There are different ways to measure the popularity of a K-Pop song. You can look at YouTube views and likes, or album sales, or, in this case, streaming of digital singles. Gaon keeps tally of the most popular K-Pop songs based on their digital streams, and interestingly, the results can be really different from what one would expect based on other data measured! These are the 15 most-streamed digital songs so far of 2020, some of which weren’t even released this year.
15. “Left & Right” by SEVENTEEN
Release date: June 22, 2020
# of streams: 6.33 million
14. “Hip” by MAMAMOO
Release date: November 14, 2019
# of streams: 6.62 million
HIP is the title track of MAMAMOO‘s studio album reality in BLACK.
HIP is a song about loving and adoring oneself, as well as being confident and “hip”.
Because HIP’s choreography is hard, MAMAMOO used headsets instead of their usual handheld microphones. The choreography was made by Lia Kim.
13. “WANNABE” by ITZY
Release date: March 9, 2020
# of streams: 6.90 million
Wannabe (stylized as WANNABE) is a song recorded by South Korean girl group ITZY. It is the first and title track from their second extended play IT’z ME. The music video was released on March 9, 2020 along with the album.
ITZY‘s title song for their new album IT’z ME, “WANNABE”, is a Fusion Groove track that includes various genres like EDM, House, Hip Hop in the track. WANNABE aims to show one’s own color without being tied to other people’s standards with the message ‘one & only ME’.
The title track “WANNABE” of the album IT’z ME expresses self-importance and individual worth. It is considered to be an experimental bop which enlightens everyone to do things one truly love and being unapologetic for what you stand for.
12. “Fiesta” by IZ*ONE
Release date: February 17, 2020
# of streams: 7.17 million
“FIESTA” (피에스타) is the second and also the title track featured in IZ*ONE’s first studio album, BLOOM*IZ.
The title track, “FIESTA,” compares the appearance of IZ*ONE formed by the unique characters of each member which is now at its peak and full bloom, to a festival. The lyrics of the chorus express how everyday will be a festival filled with passion like the Sun.
The future house genre track consists of rhythmic bass sounds with a mysterious yet intense synth sound, giving off a trendy vibe with a deep melody. The contrast of the fast-paced harmonization and grandeur sound provides a fresh perspective to listeners.
11. “Secret Story of the Swan” by IZ*ONE
Release date: June 15, 2020
# of streams: 7.69 million
Secret Story of the Swan (幻想童話) is the seventh track featured in IZ*ONE’s third mini-album, Oneiric Diary.
The album’s title track “Secret Story of the Swan” is an electronic dance track about becoming who you’ve dreamed of becoming deep in your heart. IZ*ONE portrays themselves as the protagonists of a fairytale.
10. “ON” by BTS
Release date: February 21, 2020
# of streams: 8.34 million
“ON” is a song by BTS. It was released on February 21, 2020, serves as the title track and appears as the eleventh for their fourth studio album Map of the Soul: 7. A remixed version featuring Australian singer Sia was released the same day in the digital version of their fourth studio album.
This song also has a Japanese version featured in their fourth Japanese studio album Map of the Soul: 7 ~The Journey~.
9. “Dumhdurum” by Apink
Release date: April 13, 2020
# of streams: 8.46 million
“Dumhdurum” is in ninth mini album “LOOK”
“Dumhdurum” is composed and written by Black Eyed Pilseung and Jeon Goon, who wrote their previous songs “I’m So Sick” and “%%” as well as hits by other artists such as TWICE’s “FANCY” and “LIKEY.” An addicting melody and synth sounds come together to create the catchy dance track, and the lyrics describe being unaffected by the departure of one’s partner.
8. “Psycho” by Red Velvet
Release date: December 23, 2019
# of streams: 10.15 million
“Psycho” is an uptempo urban pop track with a quickly-changing melody line and an addicting hook. The lyrics tell the story of a couple that fights so much that they appear crazy in the eyes of others but are nonetheless meant for each other.
7. “Boy With Luv” by BTS ft. Halsey
Release date: April 12, 2019
# of streams: 10.54 million
“Boy With Luv (feat. Halsey)” (작은 것들을 위한 시) (also known as “A Poem for Small Things“) is a song by BTS featuring American singer Halsey. It was released on April 12, 2019, serves as the title track and appears as the second track in their sixth mini-album Map of the Soul: Persona and as the second track in their fourth studio album Map of the Soul: 7.
This song also has a Japanese version featured in the tenth Japanese single “Lights/Boy With Luv” and in their fourth Japanese studio album Map of the Soul: 7 ~The Journey~.
6. “Monster” by Red Velvet’s Irene & Seulgi
Release date: July 6, 2020
# of streams: 11.97 million
Monster is the debut mini-album by Red Velvet – Irene & Seulgi. It was released on July 6, 2020 with the song “Monster” serving as the album’s title track. The music video for “Monster” was delayed to July 7 at 12PM KST for unspecified reasons.
“Naughty” was used as their follow-up track for promotions and was released digitally on July 20, 2020.
The release of the mini album was postponed from June 15 to July 6, 2020 on the grounds that it needed additional production on the album, in order to achieve a higher quality of music.
The physical album comes in three versions: Top Note, Middle Note, and Base Note.
5. “More & More” by TWICE
Release date: June 1, 2020
# of streams: 12.23 million
“More & More” is the first and title track in the group’s 9th extended play (EP). The single and it’s music video were released on June 1, 2020. The Japanese version of More & More will be included in the Japanese Single “Fanfare” releasing on July 8, 2020.
4. “Dumdi Dumdi” by (G)I-DLE
Release date: August 3, 2020
# of streams: 13.62 million
DUMDi DUMDi (덤디덤디) is the first single album released by (G)I-DLE. The album consists of two total tracks including the lead single “DUMDi DUMDi” and the B-side “I’m The Trend”.
3. “Nonstop” by Oh My Girl
Release date: April 27, 2020
# of streams: 18.19 million
The title track “Nonstop” is a dance track that blends rhythmical bass and energetic synth sounds, and the members’ unique voices shine as they sing about falling for a friend.
2. “Dolphin” by Oh My Girl
Release date: April 27, 2020
# of streams: 20.53 million
1. “How You Like That” by BLACKPINK
Release date: June 26, 2020
# of streams: 30.00 million
How You Like That is the first single album by BLACKPINK. The single and its music video was released on June 26, 2020 as the first pre-release single from the group’s upcoming debut studio album, set to be released in September 2020. Teddy co-wrote the track with Danny Chung, and its producers R. Tee and 24.
It’s the group’s first release in South Korea after being on hiatus for one year and two months.