[Article] 170316 How did BTS become the trend idol?

There is an idol group who is writing the new KPOP history. They entered the "Billboard 200" chart which does not only look at one song from the album but evaluates one whole album with their new album "WINGS Extension: You Never Walk Alone", making them the first Korean artist to enter the chart with 4 consecutive albums. Also, they charted at No. 15 on "Bubbling Under Hot 100" which is a chart that ranks 25 songs that could not enter the Hot 100 chart. It's safe for us to say that this group has set an unprecedented record in KPOP history.

This group is none other than BTS who debuted in 2013.

They gradually showed signs of "writing the new KPOP history" since last year. BTS's second full album "WINGS" which released in October 2016 debuted at No. 26 on Billboard 200 chart and set the highest record by Korean singer. And they were also the first Korean singer to enter the UK Official Album Chart at No. 62. They achieved historic achievements on the US and UK album charts which are known as the "standard index" of music charts.

They are also writing the new history on online channels. Their "Not Today" music video is the fastest KPOP group video to hit 20 million views on Youtube (in just 66 hours and 25 minutes) and the music video of "Spring Day" which released prior to "Not Today" had over 37 million views. And the music video of "Blood Sweat & Tears" which released on October 2016 surpassed 100 million views as of February 7th 2017.

Furthermore, BTS remains as the No. 1 artist (with 4.2 million fans) who has the most number of fans on star live broadcast "Naver V APP" where fans around the world can interact with their favorite stars. They are followed by Big Bang (3.5 million fans) and EXO (3.3 million fans). Due to the tremendous amount of attention, BTS confidently topped the "Singer Brand Reputation Index" for February 2017 released by RE Korea.

How did BTS become the trend idol that writes the new KPOP history in just 5 years since their debut?

1. They combined the strategy of SM + YG + JYP

BTS is under "BigHit Entertainment" founded by Bang Sihyuk producer in 2005. BigHit Entertainment is indeed a small agency that manages BTS, duo Homme composed of 8eight Lee Hyun and 2AM Lee Changmin. It's not easy for such small company to create a "large" singer like BTS. This is because the small companies lack in factors like artist training system,  global infrastructure, and marketing ability compared to the big companies. Hence, Bang Sihyuk producer chose "Let's only combine the advantages of the Big 3 companies!".

- YG Entertainment: Respecting the rights of artists
- SM Entertainment: "One Source Multi Use" industry
- JYP Entertainment: Music based on universality

As we all know, YG entrusts every decision to their artist. The artist works on their own songs, selects their album concept, produces the songs/album, and they let their artist choose their own schedules as well. YG stresses on the individuality and capability of the artist and they fully support the musical activity of the artist.

Bang Sihyuk producer borrowed YG's culture of respecting its artists. BTS members write and work on their own songs. They learn on their own and gain their own musical colors. In 5 years since the group's debut, this led all members to grow up as artists who can now compose and write the lyrics of their own songs and for their second full album which released last year, the members' musicality development made it possible for each member to include their own songs composed and written by themselves.

As one of the oldest entertainment company, SM Entertainment knows how to utilize one content in various different ways. It's called the "One Source Multi Use" strategy. "One Source Multi Use" is a marketing technique where various products are created using one item. SM manages their artists, helps their artist collaborate with other brands to achieve profits in the forms of artist's income (performance fee, event fee, advertisement fee, etc). They are very skilled, we could say that they are good at business.

Even BTS is performing in all directions by using SM's business sense. They sell concert goods at their exclusive concerts which continue to grow bigger every year, they also have their own emoticon, and work hard to increase their artistic brand value by interacting on SNS channels, etc.

Lastly, JYP is the company that has been producing many songs based on "universality". They have created many songs loved by the public, from Wonder Girls, GOD, and their recent group TWICE. Bang Sihyuk producer who worked as the top producer of JYP is the person who understands this strategy of JYP.

Bang Sihyuk producer was able to find the universal element that is most loved by the people around the world. By working on hip hop genre songs which the Westerners find it more easy to listen to compared to the existing KPOP songs, BTS rapidly attracted international fans and by incorporating perfect group choreographies which are almost like performances into BTS's album, they became a group that has its own BTS individuality and universality.

2. Idol who first gained recognition outside Korea, they utilized the "reimportation strategy"

BTS is an idol group who gained recognition in the overseas first before Korea. Even when most Koreans did not know about BTS they were already an idol group that represented KPOP in countries like Thailand, Indonesia, Taiwan, etc. Releasing many continuous contents on platforms like Youtube and Facebook to global fans was important. International fans who already knew about KPOP through groups like Big Bang, and EXO fell in love with BTS's "sharp and synchronizing group choreography". Eventually, BTS's international fandom started to grow rapidly since "DOPE in 2014.

Based on this, BigHit Entertainment applied the "reimportation strategy". By using various circumstances and objective index, they promote BTS as the "Global Idol who represents KPOP" in the Korean market. They continued to promote them gradually and Korea began to show signs.

Twitter 2015 first half TOP Keyword  
Music = 1. BTS, 10. Jungkook

The Korean press began to take great interest in BTS's global activity and they reported about BTS's international news in Korea. This naturally increased their Korean fans. They chose to reverse the usual method chosen by most idol groups that is to 1. Gain high recognition in Korea, then 2. Advance to other countries. Also, we could say that BTS had attempted a different approach to the "intense competition" in the industry with many new idol groups. 

Original article here

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