Why is BLACKPINK so popular outside of Korea
musicBTS: That's behind the success of the K-Pop stars
BTS would have also taken their world tour to Berlin in the summer of 2020. The Olympic Stadium was booked for two days, and full seats were guaranteed. In 2019, the South Korean band sold out Wembley Stadium in London within 90 minutes on two days - with songs sung almost exclusively in Korean. The Corona crisis put the seven musicians and the entire industry through the plans. Nevertheless, BTS 2020 sold around 1.75 million tickets with three online concerts and thus underlined their market power even in times of Corona.
BTS: digital dominance
BTS are not just a musical phenomenon. In the current crisis, she and her label Big Hit Entertainment demonstrate how a digital strategy that has been carefully built up over the years keeps a company flexible and binds fans even closer to the brand. During the pandemic, of all times, BTS was the first Korean band to ever conquer the top of the US charts. After the single “Dynamite”, this succeeded again shortly afterwards with the remix of Jason Derulo's “Savage Love”.
On this week’s # Hot100, #BTS earns their first No. 1 with "Dynamite." 🏆 https://t.co/V9SUvtHK4D
- billboard (@billboard) September 1, 2020
All of which helped make the IPO the largest in South Korea in three years in October. Even before the IPO, the impact of BTS on the country's economy was often compared to that of Samsung and Hyundai. Big Hit's sales are negligible compared to these corporations. But hardly anyone is likely to travel to South Korea because of Hyundai or take a Korean course because of Samsung. BTS have exactly this effect on the image of their home country.
More than a K-pop phenomenon
The band also represents South Korea on the world stage, for example when addressing the United Nations General Assembly as a partner in a UNICEF campaign.
The success of BTS is the subject of lectures at Harvard Business School, and Big Hit has just been named Innovator of the Year by Wall Street Journal Magazine in the music field.
. @ bts_bighit is our 2020 Music Innovator! Watch the 10th Annual Innovator Awards: https://t.co/aEnEKwrFsR#wsjinnovators pic.twitter.com/0dHhQpCsc2
- WSJ. Magazine (@WSJMag) November 12, 2020
On November 20th, the new BTS album “BE” will be released with the first single “Life Goes On”. A good time to ask: what exactly is the secret of BTS 'success?
BTS stands for Bangtan Sonyeondan, Bulletproof Boy Scouts - an allusion to the outsider image of the young musicians in the K-pop industry when they debuted on June 12, 2013. The group includes three rappers: RM (real name: Kim Nam-joon, 3rd from right), Suga (Min Yoon-gi, 2nd from left) and J-Hope (Jung Ho-seok, left). Four singers complete the band: Jin (Kim Seok-jin, right), V (Kim Tae-hyung, 2nd from right) and (Park) Jimin (middle) and (Jeon) Jungkook (3rd from left), who are below appear in their own first name. The members were born between 1992 and 1997, so the term “boy band” is increasingly out of place. The musicians lived together for years, initially even sharing a small bedroom. Their relationship is considered to be very close. All the more surprising was the confession during an award ceremony in 2018 that the band almost broke up at the beginning of the year. The exact background was never made public. In the same year, however, the musicians extended their contract with Big Hit for another seven years. Big Hits Global CEO Yoon Seok-Jun was certain in a lecture for the Harvard Business School: BTS are unique, the personality and chemistry of the members cannot be reproduced.
The BTS founder
Bang Si-hyuk, known as "Hitman" Bang (his last name is in the Korean name of BTS), is the mastermind behind the group. The music producer is a companion of Park Jin-young, the founder of one of the biggest K-pop labels, JYP Entertainment. In 2005, Bang left JYP to start his own entertainment company. At the beginning, Bang appeared publicly as a kind of father figure of the band, but withdrew into the background with increasing success. He still produces hits for BTS to this day and is known for giving his musicians more freedom than other label bosses. Apparently, Bang knows how to retain talent from other areas as well. Producers and choreographers from the early days of BTS have been promoted to management positions and continue to be part of the band's success. The group owes its success to the perseverance of its boss. Because the big breakthrough was a long time coming. It wasn't until 2016, three years after their debut, that the band won their first grand prize at one of the major music shows. Bang has also succeeded in protecting his musicians from one of the scandals that often shake the industry, despite their enormous popularity. Big Hit takes offensive legal action against intrusive fans, stalkers as well as slander and threats.
Fans are basically the pound with which musicians proliferate. BTS supporters - assigned the acronym ARMYs by the band - fall into a separate category. The fans, who are often digitally affine, positioned themselves as the unofficial marketing department of Big Hit from the start. While the label was reluctant to translate content for years, fans made the band's early international reach possible in this form by translating videos and songs into English. Fan accounts on YouTube or Twitter can have over a million followers and generate corresponding income on the video platform. The range is used confidently by the ARMYs. With every new release, there are sophisticated streaming strategies to get the most out of YouTube and Spotify's algorithms. Fans donate money so that other fans can buy BTS content and thus push the chart positions. BTS have long ceased to be a Korean phenomenon: 90 percent of the clicks on YouTube came from outside the country, according to the “Wall Street Journal Magazine”.
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