Guide To K-Pop Music Show Wins: What You Need To Know

K-pop music show wins – they are a sweet reward of success and the dream for many artists.

Many K-pop fans have most likely done one thing or another to help their favorite artists win on music shows, whether it is streaming on YouTube, voting, or purchasing albums. However, confusion often arises about differences in results and what it truly takes to win.

To help clear up your questions, here is a detailed and updated breakdown of the criteria!

SBS MTV “The Show” – Tuesday

Key Requirements:

• Must perform on day of broadcast

Maximum 10,000 points total

• Scoring is relative, so the eligible song with the highest score in each category will receive the maximum number of points in that category

40% Digital – maximum 4,000 points

10% Physical Album Sales – maximum 1,000 points

20% Video – maximum 2,000 points
• YouTube music video views

15% Expert Score – maximum 1,500 points

5% Pre-Vote – maximum 500 points
• Vote on STARPASS app
• Voting period: Friday 8 p.m. KST (4 days before broadcast) – Monday 2 p.m. KST (1 day before broadcast)
• Available for international fans

10% Live Vote – maximum 1,000 points
• Vote on STARPASS app
• First place nominees only
• Available for international fans

MBC Music “Show Champion” – Wednesday

What is not eligible:

• OSTs
• Songs that have received Triple Champion (won three consecutive weeks)

30% Digital
• Melon, Bugs, Genie, Soribada

10% Physical Album Sales

40% Pre-Vote
• Voting period: Tuesday (8 days before broadcast) – Sunday (3 days before broadcast)
• 20% Idol Champ app (available for international fans)
• 20% Genie website

10% Expert Score

10% Broadcast Score
• Based on how much the song has played on MBC Music programs

Mnet “M!Countdown” – Thursday

Key Requirements:

• Artist must have started music show promotions for the song and must not have ended as of the day of broadcast
• Artist does not need to perform on the specific broadcast

What is not eligible:

• OSTs
• Songs that have received triple crowns (won three consecutive weeks)*Converted from 110% scale to 100% scale

Maximum 11,000 points total

• Scoring is relative, so the eligible song with the highest score in each category will receive the maximum number of points in that category

45% Digital – maximum 4,500 points
• Mnet, Melon, Genie, Bugs

15% Physical Album Sales – maximum 1,500 points
• Hanteo album chart

20% Social Media – maximum 2,000 points
• YouTube music video views and “M!Countdown” live clip views

10% Pre-Vote – maximum 1,000 points
• Vote on “M!Countdown” website and Mnet Japan website
• Voting period: Friday 2 p.m. KST (6 days before broadcast) – Monday 9 a.m. KST (3 days before broadcast)
• Available for international fans

10% Broadcast Score – maximum 1,000 points
• Based on how much the song has played on Mnet programs

+ 10% Live Vote – maximum 1,000 points
• Vote on “M!Countdown” website and text
• First place nominees only

KBS “Music Bank” – Friday

What is not eligible:

• OSTs
• Releases through audition programs and other variety shows

Maximum 200,000 points total

65% Digital – maximum 130,000 points
• 58.5% Online – maximum 117,000 points
• Melon, Bugs, Genie, Naver Music, Soribada
• 6.5% Mobile – maximum 13,000 points
• Ringtone downloads

5% Physical Album Sales – maximum 10,000 points
• Hanteo album chart

20% Broadcast Points – maximum 40,000 points
• Based on how much the song has played on KBS programs
• 17% television programs
• 3% radio programs

10% Viewer Panel Survey – maximum 20,000 points
• Randomly sent each week to viewers who are registered for KBS survey panel

FAQ: Why do some songs have physical scores that are higher than their digital scores?

Digital and physical scores on “Music Bank” are based on the share of total sales for the week.
• For example, if the total number of albums sold by all artists in a week is 500,000 and one artist sold 250,000 albums, that artist’s album score for the week will be 5,000 (half of the maximum album score).
• The song with the highest digital performance each week will usually make up less than 4 to 5 percent of the total digital sales for the week and will have a digital score between 4,000 and 5,000.

In the following example, Wanna One’s song “Light” made up about 1.8 percent of all digital sales for the week, so their digital score was 2,373 (out of 130,000 maximum). Their album “1÷χ=1 (UNDIVIDED)” made up 82.9 percent of all album sales for the week, so their physical score was 8,290 (out of 10,000 maximum). Bolbbalgan4’s song “Travel” made up about 3.9 percent of all digital sales for the week, so their digital score was 5,074 (out of 130,000 maximum). Their album “Red Diary Page.2” made up 0.14 percent of all album sales for the week, so their physical score was 14 (out of 10,000 maximum).

MBC “Music Core” – Saturday

Key Requirements:

• Only one song per artist is included in chart

What is not eligible:

• Songs released more than three months before the broadcast date
• Pre-debut releases
• OSTs
• Releases through audition programs and other variety shows
• Songs deemed unfit for broadcast by MBC
• Rated 15+

Maximum 10,000 points total

• Scoring is relative, so the eligible song with the highest score in each category will receive the maximum number of points in that category

50% Digital – maximum 5,000 points
• Data collected from Monday 12 p.m. KST (13 days before broadcast) – Monday 11:59 p.m. KST (6 days before broadcast)

10% Physical Album Sales – maximum 1,000 points
• Data collected from Monday 12 p.m. KST (13 days before broadcast) – Monday 11:59 p.m. KST (6 days before broadcast)

10% Video – maximum 1,000 points
• YouTube music video views
• Data collected from Monday 12 p.m. KST (13 days before broadcast) – Monday 11:59 p.m. KST (6 days before broadcast)

5% Radio – maximum 500 points
• Based on how much the song has played on MBC radio programs

10% Viewer Panel Survey – maximum 1,000 points
• 2,000 people randomly selected each month out of people who register to become part of panel
• Panel members vote from Wednesday 9 a.m. KST (3 days before broadcast) – Thursday 11 a.m. KST (2 days before broadcast)

15% Live Text Vote – maximum 1,500 points
• First place nominees only

SBS “Inkigayo” – Sunday

Key Requirements:

• Up to two songs per album are included in chart
• Song must be in top 150 of Gaon weekly chart

What is not eligible:

• OSTs
• Releases through audition programs and other variety shows
• Songs deemed unfit for broadcast by SBS
• Songs that have received triple crowns (won three consecutive weeks)

*Converted from 110% scale to 100% scale

Maximum 11,000 points total

• Scoring is relative, so the eligible song with the highest score in each category will receive the maximum number of points in that category

50% Digital – maximum 5,500 points
• Melon, Genie, Bugs
• Data collected from Monday (13 days before broadcast) – Monday (6 days before broadcast)

4.5% Physical Album Sales – maximum 500 points
• Gaon album chart
• Data collected from Monday (13 days before broadcast) – Monday (6 days before broadcast)

31.8% SNS – maximum 3,500 points
• Data from YouTube, Twitter, Weibo, YinYueTai
• Data collected from Monday (13 days before broadcast) – Monday (6 days before broadcast)

4.5% Pre-Vote – maximum 500 points
• Vote on Melon AZTalk app
• Voting period: Monday (13 days before broadcast) – Saturday (8 days before broadcast)

9% On-Air – maximum 1,000 points
• Based on how much the song has played on SBS television and radio programs
• Data collected from Monday (13 days before broadcast) – Monday (6 days before broadcast)

Source (1) (2) (3) (4) (5)

So what can international fans do to help?

Digital downloads and streaming are often difficult if you are outside of Korea, but international fans can purchase physical albums and stream music videos on YouTube. You can also vote for “The Show,” “Show Champion,” and “M!Countdown.”

Soompiers, which music broadcast show do you enjoy watching the most? Let us know in the comments below!