The Super Seven (Jimin, Jin, RM, V, Suga, Jongguk, and J-Hope) must have been heard even by those who have never turned on K-pop. A quick educational program just in case: K-pop, a genre invented in South Korea, is a mixture of electro-pop, hip-hop, rhythm and blues, and BTS is its main representative and the main cash cow of the Big Hit Entertainment record company. The group provided 88% of the label's revenue in the first half of 2020. In October, Big Hit Entertainment held an unprecedented IPO - by the end of the first day of trading, the company rose in price to $ 8 billion. This is only half the capitalization of Warner Music Group. Here are some other important figures in BTS's career.
Army of fans: 48 million
BTS's most dedicated fans call themselves Army. The whole world - especially Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez - felt their power in 2017, when fans led their favorites to the title of Top Social Artist at the Billboard Music Awards by voting for the group more than 300 million times. The fandom is distinguished by a serious approach to business and entrepreneurial spirit: newcomers are accepted officially and for money. Membership costs $ 22-150 depending on the package (which includes discounts on tickets and BTS products, the so-called "BTS Kit" with the merch of your favorite band). Speaking of merchandise, idols (more precisely, a record company) have taken a big step in this and established the BT21 brand together with Line Friends (a studio that produces cute stickers for the Korean messenger Line with over 200 million users). In the brand's portfolio - as independent collections of thermo glasses,lunch boxes and clothes, toys and accessories, and numerous collaborations. For example, Anti Social Social Club, Converse, Reebok, Dunkin Donuts.
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High-profile collaborations: 1 bag
BTS has long been honored by big brands: the guys collaborated with Nike, released joint sneakers with Puma, but the biggest buzz was made by friendship with Fila. In January 2019, the army team swept the joint bag of Fila and Jung Jongguk off the shelves in a matter of hours. This is generally the first sold out among the brand's sports bags. In July 2020, the same fate befell the The Voyager Collection, exclusively presented at Urban Outfitters. Purple and black T-shirts with matching sneakers were taken apart in a day.
The largest client literally drove to the Koreans in 2019 - the singers shook hands with Hyundai and became the faces of the “I'm On It” campaign (in Russian version #Ctobozaodno) dedicated to caring for the environment. That is why BTS drove to the lucky Grammy Awards with fanfare: five Hyundai Nexos.
Assets: $ 57 million
In 2019, K-pop giants became the first Korean pop singers to make the Forbes 100 Highest-Paid Stars in the World. The magnificent seven started from 43rd position with assets of $ 57 million (this year it moved down four lines, earning $ 50 million).
The band sang a significant chunk of their earnings on the massive 2018 Love Yourself World Tour and the Love Yourself: Speak Yourself Stadium Tour in support of the EP trilogy Her, Tear and Answer.
Due to the incredible success of their first tour in North America, Europe and Asia, BTS has added new dates and moved performances from arenas to stadiums. Billboard estimates that the organizers raised $ 44 million in their first six concerts in the United States, selling nearly 300,000 tickets. Big Hit Entertainment's bank accounts also saw income from the seven documentaries Burn The Stage: The Movie and BTS: Love Yourself Tour in Seoul. Worldwide box office receipts were $ 18.5 million and $ 11.7 million, respectively,
Number of viewers: 756 thousand people
So many viewers clung to the screens in June 2020 during the Bang Bang Con: The Live online concert. Tickets were $ 26 for fan club members and $ 35 for everyone else. According to Forbes, the concert became the largest online performance in the world, and the performers earned about $ 20 million. This, of course, is much less than for an offline tour, but still a lot for fan loyalty in quarantine. In 2019, BTS made $ 170 million on tour, more than any American group other than Metallica.
Contribution to GDP: $ 4.65 billion
South Korean economists have assessed BTS's contribution to GDP. That is, on the albums, concerts and merchandise of only one K-pop group, South Korea earns an amount almost equal to the GDP of the Maldives or Fiji ($ 5.3 billion and $ 5.5 billion, respectively).
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IPO: $ 820 million
In October, Big Hit Entertainment held an IPO on the Korean stock exchange after giving BTS soloists 0.2% each.
The demand from retail investors exceeded the proposed number of shares by 600 times, and by institutional investors by 1,100 times. The shares were placed at the upper limit, 135 thousand won ($ 115), in total, each musician had a package worth almost $ 15 million. The fortune of Big Hit Entertainment CEO Bang Shi Hyuk is estimated at $ 3.2 billion.
The record company raised $ 820 million on its IPO, the largest listing in South Korea in three years. On the first day of trading on October 15, Big Hit Entertainment's share price jumped 91%, making the label only half the price of Warner Music Group. The record company put everything on one group, signing a contract with it until 2024. And for good reason: in 2019, the boy band brought Big Hit Entertainment 97% of revenue, in the first half of this year - 88%.
In 2020, BTS was threatened with collapse due to compulsory military service, but the South Korean Parliament passed a law allowing K-pop artists to receive a grace period of up to 30 years. The oldest member of the group, Jin, is now 28, and the youngest, Jongguk, is 23.
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# 1 on the Billboard chart
The track "Life Goes On" from the album "Be" debuted at # 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 on November 30. It is the first song from Korea to top the chart in its 62 years of existence. The hit "Dynamite" from the same album took 3rd place, and the record itself topped the Billboard 200. Thus, BTS were the only ones who managed to storm the first positions of Billboard with an album and a track in one week. In addition, they are the first group in Billboard history to start from the first positions three times (with the tracks "Life Goes On", "Dynamite", "Savage Love"). For dessert: the guys took the first six first lines on Billboard Digital Song Sales with the songs "Life Goes On", "Blue & Gray", "Stay", "Telepathy", "Dis-ease", "Fly to My Room".
Latest album success: 4 million copies
In the homeland of K-pop, BTS's latest album, Map of the Seoul: 7, has sold over 4 million copies, making it the most successful album in the country's history. In Japan, the record sold 564,000 copies in its first week, and 552,000 copies were sold in the United States, including streaming services. By the way, this is 150 thousand more copies than The Weeknd with “After Hours”.>