YouTube Music is widely used by consumers worldwide. Consequently, over the past year, shifts have led consumers, especially in South Korea, to migrate away to alternative streaming platforms. Recently, Instiz also announced that YouTube Music would soon be added to iChart within this month. This not only confirms the platform’s domestic popularity, but also serves as a choice of preference for music listeners, especially for those who are interested in streaming.
This surge of popularity has brought a wave of interest in terms of what the platform can offer to its users. Specifically, users may now be able to observe closely any given song in real-time and measure its popularity over time in terms of consumption. We wish to show examples of title tracks whose popularity can be measured in this way. Of course, many songs can still chart well but also have higher view count on their music videos. However, we focus instead only on covering examples where the count on their audio clips remain higher than their MV count.
Let’s get started and introduce examples by female soloists!
Taeyeon – Weekend
On YouTube Music, Weekend remains a popular choice among listeners. Although the music video has over 31 million views, the audio clip is ahead with over 40 million. But its success isn’t limited only to YouTube Music. On other platforms such as MelOn, Weekend appears regularly on MelOn Daily Chart and still charts within the top 100 on any given day.
Heize – Happen
Aside from Weekend, other female soloists like Heize found success on this platform. Happen — released last year — is currently leading in engagement on YouTube Music, ahead of its music video. Combined with the song’s popularity on other music streaming services, the song was awarded at end-of-year music awards ceremonies.
BoA – Better
Better — which was released by BoA on December 1, 2020 — became a trending song last year during the airing of Mnet’s Street Woman Fighter. Due to the show’s overall success, Better was able to re-enter music charts (for example, Gaon Digital Chart) in September (week) and October (month) that same year. Seeing its popularity on YouTube Music, we also suggest that the platform can also give us insights about music trends as they happen.
Let’s move on and share examples by female groups.
Brave Girls – Rollin’
Brave Girls found success in 2021 with lead single Rollin‘ following a period of resurgence. Consequently, the group was invited to perform at music festivals and all major end-of-year awards ceremonies. To date, the audio clip for Rollin‘ remains the group’s most viewed video on YouTube.
LABOUM – Journey to Atlantis
Like Rollin‘, Journey to Atlantis was able to chart successfully, despite its original release in 2016. However, the path to its success is different. Namely, the song was recommended by variety entertainer, Yoo Jae-suk, in his popular MBC variety show Hangout with Yoo.
We finally introduce our last set of examples.
AKMU – How can I love the heartbreak, you’re the one I love
How can I love the heartbreak, you’re the one I love was released on September 25, 2019. It is one of the duo’s signature songs — and arguably their most successful. On Gaon, it has been certified in downloads (1x Platinum) and streaming (2x Platinum).
Lee Mu-jin – Traffic Light
Traffic Light was released last May by Korean singer Lee Mu-jin. It topped the Gaon Digital Chart on the second week of August, two months after its original release. Traffic Light was also his first song to win on Inkigayo and subsequently became one of the most successful songs in 2021.
We’ve included more examples in our tables below. The tables are organized in ascending order by the song’s release date. Our observations are accurate at the time of posting.
Note: We used a live clip for any song listed here that does not have an MV.
A. Songs released before January 1, 2010:
|LYn||Used to Love||x||x|
|SeeYa||Scent of a Woman||x||x|
|SeeYa||Lovely Sweet Heart||x||x|
|Brown Eyed Girls||L.O.V.E||x||x|
|Epik High||Umbrella (feat. Younha)||x||x|
B. Songs released between 2010 and 2019:
|IU||Every End of the Day||x||x|
|Yerin Baek||Bye bye my blue||x||x|
|Laboum||Journey to Atlantis||x||x|
|Brave Girls||High Heels||x||x|
|ONF||We Must Love||x||x|
|George||Look at me||x||x|
|Jannabi||for lovers who hesitate||x||x|
|Yerin Baek||Maybe It’s Not Our Fault||x||x|
|Younha||On A Rainy Day||x||x|
|AKMU||How can I love the heartbreak, you’re the one I love||x||x|
C. Songs released after January 1, 2020:
|pH-1||Nerdy Love (feat. Yerin Baek)||x||x|
|Brave Girls||We Ride||x||x|
|KyoungSeo||Shiny Star (2020)||x||x|
|Davichi||Just hug me||x||x|
|BIBI||BAD SAD AND MAD||x||x|
|Lee Mu-jin||Traffic Light||x||x|
|GyeongseoYeji x Jeon Gunho||If you lovingly call my name||x||x|
|Chung Ha, Colde||My Lips Like Warm Coffee||x||x|
|Epik High||Rain Song (feat. Colde)||x||x|
|AKMU||NAKKA (with IU)||x||x|
|Car, the garden||Closely Far Away||x||x|
We’ve introduced many examples but likely to have missed out on many more! Are there also any songs here that you wanted to see covered that weren’t? Let us know about it and leave us a comment below! And as always, thanks for reading.