Music Shows Part 2: All They Do Is Win

Music Shows Part 2: All They Do Is Win

Last month, we talked about music show basics and how international fans can watch from anywhere in the world. This week we’re talking about the determining factors of a win on each broadcast and which shows allow international fans to vote. 

An important note before we get started: idol teams are ineligible to win during the first chart week of their release, with chart weeks running from Monday to Sunday. To better understand this rule, here is an example: 

VIXX’s Leo released his album Muse on Monday, June 17 while Stray Kids released Cle 2: Yellow Wood on Wednesday, June 19. Regardless of the day the albums were released, the soonest they would be eligible for a music show award win would be 12:01 a.m. on Monday, June 21. These groups will often appear during pre-show voting as soon as their comebacks are released in order to collect votes for the next week's show. 

Each show has its own criteria, so it's important to be aware of those differences. 

The Show

“The Show Choice” winner is determined based on a score out of 10,000 points. The breakdown of the points is as follows:

40% Digital Streams

20% Music Video Streams

15%  Expert Preferences

10% Album Sales

10% Live Vote Via Star Pass (Only for “Show Choice” nominees) 

5% Pre-Voting Via Star Pass 

International fans can participate in the pre-vote and the live vote using the Star Pass app. Pre-voting starts on Friday 8 p.m. KST or 7 a.m. EST and continues until Monday 2 p.m. KST or 1 a.m. EST. The live vote takes place on Tuesday nights starting at 6:35 p.m. KST or 5:35 a.m. EST, ending at 7:30 p.m. KST or 6:30 p.m. EST.

Star Pass App 

To vote on the Star Pass app you need to earn points. You can earn up to 500 points a day. Here’s how to earn them: 

  1. Signing up: This is a one-time earning of 150 points. 

  2. Screen Unlock: Star Pass can become your phone’s lock screen! But only if the user gives the app explicit permission. Every time the user unlocks their phone they can earn three points for a maximum of 300 points a day. 

  3. Photos: In the content section of the app, posting photos can earn you up to 40 points a day. 

  4. Videos: Posting videos can help you earn up to 20 points a day. 

  5. Video Ads: You can watch five videos per hour and earn 10 points per ad. There doesn't seem to be a limit on the number of ads you can watch per day, but you can earn 50 points per hour. Make sure you save the points you earn each time you watch a video.

10 points equal one vote for your favorite artist. This means that with a 500 point per day cap you can vote for your favorite artist 50 times during the pre-voting period. Every point-earning method resets (minus the one-time subscription) every day at 4 a.m. KST or 3 p.m. EST. Make sure to use all your points each time because they also reset every two weeks. 


M!COUNTDOWN determines its chart and the winner each week based on a score out of 11,000 points. Those points are broken down based on the following:   

45% Digital Music Sale Score (from the four major South Korean music sites) 

15% Album Sales (based off the Hanteo Chart)

20% Social Media Score (music video views on YouTube and MCOUNTDOWN Live Clips) 

10% Broadcast Score (the number of times the music video or song has been played on Mnet broadcasts) 

10% Global Fan Voting

M!COUNTDOWN allows fans all over the world to participate during the pre-voting period. That takes place starting Friday at 2 p.m. KST or 1 a.m. EST, ending on Monday at 9 a.m. KST or 8 p.m. on Sunday EST. Voting is simple―first head over to and set up an account by linking your social media. Next, click the tab that says “pre-vote.” Cast your vote, and then you are done. Simple! The same goes for the live vote during the show, though you are only able to vote for the first place nominees. 


Inkigayo determines their winner each week based on a score out of 11,000 points. They updated their point percentage breakdown on February 3, 2019, to the following:

55% Digital Sales Points from Gaon Chart 

10% Album Sales Points from Gaon Album Chart 

30% Social Media Points from YouTube Views 

5% Advanced Voting 

10% On-Air Votes 

Unfortunately, international fans have no way of participating in either the pre-vote or live vote for Inkigayo broadcasts. 

Show Champion

Show Champion determines their “Song Champion” based on the following criteria: 

30% Digital Charts

20% Idol Champ app Pre-Voting

20% Genie Pre-Voting

10% Live Voting

10% Critics Choice

10% Album Sales

The pre-voting period for Show Champion takes place starting on Tuesday, eight days before the broadcast, and ends on Sunday, three days before broadcast. 

Idol Champ App

Show Champion is another music show that allows international fans to vote. The Idol Champ app is used to facilitate their pre-show vote. The app is available for download on both Apple and Android devices. Once downloaded, sign up with a social networking account for ease of access. Next, tap the hand at the bottom of the page resembling the hand sign from TWICE’s song “Fancy.” Next, scroll until you find the banner with the Show Champion logo. Tap the banner and it will take you to the voting screen. To vote, simply tap the same hand symbol next to your idol of choice. You get three votes a day, so just send them in and boom! You’re done. 

Music Bank

Unlike other music shows, Music Bank actually bases its score off a total of 200,000 points. The points are distributed based on the following: 

65% Digital Music Charts 

5% Album Physical Sales 

20% Number of Times Shown on KBS TV and Radio 

10% Viewers’ Choice 

Unfortunately, international fans have no way of participating in the voting process for this show. 

Show! Music Core

Show! Music Core bases its score off a total of 10,000 points and distributes them based on the following: 

60% Physical Album and Digital Sales 

10% Music Video Views 

10% Viewers’ Committee Pre-Voting 

5% MBC Radio Broadcast 

15% Audience Live Voting

Show! Music Core does its pre-show voting a bit differently compared to other shows. They host a “Viewers’ Committee” of about 2,000 people selected at random. You can sign up by making an MBC account  here. If selected, participants will be sent all the details on how to vote. 

Final Thoughts

International fans can have an impact on the winners of most music shows. To support your artist, make sure to stream videos when you can, and remember to always purchase albums from stores that submit their numbers to the Hanteo and Gaon Charts, like the U.S.-based K-Pop store Choice Music. And don’t forget to vote in your free time. Every little bit counts!

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