Recently, on the afternoon of September 21, JTBC reported on “News Room” that they discovered systematic means being used to manipulate artist chart rankings, commonly referred to in Korean as “sajaegi.”

In response to the report, YG Entertainment simply gave a big fat “Yes please.”

In a phone call with Daily Sports on September 22, a source from YG said, “We welcome the report by JTBC’s ‘News Room’ about music chart manipulation,” and continued, “Until now, these reports always ended with mere suspicion, and nothing more. This time around, we sincerely hope that the case is thoroughly investigated, and contributes to the advancement of the music industry.”

The source states that similar suspicions were raised by the big three entertainment agencies two years ago and investigations had begun, but that it eventually just lost steam. “We hope that there are concrete results this time.”

YG’s side insisted that sajaegi is a sure way to kill the music industry, according to the report by Daily Sports. “As a result of sajaegi, smaller labels suffer. Brokers always approach us with the same line: ‘All the big agencies are doing it, but why aren’t you?’ If we use our money that way, it all just flows into China. And then the cycle never stops.”

“Large agencies, especially listed companies, no longer engage in these illegal activities because they need to be transparent with taxes and accounting. With the K-pop market soaring right now, it’s a shame that we’re under suspicion for this sort of regressive industry culture,” said YG. “We’re so glad that the media is spotlighting this again, and we will do our best to assist in any investigation. However, it seems that [media] has failed to distinguish the systematic movements of fans from the movements of brokers.”

Source: JTBC

Source: JTBC

Previously, on JTBC’s “News room, Sinawe’s guitarist Shin Dae Chul spoke up about the issue, and said, “Music chart manipulation has been a well-known secret from a long time ago. It’s something that everyone knows, but nobody talks about.”

JTBC looked into the roughly 30,000 IDs that were registered as fans of the then-chart-topping idol group on Melon. They reached the conclusion that over 1,000 of those IDs might be fake, having been created with the recurring pattern of identical English names followed by different numbers.

jtbc news room sajaegi

Source: JTBC

JTBC stated, “Looking into the fans of other idol groups, the results were the same. This could be involving major music publicity companies or brokers.” Then showing a photo of countless smart phones laid out on rows and rows of shelves, JTBC reported, “In places like China, they have these sort of factories where they just stream or download the music of certain artists.”

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