When it comes to K-Pop physical album sales, there’s an interesting comparison between artists that debuted in the 1990s like H.O.T., g.o.d, Sechskies, and others who made millions of physical album sales, and modern-day artists like BTS, EXO, and SEVENTEEN who are also making millions of album sales despite the increasingly digital age. It’s actually really impressive that today’s K-pop groups are still selling so many physical copies when digital versions are so easily available!
Here’s a look at the 10 best-selling K-Pop groups that debuted after 2000, based on their sales in South Korea and Japan together.
10. Wanna One
Wanna One debuted on August 7, 2017, and produced one full-length studio album and three EPs before their planned disbandment in early 2019. Their best-selling album was their debut album, 1X1=1 (To Be One), which sold a total of 1.46 million copies! With 3.62 million albums sold in South Korea and 185.2k sold in Japan, their total album sales come to 3.81 million.
BIGBANG debuted on August 19, 2006, and though they haven’t released a new album since the full MADE series in 2016, they are still technically an active four-member group. In their time, they’ve released eight full-length studio albums, eight EPs, two reissued albums, eight compilation albums, ten live albums, and four single albums, with their best-selling album being Remember, their second full-length album released in 2008. With 2.50 million sales in South Korea and 1.34 million in Japan, their current album sales are at 3.85 million.
GOT7 debuted on January 20, 2014, and though they left JYP Entertainment early this year, they seem to be far from being disbanded! Since their career began, they’ve released five full-length studio albums, fifteen EPs, and two box sets, with their best-selling album being the 2020 EP DYE at 454.4k sales. In total, with 3.96 million albums sold in South Korea and 450.4k in Japan, their total is around 4.41 million.
SHINee debuted on May 22, 2008 with the EP Replay, and since then, they have released twelve full-length studio albums, six EPs, four live albums, and ten video albums. Their best-selling album to date is Don’t Call Me, released earlier this year and currently at 447.5k total sales. Between their 2.75 million album sales in South Korea and 1.72 million in Japan, their total comes to 4.46 million!
6. NCT DREAM
Debuting on August 25, 2016, NCT is the newest addition to the top 10 list and, apart from the temporary group Wanna One, is also the youngest K-Pop artist to make it! They’ve released one full-length album (which is also their best-seller, Hot Sauce, at 2.05 million sales), four EPs, one single album, one live album, and one reissued album. With 4.88 million sales in South Korea and around 60.8k in Japan, they’ve sold a total of 4.94 million units!
5. Super Junior
Long-lived K-Pop group Super Junior debuted on November 6, 2005, and though they’ve been through many member line-up changes, they still seem to be going strong! They have a large discography of eleven full-length studio albums, two EPs, two compilation albums, and six live albums, and their best-selling is the 2011 studio album Mr. Simple with 562.7k total sales. They’ve sold 4.58 million albums in South Korea and 1.04 million in Japan, bringing their total sales to 5.62 million!
SEVENTEEN debuted on May 29, 2015 with the EP 17 Carat. From then until now, they’ve released three full-length studio albums, eleven EPs, two reissued albums, and one compilation album, with their best-selling being the 2020 EP Heng:garae at 1.44 million sales! With 7.97 million albums sold in South Korea and 1.63 million in Japan, they’ve sold a total of 9.60 million altogether.
TVXQ!, originally a five-member group when they debuted on January 14, 2004, has had a massive career in both Korea and Japan even after they became a duo in 2010. They’ve released an incredible nineteen full-length studio albums, two EPs, four compilation albums, nine live albums, four remix albums, one soundtrack album, and one box set. Their best-selling album to date was the 2008 album Mirotic with 603.9k total sales, and between their 4.04 million sales in South Korea and a whopping 8.08 million in Japan, their total is at 12.12 million!
EXO debuted with the EP Mama on April 9, 2012, and originally began with 12 members and the sub-units EXO-K and EXO-M. Though members leaving the group has removed that aspect of EXO, they’ve still been immensely successful and have released seven full-length studio albums, seven EPs, and four live albums. Their best-selling album has been Don’t Mess Up My Tempo, released in 2018, and with 13.10 million sales in South Korea and 481.6k in Japan, their total currently is around 13.58 million.
And finally, of course, is BTS! The seven-member group debuted on June 13, 2013 with the single album 2 Cool 4 Skool, and since then they have dropped nine full-length studio albums, six EPs, and six compilation albums, with their current best-seller being the 2020 release Map of the Soul: 7 at 4.52 total units sold. With 28.14 million sales in South Korea and 4.66 million in Japan, their current total is about 32.80 million!