International K-pop Fans: Use a VPN to Affect the Charts

Ray Walsh

Ray Walsh

January 17, 2017

News has emerged that people who stream K-pop songs outside of South Korea do not affect the charts. Users who spend their hard-earned cash on sites like Genie and MelOn must reside in Korea to actually affect the Korean music charts, those firms have admitted.

K-pop is huge all around Asia, and despite it not being to my personal taste I empathize with people who have been spending their earnings on attempting to get their favorite artist into the number one spot. After all, there is nothing more fun than knowing that you helped to get your favorite band to the top of the K-pop charts – if that is your thing.

BTS k-pop

Sadly, however, it is not as simple as it seems. For that reason, sites like MelOn and Genie have been coming under quite a bit of heat in the last few days, after it was revealed that the thousands of plays bought in countries like Indonesia and Malaysia simply don’t count towards the daily chart.

Outrage Among K-pop Fans

Expressing their distaste at the news, many K-pop fans have been leaving comments on onehallyu. A user going by the nickname Snatched has commented:

“RIP to all i-fans who actually spent $$$ on streaming on those charts. I stuck with buying physical albums and streaming the MV but I can’t imagine spending money on Genie/Melon just to find out it doesn’t count.”

Another fan, called Shawnee, says:

“b*tch I wasted $20 on that bull$h*t. never again.”

In fact, there are a number of rules that Korean pop fans must follow if they want their plays to count towards the daily and real-time charts. Let’s take a look at them.

Use a VPN for K-music Charts

If you love BTS,  EXO, or any other Korean pop act (and want to help them to keep hitting top spots), then it is essential that you use a VPN if you don’t reside in Korea itself. Otherwise, your plays won’t count towards the charts. You need to appear to be a Korean citizen – that is, to ‘spoof’ your IP address to within South Korea.

We recommend ExpressVPN for this purpose as it has an excellent, fast server located in South Korea (which automatically assigns a number of IP addresses located within the country). Using one of ExpressVPN’s Korean IP addresses will instantly make you appear to be a real Korean resident, allowing your plays to count towards the music charts.

EXO K-pop

One Minute Preview on MelOn Doesn’t Count

Please be aware that only full songs count towards the chart. The one minute preview of songs does not register a play for your favorite K-pop artist. Thus, if it is your aim to affect the chart, steer away from the one-minute preview. In addition, if you are playing the whole song, you must actually listen to it from beginning to end in its entirety if you want it to count.

In addition, you can only register one play per day towards the daily chart, and one vote per hour towards the real-time chart. As such, be aware that spending your money by playing songs over and over again will not affect the chart as you intend it to.

Install Mnet Player or App

Plays on Mnet must be made on the player or app, so if you want your play to register towards the chart please download their software to your phone or tablet. Sadly, the web browser version does not count your play towards the chart at all.


The good news is that, on Bugs, both internet browser plays and streams using the app count. In addition, you only need to listen to more than one and a half minutes of the song with no skipping. Like on MelOn, plays only count once a day for the daily chart and once an hour for the real-time chart, so two plays in an hour are a waste of money.


As with the other sites, only one play per day counts towards the daily charts. Multiple plays will cost you money but won’t affect the chart.


On Soribada, plays also only count once per day for the daily charts. However, for the real-time chart (which is updated every ten minutes) you may register multiple plays. In addition, there must be no skipping and you must listen to the whole song. The one minute preview does not count.

Olleh Music

Only full song plays count, not the one minute preview. As with many of the other providers, only one vote per day counts towards the daily chart, with one per hour registering for the real-time chart.

k-pop map

Using Hashtags to Support Your Favorite K-pop Artist

Finally, for anybody who wants to support their favorite artist using hashtags, this is possible if you follow certain rules!

Attaching a hashtag of your favorite artist’s name to a tweet does count towards the SNS points for music shows. However, there must be no attachment on the tweet and only one hashtag for the artist of your choice. More than one hashtag is considered spam and does not get counted.

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