HYBE Boy Group Shows Clear Chart Manipulation: Once Surpassed IU, “Invisible” in Latest Comeback”

In January 2024, Pledis Entertainment launched their first boy group in nine years since SEVENTEEN – TWS. This is also the first artist to debut under Pledis after the company came under HYBE. TWS debuted with the mini album *Sparking Blue* and the title track *plot twist*.

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The new boy group, following a youthful school concept with eye-catching visuals and catchy, easy-to-listen music, quickly attracted attention. However, more than five months after their debut, TWS faced heavy criticisms for allegations of chart manipulation. 

This is because the “younger brother of SEVENTEEN” sold 500,000 copies of *Sparking Blue*, with “plot twist” staying at high positions on digital music charts for several months. With such high achievements from their first release, TWS should have been a formidable name. Yet, to date, TWS remains relatively unknown among the rookies debuting this year.

In fact, the six-member group is still relatively unfamiliar to the public, and has very low level of recognition. This has led to a series of controversies and suspicions that the group manipulated their achievements without having real influence.

On June 5, TWS returned with the pre-release single *Hey! Hey!*, marking their first comeback since their official debut. Despite being the only boy group to rank #1 on MelOn’s 2024 chart, their new song “Hey! Hey!” is now completely “invisible”, not appearing on any domestic digital charts. This stark contrast to their previous performance has led netizens to further believe that TWS committed chart manipulation 

TWS’s new release is completely missing from domestic digital charts

Previously, *plot twist* made a surprising leap from outside MelOn’s top 200 to the top 10 and even surpassed IU’s comeback to reach #1 on MelOn’s Top 100. The group also consistently held #2 and #3 for several weeks. 

Most impressively, “plot twist” managed to maintain such positions even amid formidable releases such as “Perfect Night” by LE SSERAFIM, IU’s EP “The Winning”, and “Bam Yang Gang” by BIBI.

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TWS once surpassed IU during the same comeback period

TWS’s “plot twist” really stayed true to its name, having taken less than two weeks to surpass IU. At the time, the song was not viral, the rookie group was little known, and they lacked a strong fanbase to boost their rankings. Many pointed out unusual factors in the song’s rise, indicating signs of  chart manipulation

Even now, the song remains in MelOn’s top 10, scoring extremely high points. It is even ranking #1 on the annual chart, and potentially being nominated for Song of the Year at year-end award shows. 

Source: K14