There may be some changes made to the realtime chart system in Korea following a recent controversy.

Accusations of chart manipulation have been surrounding the recent sudden success of indie artist Nilo’s song “Pass.” Although it was released in October of 2017, it shot to the top of many charts in early April, and there has been much suspicion about its success.

Nilo’s agency Limez Entertainment has denied all accusations of chart manipulation, linking the chart results of the song to the company’s successful social marketing strategy. Nilo’s “Pass” continues to rank high on the charts, and as of 3 a.m. KST on May 16 it sits at No. 3 on the realtime chart of Korea’s largest music site Melon. This is over a month since the song first reached No. 1 on April 12.

In late April, the Korea Management Federation requested that the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism investigate the issue. Limez Entertainment also submitted a petition to the Ministry with an explanation related to the controversy and requested a full investigation.

On May 15, news outlet OSEN reported that the Ministry is currently collecting the opinions of senior representatives of each music site, and beginning discussions about the matter. This has included a focus on those in the Korea Music Content Association (KOMCA).

Representatives from KOMCA and music sites have agreed that in order to end illegal digital music chart manipulation, the process cannot stop with just a full investigation.

They have judged that there is an issue with the realtime chart system that encourages chart manipulation, and they are discussing possibly making changes to the system or abolishing it.

There are some people who are concerned about the hourly realtime charts, which in some cases share graphs that show the movement of high-ranking songs in 5-minute intervals. Some believe that this has led to chart manipulation, overly intense streaming by fandoms, and an obsession with rankings upon entry on the charts.

KOMCA and representatives from the music sites are currently in discussion about the operation of realtime charts and possible plans. This has been acknowledged by representatives both from the Ministry and the music sites.

Source (1)