The Korea Management Federation has issued a request to the government for an investigation of the controversial rapid rise of Nilo’s song “Pass” on the charts.
Indie artist Nilo’s October 2017 track “Pass” shot to the top of charts earlier this month, and there has been much controversy surrounding its rapid success.
Many people are suspicious about how the reason for its sudden rise in the rankings seems unclear due to a lack of evidence of the song’s popularity off the charts (which has in other cases been evidenced by a viral video or the song in question being played often on the radio or in stores). Also, there was a recent period in which “Pass” followed a similar daily pattern in which it rose to the top of charts during the night, when songs by idols with large fanbases usually reign. In addition, some users have said that the song appears in their streaming history despite never listening to it.
Nilo’s agency Limez Entertainment has denied accusations of chart manipulation and linked the song’s success to their social media marketing strategy, as well as said that they aren’t fully certain how the track achieved its accomplishments.
The Korea Management Federation (KMF) announced on April 26 that they had discussed the controversy at a recent meeting. KMF is an organization that consists of Korean entertainment companies and managers.
“We agreed that this is not an issue related to only Nilo as an individual or a single company, but rather a crisis of the whole industry of popular music,” they stated.
Starting on April 20, they began sending official requests for the release of data connected to the song’s sudden rise on the charts. These requests were sent to Limez Entertainment as well as companies including Melon and Facebook Korea.
In addition, they submitted a request to the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism for an investigation of the issue.
KMF explained in a statement, “If there is a chance that there were illegal methods used that influence chart rankings, this is an action that violates the public’s right of choice in terms of music and is an infringement of fair competition.”
“Following the Nilo situation, the public’s trust in K-pop has been rapidly decreasing,” they stated. KMF president Shin Joo Hak said, “The issue is the environment in which the winner in terms of marketing monopolizes everything, rather than good music or an excellent artist.”
“If popular music companies want to regain credibility, we have to create an environment in which high quality music is able to be recognized,” he stated. “All companies connected to popular music must stand up and take action.”
Also on April 26, Limez Entertainment announced that they have submitted a petition to the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism with an explanation related to the controversy. They stated that they will actively cooperate with any investigation conducted by the ministry.
The Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism has said that they are aware of the issue, and have been receiving online petitions from citizens about the Nilo controversy and music sites. They are currently considering how to approach the matter.