doesn't change the fact that it distorts the sales chart.

  6. I'm pretty sure the companies who filed this request know far more about how digital manipulation is done than the cops ever will. Like I said - this seems more like a PR move to me. Partially to make themselves look like the ones with "integrity" and also probably to try to scare the suspected companies into stopping the practice.

    Curbing the practice on the digital music companies' end could be done by tweaking the algorithms that calculate the ranking score (same way that Google deals with their problem). Off the top of my head, maybe things like: lowering the value of off-hours music streaming, limiting coupon abuse, flagging and cancelling out spikes that are statistically improbable, etc.


    I'm not so sure about anything now.

  8. Well that should rule out any small companies. No way are they dropping $500k for a temporary chart boost.

  9. Exactly. That's why I was tilting my head when people accused Crayon Pop's Bar Bar Bar as popular just cause of the digital sajaengi... I mean, $500,000 is probably more than what the company has in their bank.

  10. Not accusing Cube, but if you were one of the guilty parties wouldn't you "join the cause", too?

    I mean, FNC isn't suspicious but Cube--it actually surprised me.

  12. OfficialKARALoverAugust 8, 2013 at 9:42 PM

    this is Ridiculous to be honest ..

    for me ..before focusing on MANIPULATION ..they should work on their copy rights like japan..

    they should focus on preventing the pirated copy instead of this one..
    i remember how Jackie chan become disappointed because in fan signing event there's some fans brought Pirated copy and ask for his signature.

  13. "i remember how Jackie chan become disappointed because in fan signing event there's some fans brought Pirated copy and ask for his signature."
    wow... do those fans have no shame, lmao!


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