MAMAMOO‘s greatest hits compilation album, I Say MAMAMOO: The Best, is finally here! But while fans are enjoying the re-recordings, re-imaginings, and new title track “mumumumuch,” there’s one aspect of the comeback that has fans baffled and frustrated: unexpectedly low sales.
Since the act’s debut, MAMAMOO has always been one of the best-selling girl groups of the third generation. Their mini-album, WAW, for example, is just a few thousand copies away from reaching 100,000 sales on the Hanteo chart after selling 38,259 copies on its first day of release.
Given that WAW was released just three months ago and fans have been highly anticipating the group’s first OT4 album since Wheein left RBW, fans were expecting I Say MAMAMOO: The Best to reach similarly impressive heights. In fact, comeback goal guides made by MooMoos told fans to aim to reach 50,000 sales on day one.
In a few hours mumumumuch mv and the album "I SAY MAMAMOO: THE BEST" be released remember the goals that we have to achieve let's do a lot of stream to give achievements to the girls #마마무 #MAMAMOO @RBW_MAMAMOO pic.twitter.com/D2VsGMXOkk
— Mamamoo Updates (slow) (@mmmupdtes) September 14, 2021
The real first-day figure, however, ended up being far from that. At the end of the tracking day on September 15, I Say MAMAMOO: The Best recorded a final first-day sales total of just 6,981 copies.
Now, fans are left confused about why sales dipped so low—especially considering MAMAMOO’s performance on other platforms is even better than before. For example, “Where Are We Now” (the title track of WAW) took around 10 hours to reach 1 million views on YouTube. “Mumumumuch,” on the other hand, surpassed 1 million views in less than 8 hours.
The album also has 12 no.1s on global iTunes charts, and all 23 songs on I Say MAMAMOO charted within the top 50 on Korean music streaming platform Bugs. With that in mind, it seems clear that MAMAMOO’s fanbase isn’t dwindling—so what happened?
While fans can only speculate for now, one big clue comes from Korean music stores. On Yes24, Hottracks, Bizent, Music Korea, and Synnara, I Say MAMAMOO is currently sold out. This seems to imply that RBW failed to print enough copies of the album to satisfy demand.
But why? Was this a massive miscalculation on RBW’s part, or is there an external factor to blame? Some think the culprit could be the recent rise in paper shortages around the world, given that photobooks, posters, and photocards can’t be printed without paper. However, recent releases like Red Velvet‘s Queendom and STAYC‘s Stereotype have sold hundreds of thousands of copies between them, leading many fans to believe this isn’t the cause.
That said, it is possible that other manufacturing issues could be to blame. One major MAMAMOO fanbase states that Ktown4U, one of the most popular international K-Pop stores, has reported that they don’t have enough stock to ship out all pre-orders on the first day due to a problem on the manufacturer’s side. I Say MAMAMOO: The Best is relatively large in size and has a hardback cover, so it may be more complex to produce than other albums.
We would like to inform moomoos who bought albums using our link that there seems to be an issue on the manufacturer's side, which has affected the number of available stocks. But Ktown4u has ensured that sales will be included in the 1st week. We apologize for any inconvenience.
— MAMAMOO Charts (@MamamooCharts) September 15, 2021
Ultimately, whatever the case, fans have been left wishing RBW did more to prevent such a serious lapse in sales from occurring.
rbw stop mistreating your senior group who literally built your company the way it looks now
— gela 🌻 (@byuliesthetic) September 15, 2021
Many are calling on the company to do everything in its power to restock the albums as quickly as possible. MooMoos say there are also other errors which need fixing, such as a lack of subtitles on the music video. The MAMAMOO members are known for doing their best to make their music inclusive for fans with hearing impairments, so missing subtitles are a big issue.
mamamoo deserves far better than what you're giving them!
— ahn dre ah (@dreahn_4withsun) September 15, 2021
According to MAMAMOO Charts‘ statement from Ktown4U, all currently unfulfilled orders are expected to be reflected in the first week sales. Now, fans can only hope that this will be the case across all K-Pop music stores.
You can stream MAMAMOO’s new single here: