[Article] 170219 Although they're not from the big company... the secret behind BTS's rapid global growth?

BTS's growth phase

2013 June DEBUT 1st mini album <2 Cool 4 Skool>
2013 September 2nd mini album <O!RUL8,2?>
2014 February 3rd mini album <Skool Luv Affair>, and they also end their school trilogy
2014 August 1st full album <Dark & Wild>
2015 April 4th mini album <HYYH pt 1>, they also won the first trophy on music show with "I NEED U"
2015 November 5th mini album <HYYH pt 2>, debuts at No. 171 on Billboard 200
2016 May Special album <HYYH Young Forever>, HYYH series surpasses 1 million copies in sale, debuts at No. 107 on Billboard 200
2016 October 2nd full album <WINGS>, debuts at No. 26 on Billboard 200 (highest ranking achieved by Korean artist), sells most number of albums according to 2016 Gaon Chart
2017 February Album <WINGS Extension: You Never Walk Alone>, debuts at No. 8 on US iTunes Single Chart (first Korean artist to enter the TOP 10)

The audience size of their solo concerts

2014 October AX Hall - 1000 seats
2015 March Olympic Hall - 3000 seats
2015 November SK Handball Stadium - 4500 seats
2016 May Olympic Gymnastic Stadium - 12,000 seats
2017 February Gocheok Sky Dome - 20,000 seats

Seven-member group BTS is the group that showed us the most dramatic growth in the gayo industry during the recent few years. They are in their 5th year this year. The group is receiving attention in Korean music industry and they're also one of the Korean artists receiving attention from the US, home of global pop music. BTS is a rare group who received favorable responses from the public and critics. Many from the pop music industry selected them as the "Post Big Bang". 

BTS debuted at No. 26 on Billboard 200 chart with "WINGS" which released last year and set the highest record by a Korean artist. Their recent song "Spring Day" also entered the US iTunes Single chart at No. 8. They're building their fandom in the US, the global music market without any support from their company or any overseas expansion strategy.

They successfully ended the 2-day concert at Gocheok Dome in front of 40,000 audiences (20,000 audiences per show) on the 18th and 19th. The only idol groups who can sell out all seats at Gocheok are Big Bang and EXO. What makes BTS's growth more dramatic is that they're not from the 3 big companies like SM, YG or JYP. It's also the fact that they're a group produced by a mid-size composer Bang Sihyuk. 

■ The indigenous narrative of growth

BTS's group name is different compared to other groups who usually use foreign words for their group names. Bangtan (Bulletproof/防彈) means to resist the penetration of bullets. Their group name represents their determination to protect the teenagers who can't lead their own life from all hardships, defending them from social prejudices and suppressions, and unfolding the worth of their musicality. BTS eloquently talked about school violence, entrance exams and other relatable concerns of teenagers like hope and love in their debut album <2 Cool 4 Skool> which is a hip hop base album, and with their "School Trilogy" album. Unlike the albums released by typical idols which are produced under the exhaustive supervision of their companies, BTS captured their own stories in their music with leader Rap Monster leading the group. Their following  <HYYH> series continued the growth stories of the boys as they turned into youths. BTS's fandom officially began to grow explosively especially with title track "I NEED U" from <HYYH pt 1> which released in 2015. The group shared the growth narrative with <WINGS> last year which was an album inspired by the novel <Demian>. Thanks to BTS, sales volume of <Demian> also increased.

Kim Yoonha, music critic said, "Young people related to the growths narrative of youths that was followed by life outside school and school life. I believe the secret behind BTS's success is that they clearly talked about their stories and they kept sharing them with us continuously.".

■ Power of music and performance

There are many Korean groups who build their recognition in other countries by using the title "KPOP" but the global growth shown by BTS is astonishing. Their growth in the US where it's known as the mainstream market of pop music is especially considerable. The music video of "DOPE", a song from <HYYH pt 1> which is a strong hip hop sound track has exceeded 100 million views on Youtube due to its high popularity in the US viewers.

Ever since <HYYH pt 2>, their albums have entered "Billboard 200", the main chart of Billboard. BTS is the only Korean singer to achieve such accomplishments in the US market.

Experts say that BTS's music is more like global music than just "KPOP. Music critic Hwang Sunyeob explained, "With hip hop as their base, they blend in reggae, electronic, Latin music and various other genres. Their music is stateless and global. Other than the fact that they sing in Korean, the sound or style of their music showcases the global trend well so I think this is why they were accepted more naturally by the US market.".  He also added, "BTS's energy on stage and performances are outstanding. Their strong beat and divided songs combine with choreography so they present us with more dynamic performances.".

When we take a look at the SNS platforms including Youtube and Twitter, the group actively shares double-way interaction with their international fans. Hong Joowon, head of promotions from BigHit Entertainment said, "We have constantly created video contents for our international fans to enjoy.".

Original article here
Response +254

1. BTS- pride indeed ㅎㅎ BTS I purple you +232 -4

2. ㅎㅎ I'm really proud as ARMY. BTS, let's only walk on flower road~~♡♡ +190 -3

3. I'm proud of you. Although you guys said you can't promise us that we'll only walk on flower road and see pleasant things but I will support your future performance. Thank you ㅠㅠ +190 -3

4. Journalist, thank you for writing such nice article. I'm proud as ARMY! BTS, I purple you +171 -3

5. You shared a well-analyzed article ^^ We could say they made the right choice by choosing the strategy that aims for the global music trend and lyrics which youths can relate to. ^^ Global trend BTS ^^ I love you +72 -0

6. BTS is seriously a cool group.. I love you♡ +34 -0

7. Our boys...ㅜ Thank you for growing well.. I'm moved ㅜㅜ +33 -0

8. I'm so proud of them when I read the recent articles!! +32 -0

9. I'm really proud ㅠㅠ!! I hope you will improve more and become a BTS who grows more~ +29 -0

10. They're cool. I became their fan after falling in love with their music and charms +25 -0

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