Super Junior dominated the physical album sales for 2012.
Even though digital sales have been steadily taking over the physical album sales, this year many idols sold more than 100,000 physical copies of their albums. Even though the digital trend is still growing, more fans bought physical albums in 2012 as compared to recent years.
According to Hanteo, there are 8 groups who sold more than 100,000 physical albums from January 1, 2012, to December 9, 2012. In 2011, only 5 groups had sold more than 100,000 physical copies for the entire year, showing the increase of physical album sales in 2012. In 2009 and 2010, only 2 groups had sold more than 100,000 copies.
Super Junior is the king of album sales as the group has ranked at #1 on the physical album sales for 3 consecutive years. In 2010, they sold more than 130,000 copies of the A version of 'Bonamana', and in 2011 sold more than 200,000 copies of the A version of 'Mr. Simple', ranking #1 for both years. Super Junior came back in the latter half of the year with 'Sexy, Free & Single' on July 4th, but sold 177,718 physical copies so far, ranking at #1 for the entire year. Not only so, but they sold a total of 357,633 physical albums this year, including the versions of all their past albums. Super Junior ranked #1 in the '2012 Singer Award' category.
Following in 2nd place was Big Bang with 156,382 copies of their mini album 'Alive'. G-Dragon himself sold 113,038 copies of 'One of a Kind', ranking 7th. They ranked #2 in the '2012 Singer Award' category as well, selling a total of 271,544 physical albums this year.
TVXQ ranked 3rd overall with 152,112 copies of 'Catch Me', and also ranked 3rd in the '2012 Singer Award' by selling 240,862 total albums. SHINee ranked 4th with 'Sherlock', selling 138,810 copies. B2ST ranked 5th with 'Midnight Sun' and sold 118,490 copies. INFINITE ranked 6th with 115,746 copies of 'Infinitize', and Busker Busker ranked 8th with 'Busker Busker: Spring Wind' selling 109,237 copies.
Even though EXO-K and Jay Park have not yet reached over 100,000 physical album sales they are running close in fast with 99,047 and 90,653 copies sold respectively. Four of the top 10 sellers are from SM Entertainment and 2 are from YG Entertainment, proving the power of the big companies. Additionally, the male idols were very popular in 2012 as evidenced by fact that the entire top 10 of physical album sales were by male idol artists.
All the numbers are from just physical album sales (digital album sale figures are not included).
Hanteo TOP 10 as of December 9th
1. Super Junior - 'Sexy, Free & Single' - 177,718 copies (SM Entertainment)
2. Big Bang - 'Alive' - 156,382 copies (YG Entertainment)
3. TVXQ - 'Catch Me' - 152,112 copies (SM Entertainment)
4. SHINee - 'Sherlock' - 138,810 copies (SM Entertainment)
5. B2ST - 'Midnight Sun' - 118,490 copies (Cube Entertainment)
6. INFINITE - 'Infinitize' - 115,746 copies (Woollim Entertainment)
7. G-Dragon - 'One Of A Kind' - 113,038 copies (YG Entertainment)
8. Busker Busker - 'Busker Busker: Spring Wind' - 109,237 copies (CJ E&M)
9. EXO-K 'MAMA' - 99,047 copies (SM Entertainment)
10. Jay Park - 'New Breed' - 90,653 copies (SidusHQ)