In response to a number of questions we’ve been having, we prepared a short guide to the Korean Physical Chart
1. What are Hanteo and Gaon?
The Hanteo Information System and the Gaon Music Chart are 2 different ways to keep track of an artist’s sales and performance for their releases.
2. So what are the differences between them?
In short: Hanteo keeps tracks of sales, Gaon keeps tracks of shipments.
Hanteo is a real-time chart. They obtain information from a selected number of Hanteo-certified stores that report their sales for each artist every day. These are not total sales. Hanteo only counts the sales from their stores list, but it gives a decent idea of how an album is doing.
Gaon does not keep track of sales. Their numbers are the amount of albums shipped by a company as reported by the company itself (in SJ’s case, SM Entertainment) to Gaon. The logic behind this is that if the album is in high demand the company will ship more and more. If the album isn’t, less albums will be shipped or some will be returned (in which case the Gaon number has been known to be adjusted down).
When people talk about the Hanteo:Gaon ratio and why it’s important it’s referring exactly to this difference in the charts.
Since Gaon is shipments it should always be higher than Hanteo that tracks a portion of the sales. You can’t have higher sales than albums shipped.
3. Are they both used for the same thing?
No. Hanteo real time sales are used for weekly shows. This is where the points for physical sales come from.
Gaon’s numbers are not released in real time, and thus they tend to be more used for the year-end awards like the Golden Disk Awards.
Moreover, each chart has their own awards for best selling artists according to their own numbers.
4. Is one more important than the other?
Not really. They go hand in hand. A higher Hanteo number usually corresponds with a higher Gaon number. Artists that do well in one will usually do well on the other.
It’s all about timing. Right after release, Hanteo is very important since it will contribute to weekly show awards.
After promotions are over, Gaon is a better indicator of who will get nominated for the year-end ceremonies.
5. I want to keep track of the charts myself, how can I do that?
Following Gaon is really easy. They release their top artists every week and give out the monthly numbers for free every month. You can follow it here: http://gaonchart.co.kr/
Hanteo is a bit trickier. Although they do release their top 5 on real time, they only give out one of the numbers for sales. To have access to the full sales you need to have a Korean Social Security Number as well as a paid membership to Hanteo. Still, if you would like to keep a general idea of how the charts are going, you can visit their website at: http://www.hanteo.com/