Whether you’re just getting into K-pop or long-time stan- one of the first things you’ll discover is the weekly music shows that are central to the Korean music scene. Whenever an artist begins a promotion or ‘comeback’ cycle, they will perform their latest release on weekly music broadcasts as they compete for the top spot on that show’s popularity chart. It is both an opportunity for artists to appeal to new fans and secure their continued success with wins. Winning this slot across each of the major broadcast network music shows in one week for the same track is often referred to as an ‘all-kill’.

In this guide, we’ll give a broad overview of the weekly K-pop music shows, as well as each show’s unique points and even ways to secure your spot in the live audience. Click the titles below to jump directly to a specific topic, or the up arrow in the right-hand corner to return to the top at any time.

  1. The Basics
    1. Weekly Popularity Chart Scoring 
    2. Pre-recordings vs. Live Broadcast
    3. Weekly K-pop Music Show Schedule
  1. Weekly K-pop Music Shows Breakdown
    1. Inkigayo
    2. The Show
    3. Show Champion
    4. M Countdown
    5. Music Bank
    6. Simply K-pop
    7. Show! Music Core
    8. Music Universe K-909 

1. The Basics

a. Weekly Popularity Chart Scoring

If you’ve ever heard a fan preach about the importance of streaming – the chart systems used in weekly K-pop music shows are probably why. Although the charts are all trying to determine the most popular K-pop songs for the week, each show implements a slightly different scoring system. While this can be a bit confusing to keep track of, it keeps each show fresh and allows for greater opportunity for smaller groups to compete.

The criteria to win typically includes physical or digital album sales, music video streams, and an element of live or pre-voting by the show’s audience. This is further broken down by show in the chart below:

Music ProgramChart ScoringApplicable Conditions to Win
Inkigayo
  • Digital (streaming + downloads) (55%)
  • SNS (YouTube views) (30%)
  • Album sales (10%)
  • Advance viewer votes (5%)
  • On-Air (10%)
  • Live-vote (5%)
 Songs that have already got triple crown are not eligible.
The Show
  • Digital (downloads and streaming) (40%)
  • Album sales (10%)
  • Music video views (20%)
  • Broadcast (15%)
  • Starpass pre-voting (5%)
  • Starpass live voting (10%)
Attend on broadcast date
Show Champion
  • Digital (streaming + downloads) (35%)
  • Album sales (15%)
  • Pre-voting (Idol Champ) (20%)
  • Broadcast score (20%),
  • SNS (10%)

 

Songs that have already got triple crown are not eligible
M Countdown
  • Digital (streaming + downloads) (45%)
  • Album sales (15%)
  • Music video views (15%)
  • Pre-voting (a sum of pre-votes on Mwave, Whosfan, Mnet and Mnet Japan) (15%)
  • Broadcast score (10%)
  • Live text voting (10%)
Must promote for at least one music show in either that week or the weeks before.

Songs that have already got triple crown are not eligible

Music Bank
  • Digital (streaming + downloads) (65%)
  • Album sales (5%)
  • KBS broadcast score (20%)
  • Panel survey (10%
Top 200 of at least one of five charts that Music Bank.

BTS currently holds the record for most awarded song for “Dynamite“, which won first place a total of 32 times. They also hold the record for the most first-place wins in a year with a total of 50 times, and won on Show! Music Core for a record 16 consecutive weeks (10 with Dynamite and 6 with Life Goes On) in 2020.

b. Pre-recordings vs. Live Broadcast

Due to the strict time constraints of producing a live broadcast, most K-pop weekly music shows use a mix of pre-recorded and live stages. Typically artists with involved sets or artists performing multiple songs in one week will pre-record one of their stages the day before to alleviate some of the day-of chaos.

Pre-recordings

Pre-recordings or ‘사녹’ (abbreviated from 사전녹화) are typically limited to verified fanclub members only and are recorded the day or early morning before the live show. Because of these early hours they usually include some type of benefit to participants for attending including coffee trucks, treats, and exclusive photocards. However, the number of audience slots varies greatly and is very competitive. Pre-recording audience applications are run directly by the fanclub and often require multiple forms of verification for entry.

Live Broadcasts

Live broadcasts run from approximately 30 minutes before through the end of the live airing time of the particular show. These audiences are made up of a small percentage of winners from the fanclub pre-recording, as well as a selected audience by the broadcast station. The broadcast station winners can be chosen by web or mobile application, or even purchased through Trazy!

c. Weekly K-pop Music Show Schedule

 

2. Weekly K-pop Music Shows Breakdown

a. Inkigayo

Broadcast Stations: SBS

Weekly K-pop Music Show Date &  Time: Every Sunday at 3:30pm

Location: SBS Dongchon-dong, Broadcasting Hall

Current Hosts: Tomorrow by Together’s Yeonjun, Actress Park Ji-hu, & BOYNEXTDOOR’s Woonhak

SBS Inkigayo is infamous not only for its popular special stages featuring its weekly hosts, but also for its backstage stairs! The stairwell at Inkigayo is a well-loved spot for idols to take backstage selfies and collab on viral dance challenges. Inkigayo is also notorious for being one of the most difficult weekly K-pop music shows to get into as the studio has fairly limited standing-room audience space.

 

b. The Show

Broadcast Stations: SBS M

Weekly K-pop Music Show Date &  Time: Every Tuesday at 6pm

Location: SBS Prism Tower, Sangam-dong

Current Hosts:  WayV’s Xiaojun, Cravity’s Hyeongjun, and Nana of UNIS

SBS M’s The Show offers a more intimate experience than some other weekly K-pop music shows and thanks to their charting system is the best place to see new & upcoming artists.

 

c. Show Champion

 

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Broadcast Stations: MBC Plus

Weekly K-pop Music Show Date &  Time: Every Wednesday at 6pm

Location: Ilsan MBC Dream Center

Current Hosts: Xdinary Heros’ Gaon, Epex’s Keum

Show Champion was one of the first weekly music shows to implement the ‘Triple Crown’ system which prevents artists from winning with the same track more than 3-weeks in a row. This combined with the other unique aspects of their charting system, make them one of the easiest charts to follow.

 

d. M Countdown

Broadcast Stations: MNET

Weekly K-pop Music Show Date &  Time: Every Thursday at 6pm

Location: CJ E & M Center, Sangam-dong

Current Hosts: Sohee of Riize, Jaehyun of BoyNextDoor, and Hanbin of Zerobaseone

Widely known for their popularization of Relay Dance & Face ‘cam’s, M Countdown has some of the best camera work among the weekly K-pop shows. M Countdown’s charting system is also one of the most global as its various platforms allow international fans as well as domestic to cast their vote digitally.

 

e. Music Bank

Broadcast Stations: KBS

Weekly K-pop Music Show Date &  Time: Every Friday at 5:15pm

Location: KBS Broadcasting Hall

Current Hosts: Le Sserafim’s Eunchae and actor Lee Chae-min

Music Bank is well-known for hosting impressive cross-over special stages and funny backstage interviews.

 

f. Simply K-pop

Broadcast Stations: Arirang TV

Weekly K-pop Music Show Date &  Time: Every Friday at 1pm

Location: Arirang Tower Seocheo-dong

Current Hosts: Lee Dae-hwi from AB6IX

Broadcast on Korea’s representative English network, Simply K-pop is the most globally accessible of the weekly K-pop music shows.

 

g. Show! Music Core

Broadcast Stations: MBC

Weekly K-pop Music Show Date &  Time: Every Saturday at 3:30pm

Location: MBC, Sangam Broadcasting Station

Current Hosts: Actor Lee Jung-ha, The Boyz Younghoon, and Sullyoon of Nmixx

Show, show show! In 2014, Show! Music Core was widely recognized by both domestic and international fans for formally prohibiting lip-syncing in their broadcast. They also host mini fanmeeting events open to the public on Saturdays before and after the broadcast for artists’ first week of promotions.

 

h. Music Universe K-909 

 

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Broadcast Stations: JTBC

Weekly K-pop Music Show Date &  Time: Every Saturday at 4:40pm

Location: JTBC Ilsan Studio

Current Hosts: Boa

Hosted by the beloved Boa, K-909 differentiates itself from other broadcasts with more involved stage design and in-depth artist interviews. However, because of this, the number of artists performing each week is significantly fewer than other weekly K-pop music shows.


BONUS:

MBC Studio 1-Day Tour (+ Drama Rehearsal Visit)

Take a behind-the-scenes look at where your favorite K-dramas and K-pop shows are filmed with this studio tour of MBC! The MBC Dream Center in Goyang City is the largest indoor studio in Korea and is responsible for producing K-content that is loved by people all over the world. On this tour, you will explore production studios and on Mondays and Wednesdays, you can even watch MBC drama rehearsals in person!

MBC Studio 1 Day Tour (+ Drama Rehearsal Visit option)

 KBS K-pop Super Live

Enjoy a full-day festival at Daechon Beach before dancing the night away with incredible K-Pop performances at the 2024 Boryeong Mud Festival + KBS Super Live Stage!

  • Date: July 20th @ 7:50PM
  • Line-up: JD1, BTOB, BEKHO, Lee Chae Yeon, Lee Mu Jin, Hong Ji Yun, Weeekly, signature, 8TURN, ATBO, UNIS, ALL(H)OURS, BADVILLAIN

Book a shuttle bus package to the KBS K-pop Super Live!


Read Trazy blogs for even more K-pop! 

Check out these other K-pop experiences on Trazy:


Find all the best K-pop experiences and trendiest things to do in Korea at Korea’s #1 Travel ShopTrazy.com!

 

[Photo Credits]
MBC Plus Official Site
KBS Official Site
Arirang Official Site
SBS Official Site
MNET Official Site
JTBC Official Site

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