Seoul, South Korea - The Photocard Album, colloquially known as the POCA Album, is revolutionizing the music market.
The catalyst? A consumer psyche that is evolving beyond traditional media.
According to the Korea Consumer Information Center, 52.7% of K-pop fans buy albums to collect merchandise. Only 5.7% use the CDs for their primary function - listening to music. Enter POCCA Album, the disruptor.
But what makes the POCA album different? It capitalizes on the two essential desires of the modern K-pop fan: the tangible desire to collect and the digital ease of listening.
MakeStar, a leader in this alternative album space, has seen a sharp increase in sales.
To quantify, the number of artists with significant initial POCA album sales has quadrupled in one year. ATEEZ moved approximately 230,000 units, G) I-DLE moved 340,000 units, and newcomer PLAVE moved roughly 150,000 units via POCCA albums.
The POCA album phenomenon is not just limited to K-pop youth but also infiltrates other entertainment industry sectors.
Artists such as Jang Min Ho are capturing the attention of an older fan base, while drama OSTs and actor VLOGs are also being launched in the format. Significantly, these sales contribute to the primary music charts, giving fans a way to support their idols in a statistically significant way.
It's hard to overlook the environmentally conscious underpinnings of POCA albums. Traditional polycarbonate plastic CDs linger in landfills for eons and emit toxic fumes when burned.
On the other hand, POCA albums use NFC or QR codes on paper discs to facilitate mobile-based streaming. They use eco-friendly inks and less bulky packaging, increasing their eco quotient.
MakeStar isn't just a fleeting phenomenon; it's a force with global penetration in 232 countries.
Last year, the platform generated 47.9 billion won in sales and is expected to more than double this year. It was recently spotlighted on Forbes Asia's "100 Companies to Watch" list for 2023.
In summary, the POCA album is not just an alternative, and it's becoming the preference. It reflects the shifting axis from physical to digital, satisfies the statistical ambitions of chart-conscious fans, and answers the growing call for sustainable fan engagement.
This is less a trend than a transformation.