Gaon chart confirms G-Dragon’s USB release not an album; YG says ‘regrettable’

By Yoon Min-sik
  • Published : Jun 19, 2017 - 12:27
  • Updated : Jun 19, 2017 - 12:27
Local Gaon music chart on Monday confirmed its position that G-Dragon’s latest EP available in a USB drive form cannot be regarded as an album, as it does not fall under the conventional definition of the concept.

Gaon Chart, which tallies online and offline sales of music released locally, said that it will not include offline sales of the K-pop artist’s “Kwon Ji Yong” in album sales, since the EP does not have the music on a physical platform.

G-Dragon (YG Entertainment)

The recently released EP does not have music on it, but allows the user to buy a USB drive, connect it to a PC and download and save the music and a music video onto the USB drive.

Gaon officials said that while it qualifies as an album according to Korea’s copyright laws, the chart has different criteria. The law defines all forms of music -- including digitally downloaded music -- as “a record.”

“Gaon Chart limits the definition of ‘an album’ as one that has music on a physical form. If we were to define even digital songs as albums, as the copyright laws do, it would be impossible to retain our separate digital download and album (sales) chart,” they said in a press release.

The USB sales will be included as digital sales and tallied in the digital and downloaded songs charts. “If (YG) were to release the USB with the song already saved on it, it would immediately be included in the album sales chart.”

G-Dragon’s agency YG Entertainment said while it accepts the decision, such a way of thinking is “outdated.”

“As G-Dragon said, the important thing is music. Limiting (the definition of an album) to a traditional one is regrettable. ... We still think that tallying an albums chart only with sales of CDs and cassette tapes -- which are not even easy to find these days -- is an outdated way of thinking,” the agency said.

G-Dragon has yet to publicly address the Gaon Chart’s decision. He is currently on the “Act III, M.O.T.T.E.” world tour. On Friday and Saturday, he performed in front of 22,000 fans in Macau.

Commenting on the USB controversy, the K-pop juggernaut said last week that music should be the priority, not the form that it is carried in.