[Article] The world BTS created with "baits"

Kang Myeong Seok’s This is it

The world BTS created with “baits”





One of the nicknames given by the fans to BTS is “Haeja Boy Scouts”*. Even during their break after releasing their albums they still present their fans with various self produced contents, showing “Haeja”-like image (a trending word used to express generosity, including cost effective). For instance, various behind the scene videos, “Bangtan Bomb” and other promotion related videos are available on their youtube channel “BANGTAN TV” and the members occasionally upload their “logs” on their blog. You can also watch rare scenes from their oversea concerts and BTS’s own variety programs “Bangtan Gayo” and “RUN BTS” on the video streaming service “V App”. Also, the members continuously keep their fans updated through Twitter and Instagram. If they insist, fans of BTS can check all of their idol’s official updates and behind the scene videos using their smart phones.

After performing Shinhwa’s “Perfect Man” during last year’s MBC “Gayo Daejejeon”, “Bangtan Bomb” captured BTS members practicing the choreography of “Perfect Man” at the broadcasting company hall. Existing fans and others who learned about BTS after watching [Gayo Gaejejeon] performance can continue their interest further by watching this  "Bangtan Bomb" video. Since debuting in 2013 June, BTS have produced over 273 “Bangtan Bomb” videos. This mean that even if you’ve just become their fan, you will be able to understand the context of all their past and current promotions by watching “Bangtan Bomb”. Not forgetting the “Logs” by the members, talking about their thoughts in a more serious manner compared to their light and fun [Bangtan Gayo] and [RUN BTS], fans can know all about BTS without pressing a single remote control button. BTS created their own ecosystem to keep everyone including the public to their fans satisfied through Youtube, V App, SNS, etc instead of the existing TV.

Currently the sales volume of BTS’s debut album [2 Cool 4 Skool] is around 48000 copies (based on Gaon Chart). They exceeded 100,000 copies with their 3rd album [Skool Luv Affair] and their next album [Dark & WILD] records around 120,000 copies.  They didn’t achieve great success from the start and their company isn’t a big company to continue making large investments. However, their album sales record have progressively increased and with their [HYYH pt.1] released during their second year, their sales volume almost doubled. They jumped over 300,000 copies with [HYYH pt.2]. This (HYYH pt 2) is the point where BTS’s self produced contents prove to be important. These self produced contents are generous in terms of quantity and they are tailored to the fans’ demands which make it impossible for their fans to escape once they access these contents. If you are new, you can easily learn about their charms through their past videos and V app, Youtube, Twitter, etc notifies the users when new contents are uploaded/posted. You can occasionally read testimonies posted by fans online telling the readers how they’ve become a bigger, core fans after watching the self produced videos of BTS. A single Youtube video can’t change the fate of an idol. However, 3 years of countless, well scheduled and continuous videos could change a group’s fate.

These days it’s difficult for groups to earn popularity by merely performing on music programs or appearing on variety shows. The activity platforms for idols have diversified compared to the past and in fact the line between a group’s active period and break period is now disappearing. Constantly creating contents after their promotion period help to hold their fans and the existing contents help the new fans to learn the group’s history and characters. These piled supports show up during the early phase of group’s next album and the groups unveil various teasers before releasing their album and their comeback stage to increase their existing fans’ anticipation and to attract new fans.  This is the reason why idol groups  have recently begun the countdown to their new album a week (shortest) to a month (longest) before the comeback date. BTS revealed that they will be releasing 3 music videos for their new special album [Young Forever]. They plan to conclude the stories of [HYYH] series through their teaser photos and music videos. During the generation where fans can hop on to another content anytime they want, idols have to provide endless contents. They have to build up their own broadcasting station that connects them to the TV program which they appear as guests and to their albums.  This would be a difficult task from the company’s point of view. However, if they are not from a big company and are unable to appear on popular variety shows, this will give them more opportunities compared to their nobody-period.

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