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Following the release of "Gangnam Style," Psy made several performances on television and at concerts in Korea. Early performances included his appearance on the weekly South Korean music program, The Music Trend. Psy also performed at several concerts prior to his departure to the United States, including during "The Heumbbeok Show" and the Summer Stand Concert in Seoul. After returning to South Korea, Psy performed "Gangnam Style" during a free concert that he held outside the Seoul City Hall. More than 80,000 fans attended the event, leading to the closure of part of the city center and an increase in subway operations. While Psy was in the US, it was announced that he, as ambassador of the Formula One Korean Grand Prix, would perform "Gangnam Style" at the event during the 2012 edition. At the event Psy taught Formula One drivers Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel how to perform the dance.
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On November 28, 2012, Psy visited Thailand and held his concert "Gangnam Style Thailand Extra Live" at the SCG Stadium in Muang Thong Thani, Bangkok. At the show, a part of celebration for the 85th birthday of Thai's King Bhumibol Adulyadej, he performed the song along with his other hits. During the 2012 Mnet Asian Music Awards held in Hong Kong on November 30, he performed the song on stage, joined by the video's co-star Hyuna and Yoo Jae-Seok look-alikes in yellow suits. The track was one of three-song setlist on Psy's free showcase, held at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore on December 1, 2012.
Record executives in the music industry believe that music charts will increasingly be filled with YouTube-driven globalised acts from foreign countries. Sean Carey, a research fellow in the School of Social Sciences at the University of Roehampton, wrote that the flow of popular music will no longer be a single traffic route from North America and Europe to other parts of the globe, but will also move the other way as well. According to Adam Sherwin from The Independent, the global web demand for Gangnam Style had short-circuited the "traditional reluctance" of radio stations to play foreign-language songs. The song is also underlining a shift in how money is being made in the music business. Although Psy earned more than US$60,000 from music sales of "Gangnam Style" in South Korea alone, he and his music label YG Entertainment have raked in almost US$1 million from advertisements which appear on YouTube videos identified for using "Gangnam Style" in its content. The Harvard Business Review published an article written by Kevin Evers, who explained how "Gangnam Style" had changed Billboard's ranking methodology of its music charts. Instead of relying solely on radio plays and paid purchases, Billboard started to place a heavier emphasis on digital sales and YouTube views. As a result of the change, Gangnam Style moved up to the top position of Billboard's Hot Rap Songs music chart. According to the British Phonographic Industry's report based on Official Charts Company sales data, thanks to Psy's song and Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe", pop had become the UK's favourite musical genre of the year, taking the lion's share of the singles market (38.5%) in 2012.
Upon its release, "Gangnam Style" was an enormous hit. The song went straight to number one on the Gaon Singles Chart on the fourth week of July 2012, with 816,868 digital downloads, and spent five consecutive weeks at the top position of the chart, tying it with IU's "Good Day" for the most weeks at number one single in the chart's history. In addition, the song became the first-place winner on various weekly chart shows such as M Countdown (three straight weeks) and Music Bank (a total of 16 weeks including a record 10-consecutive-week). According to the Korea Music Content Industry Association, "Gangnam Style" became the best selling song of 2012 in South Korea with 3,842,109 download sales.
In Oceania, "Gangnam Style" was a huge success. The single made its chart debut on the New Zealand Singles Chart at number 21 on September 3, 2012. After two weeks, the song reached in the top ten and the following week topped the chart, becoming the first K-pop song and the first foreign language song in three decades to achieve that feat since German band Nena's "99 Luftballons" hit the top spot in March 1982. The song remained atop the chart for two consecutive weeks before being deposed from the top spot by One Direction's "Live While We're Young." After one week of the band's reign, "Gangnam Style" regained its number one position and stayed at the top spot for a further four weeks, tallying a total of six nonconsecutive weeks atop the chart. The track was ranked in the top ten of the chart for 17 consecutive weeks before it fell to number 11 on the January 14, 2013, chart. The song has been certified 4 Platinum with sales exceeding 60,000 by the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (RIANZ). "Gangnam Style" was the second biggest-selling single of 2012 in the country behind Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe."
In Australia, the song debuted at number seven on the ARIA Singles Chart on September 17, 2012, becoming the highest debut for the week. It reached number one on the chart just three weeks after its release, overtaking "Battle Scars" by Guy Sebastian featuring Lupe Fiasco, and spent six consecutive weeks at the summit, making it the second-longest running chart-topper for 2012 behind Flo Rida's "Whistle" remained at the pole position for seven weeks. As a result, Psy became the first artist to reach number one on the chart with a foreign-language song since Las Ketchup topped the chart with "The Ketchup Song" in September 2002, and the eighth overall. In addition, "Gangnam Style" was the first Korean song to enter the chart and to climb to the top spot in Australian chart history. After the single spent the first 14 weeks in the top ten of the chart since its chart debut, it dropped to number 11 in its 15th week. The song, however, rebounded from the position to number three on the issue date of December 31, 2012. It descended to number 14 in its 18th week, ending a 16-week in the top ten, and out of the top 20 the following week, placed at number 23. It has been certified 10 Platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA), with sales exceeding 700,000 copies. "Gangnam Style" was placed at number two on the 2012 ARIA Singles year-end chart behind Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe." The song is currently the fourth best-selling single in Australian music history.
In Europe, the song was successful as well, topping the charts in almost all countries. "Gangnam Style" made its first European chart appearance, entering the Danish Singles Chart at number 40 on August 3, 2012. It reached the top ten in its fifth week, and climbed to number four in its sixth. For the issue dated September 14, 2012, the song became Psy's first number one on the chart, ending the one-week reign of the Danish rock band Nephew's "Hjertestarter." The song remained at the top position for seven consecutive weeks, tying it with "Somebody That I Used to Know" performed by Gotye featuring Kimbra for the longest running number one single on the chart for 2012. In its 24th week, it climbed back to the top, giving it its 8th week in that position. The single spent 22 straight weeks in the top ten of the chart. In January 2013, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI Denmark) certified the single 2 Platinum, denoting sales of 60,000 copies.
The song entered the UK Singles Chart at number 196 on September 1, 2012, and in its fourth week broke into the top 40 at number 37. In its fifth week, the song reached the top five on the chart and eventually peaked at number one on the week of October 6, becoming the first-ever K-pop song to achieve that feat. While the track only remained atop the chart for one week before being overtaken by Rihanna's "Diamonds", it spent a further 17 consecutive weeks in the top ten of the chart before it fell to number twelve on the January 26, 2013, chart. The song was the sixth biggest selling single of 2012 with 878,000 sales, and ranked at number 24 among the top 40 most streamed tracks of the year in the United Kingdom. According to Official Charts Company sales data, "Gangnam Style" has become not only the 129th track to sell more than 1 million copies in the history of the UK's Official Singles Chart, but also the first million seller by an Asian music star. On April 9, 2013, the song became 13th most downloaded single of all time in the UK.
Elsewhere in Europe, the song also peaked at number one on the German Singles Chart for two non-consecutive weeks in 2012. For the week of January 11, 2013, it returned to the summit, ending the ten-consecutive-week reign of "Diamonds" by Rihanna, and spent a week at the top. Psy's song remained in the top ten on the chart for a 19th straight week including 15 in the top three position since October 2012. It has been certified 5 Gold by the Bundesverband Musikindustrie (BVMI), denoting sales of 750,000 copies. In addition, the single remained number one in Austria for four nonconsecutive weeks, Belgium (Flanders) for five consecutive weeks, Belgium (Wallonia) for seven straight weeks, Czech Republic for one week, Finland for four consecutive weeks, France for six non-consecutive weeks, Italy for a week, the Netherlands for two consecutive weeks, Norway for four straight weeks, Scotland for a week, Spain for 12 consecutive weeks, and Switzerland for three nonconsecutive weeks. It additionally placed top five positions in Iceland, Ireland, and Sweden, and top ten in Hungary and Slovakia.