KOCCA Launches probe into BTS Chart Manipulation claims

The legal conflict at HYBE continues to intensify as the dispute over subsidiary authority and ADOR CEO Min Hee-Jin escalates. The Korean Creative Content Agency (KOCCA) has announced an investigation into allegations of BTS’ chart manipulation, known as ‘sajaegi’. On May 21, reports confirmed that KOCCA, had received an official complaint regarding BTS and accusations of manipulating music charts.

Mixed Responses to Investigation Announcement

BTS, the seven-member K-pop sensation comprising Jimin, Jin, Suga, Jungkook, RM, Taehyung, and J-Hope, remains at the centre of these allegations. Despite HYBE’s consistent denials, the investigation has stirred mixed reactions among K-netizens. Many fans view the claims as baseless attempts to undermine BTS’ success. Others call for a thorough investigation to clear any doubts. The investigation team will contact HYBE to examine the accusations, and recent updates indicate that the inquiry is already underway.

BTS’ Previous Denials of ‘Sajaegi’ Accusations

The allegations of chart manipulation date back to 2017, following a blackmailing incident where individuals threatened to expose alleged malpractice by Bighit, BTS’ agency. Despite BTS’ innocence being established previously, the accusations resurface, necessitating an in-depth investigation. The Korean Creative Content Agency is considering involving courts or investigators and may request information from music streaming services. After a committee review, the outcome will be sent to the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism.

An industry insider commented, “The term ‘music chart manipulation’ itself is misleading. Whether physical albums or digital music, this is clearly ‘music chart manipulation.’ Given their ties with music streaming platforms, KOCCA’s ability to conduct a proper investigation remains questionable.”

What is the BTS ‘Sajaegi’ Allegation?

‘Sajaegi,’ referring to illegal music chart manipulation, is a term familiar in the K-pop industry and has affected many careers.

Despite BigHit’s consistent denials and clarifications, including their previous statement, “Allegations of chart manipulation, marketing manipulation, concept plagiarism, connections to a cult, and other such claims that tarnish BTS’s reputation are false,” the claims continue to resurface. The new investigation by KOCCA aims to address these ongoing concerns.