How to: Use Melon From Overseas

Notice: 

We are aware that there are changes to the layout of the MelOn registration, and that people are having trouble with payment. Unfortunately, we cannot troubleshoot iTunes problems, but we will work towards updating the screencaps in the future.


Without a doubt, MelOn 멜론  is the most important streaming site in Korea. The rankings on MelOn affect ALL music shows that take rankings into consideration. It also has the widest variety of music available. In Korea, the vast majority of music fans are willing to pay the subscription for MelOn, because it costs no more than $9 a month, and you get unlimited streaming music from around the world. International fans have always felt that this could be the biggest hurdle in getting their groups the support they’re trying to give, because the site is not easy to navigate. However, it CAN be done! You too can pay a streaming fee to get all the k-pop you’ve ever dreamt of.

You will need the following:

  • An email address (avoiding Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo are advisable. You can easily make a Naver or Daum address to make sure you have a Korean address.)
  • A credit card that has not been associated with your current iTunes account
  • A Korean iTunes account

The next page has all the terms and conditions. Thankfully, nobody ever reads those, so there will be no problem in checking off all of the check boxes without worrying about missing anything. If you’re wondering though, what they are confirming is if they can use your information, and if you agree to not steal the music. Which is easy enough to do. Then click 다음 단계 (next)
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Next step is your basic registration. They need your name, birthdate, gender, email address, username, password twice, and your nickname. Fill in those steps and continue on.
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Once you’ve filled out that information, and everything has a green text next to it confirming it’s an original email, username, and nickname, then you’ll be taken to the verification page. The verification should be easy enough, so long as you keep it to the defaults. You want to make sure you’ve checked off “email” instead of phone, because you can’t verify with a foreign phone. Click the button next to where your email is, and you should get an email with a 6 digit code. Input that where the confirmation codes go, and click the button next to it. That should verify the account and have some friendly green text next to it.
If you want the newsletter, click yes. But you’ll be happier clicking no. Fill in the captcha and click next.
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You’re done! You should get a confirmation page that verifies your name, username, and email, and an option to go to the main page.

This is only half the battle though. PAYING for your MelOn account can’t be done normally. The best way (that we know how) is with the iPhone app. You’re going to need a new email to your normal iTunes account, as well as a second credit card if your iTunes account is already linked to your main one. I have not tested pre-paid cards, so that could or could not be an option. Korea doesn’t have iTunes to buy music, so gift cards don’t exist for the Korean stores.

Go to iTunes, log out of your current account, and then scroll to the bottom. Click the flag, and change your country region to Korea. This should take you to the Korean app store. From there, you want to create a new account. Your iTunes player should keep the window in English, so you can fill in all your information without any language problems.

You WILL need to lie about the postal code and country of your card, however do make sure you have a proper Korean address. Ask a friend who might be an ESL teacher, or simply pick one off a map if needed. We of course recommend asking someone so it’s slightly more legit. At the payment option, put in your secondary credit card. If your card is one that iTunes would normally take, then it should be fine, since payments go through the US anyways. Try to make sure your card is from a large bank though, so there is more chance of international recognition.

Once your iTunes account is complete, you can then search “멜론” and it will bring up the MelOn player for iPhone and iPad. Once you’ve downloaded those, simply log in, and find your way to the in-app payments. It will usually take you right there. Pick the option you want (I’m a fan of mp3-30 and then just downloading all the albums I want each month) and do the in-app purchase.
Taadaa! One month of MelOn paid for! Your streaming and downloads are all now legally paid for using a great loophole.