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If you didn’t know, SHINee’s Key is known to follow girl group dances quite closely, often being able to imitate them on variety shows. This includes Miss A, 2NE1, and of course SNSD. With a new song out from the girls, he will show some SM family love right?

As expected!

But of course, there’s much more to hoot’s success than Key and PSYs imitations.  As silis7noy2 (a sone to dote on) explains, Hoot was not expected to be as amajjang as it turned out to be in Korea~

You all know Hoot is doing great in Korea right? It won the first week music shows and this Friday’s Music Bank win is again guaranteed and the 2nd Inki win is very likely.

Hoot was produced by SM not meant to be a megahit; as said by SM it is a “present for fans worldwide”. Songs like Gee and Oh! are more made to cater to Korean mass public, the melodies and concepts are familar and accessible to Korean people. Songs like RDR and Hoot are more daring, these are not traditionally type of songs that will find immediate audience with Korean public. But nowadays SM is more aware that fans worldwide have become influential so strategies are not limited to Korea-only. At any rate Hoot is a bona fide hit in Korea yet again for SNSD, boosted further by SNSD’s usual crowd-pleasing performance. Initially when released Hoot was expected to be a decent hit but not as big as other flagship titles like Oh! or even Genie. It was still expected to win several Music Bank no 1s, but it turned out competitions were stronger than initially expected. But then Hoot itself showed more power than expected so the battlefield has been quite fierce and Hoot has so far emerged victorious

Some people were wary of Hoot dropping out of 1st place on various digital charts. But it was posted in the beginning that those drops are expected and not important. Again the important two things are
1. Persisting around top 3 on digital charts. Often times the sales differences between the top songs are not that great, that’s why often it’s not that important to be no1 or no2 etc
2. High mobile sales (Usually represented by Nate ringtones sales).

These two things usually indicate whether a song is a certified national hit or not in Korea and Hoot is doing exactly that right now. Hoot is around top 3 on the major digital charts and is number one on Nate ringtone sales by a big margin. You may see other songs at No1 on different charts here and there but Hoot is still number one overall in the whole digital category right now. So again if you see Hoot dropping a position occasionally on different charts in the next couple of weeks as new songs are released, it’s nothing to be alarmed about.

On the album side the Hoot mini album sales is also exceeding initial sales projection. As posted earlier original goal was to match the last mini album (Genie) sales of 90K+ on Hanteo but now 100K+ on Hanteo seems given. One of the main reasons for this greater sales is due to Hoot album being the more “SNSD sound” album that Korean public favors, just great classic friendly sonyuh songs. In Korea the next most popular song in the album is Snowy Wish so you can see the preference of Korean public.

All of these in turn translate into music show wins. Kpop trends have become more dynamic these days and winning Music Bank for more than 3 weeks has become really difficult now(Oh! is the only song this year to win 3+) Now we should not get too worked up over winning, much have been said about this… We celebrate and spazz as fans when we win and when we lose we happily congratulate the winner and we go find some other things to spazz on ^^

On this Friday’s assured 2nd Music Bank win also look for possibility of “Mubank all-kill” which means getting top no 1 score on all 4 Kchart categories. This is extremely hard to achieve, more difficult than the regular all-kill on digital charts… This has happened only once this year in February and was achieved by Oh!

And for Hoot’s Music Bank 3rd week(Nov 19) this week’s album sales will determine the winner. Hoot does not have to sell the most albums to win since Hoot is leading in the other 3 categories. Hoot just needs to keep the difference to minimum. If Hoot sells 10K this week, any competitor’s album must sell much more than 20K to become a threat.

Many (international) fans have said that Hoot is the mini-album which they love all the songs, and I think that’s true for a lot of sones. It’s interesting that SM recognizes the international fan base as an influence in numbers, and I hope that they do other ‘risky’ and different concepts in the future.

Hoot was definitely something very different and not what people are used to in the Kpop scene, but it’s already turning out to be one of my personal favourites. Really though, as one of our writers puts it (not sure if she’d like to be quoted on this LOL), “The girls can probably come out in potato sacks and it’ll still be daebak”. It’s also nice to see the power of sones in Korea, and their dedication towards the girls. There’s no oneee like a so-oneee.

Edit: Some info about sales and the influence of fanclubs, thanks again to silis~

It should be noted that fans cannot really manipulate music show wins. Under certain special cases it may be possible but that is actually very rare, and doesn’t concern us because Sones never were involved in any manipulations. In fact Sones do not have the ability even if they wanted.

First, by manipulation it means you can change the outcome significantly and qualitatively. Fanclubs really do not have this power. Fans can only help and assist in raising the score. In some cases this little help from fans can change the outcome when the scores are close, but such help is not considered a manipulation.

The digital charts are controlled by music listening public, no fanclub can manipulate them. The size of the general music listeners is way too huge compared to fanclubs. This doesn’t mean fans should give up on streaming on these sites. Even the small effects fans contribute are still important part of supporting their artists.

Now the supposed controversy is with album sales because much of the album sales are from fans. The public doesn’t buy as many albums now. Does this mean fans can control album sales? No. The album sales still follow general consumer behavior. The sales are still natural, fans cannot deliberately increase sales significantly on their own. Fanclubs try to increase sales by organizing mass buying events and these events generate at most few thousand cds, which are no way near enough to enable manipulation.

For example last week KSones buy 13K albums in one day. People here might think that was from Ksones “battling” with the competition but it was not. It’s simply great sales from Hoot being a great album and Ksones showing great general support. Hanteo numbers can update randomly and those 13K numbers are just regular sales plus missing numbers from previous days plus increased sales from fan signing events, and finally sales from the fan-organized mass buying event. Only the mass buying event is fan controlled. If those 13K number was all from Ksone’s mass buying event, then people could start to call it manipulation but out of those 13K less than 1000 were from the mass buying event.

The Oh! mass buying event weeks ago to help Oh! for Golden Disk resulted in sales of about 1000 which you saw on Hanteo. When Ksones are more enthusiastic a mass buying event might generate 2000 in sales. These sales numbers translate to something like 500 Kchart points on Music Bank. You can see that 500 points on Music Bank is no way anything near enough to manipulate Kchart. But it does help little bit and every little bit helps that’s why fans do it.

These fan mass buying events each has a site and also the numbers show up on Hanteo so all the results can be seen by anyone.

Same thing with 2AM’s great sales last week. They sold more than 20K+ which is amazing and that resulted mostly from their basic sales plus LE edition sales and fan signings. So pretty much all of the sales were natural sales, 2AM fans did not conspire and generated 20K+ sales on their own. Their mass buying event was again a small part of their sales.

The reason there is the misconception that there are manipulations is because of Music Bank’s flawed Kchart formula as explained before. It allows erratic album points to significantly influence the winning. It generates the illusion that manipulated album sales were the reason for some of the No 1 wins. If Music Bank adopts a proper formula all these confusions would go away.

And there you have it! I personally always thought that fanclubs had a tremendous influence on sales with certain strategies, but the girls are just loved by everyone right? It just goes to show their popularity and acceptance by the public. Soshi Hwaitaeng!

cr; amo1003tw@youtube, silis7noy2@soompi