After selling 1.19 million album copies in 6 days, LE SSERAFIM’s new record was broken by aespa, raising doubts.
In May, a “girl group battle” unfolds in the Kpop scene, with entertainment companies showcasing their representative girl groups around the same time. As a result, the performance of each competing group in terms of music charts and album sales also became an eye-catching topic.
Among the many competitors in May, 2 groups have their comebacks a week apart: LE SSERAFIM, who made a comeback on May 2nd, and aespa, who returned on May 8th.
LE SSERAFIM and aespa are both known for having representative “girl crush” concepts, alongside powerful vocals, visually stunning performances, and music centered around “self-love” as their main narrative.
In this showdown, the two groups’ concepts stand out. LE SSERAFIM still competed with “confidence”, while aespa moved away from their previous music themes and adopted a “high-teen” image. The changed concepts didn’t necessarily lead to different outcomes between the two. However, LE SSERAFIM suffered a defeat in the early stages of the competition.
According to industry sources on the 9th, LE SSERAFIM’s new album, “Unforgiven”, sold 1,197,798 copies in just 6 days after its release. This number is about four times higher than the initial sales of their debut album “Fearless”, which sold 300,000 copies in the first week. On the first day alone, they sold over 1.02 million copies, setting a record for the highest first day album sales for a K-pop female artist.
However, LE SSERAFIM’s first-place record changed in just a week, due to the comeback of their rival girl group, aespa. In particular, aespa’s third mini-album “My World” sold 1,372,929 copies on the first day of release. With pre-orders alone reaching 1.8 million copies, they signaled their entry as million-sellers early on. Notably, this is aespa’s second consecutive album to sell over 1 million copies after “Girls”.
Of course, initial album sales don’t tell the whole story. However, many in the music industry predict that this competition between LE SSERAFIM and aespa will end in a clear victory for aespa.
As evident from the initial sales figures, many believe that aespa has a larger fan base. aespa, which debuted in 2020, has a relatively larger number of fans, and the loyalty of SM Entertainment fans is also significant. Additionally, the popularity and influence of members representing aespa, such as Karina, support the group’s relative advantage.
At the same time, there has been skepticism regarding LE SSERAFIM’s concept, as the girl group maintained the “healthy idol” and “confident idol” concepts throughout their three comebacks. Some reactions suggest boredom from seeing the same LE SSERAFIM every time, and that a new musical attempt is needed.
On the other hand, aespa showed a different side by breaking away from their previous worldview. The warriors who caught the villain Black Mamba in Kwangya have transformed into high-teen protagonists.
Kpop fans were delighted with this new aspect of aespa, and fans couldn’t help but send more support to the new image. However, initial sales and concept diversity aren’t everything, as popularity can change at any time, in accordance with various elements.