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In 1964 an English boy band called The Beatles made its television debut
and changed the face of the music industry forever.
More than 50 years later another foreign import is doing it again.
Meet BTS a seven member South Korean boy band from Seoul.
The band has sold millions of albums and is one of the most watched artists
on YouTube.
Not to mention their stadium shows around the globe have quickly sold out.
It's estimated that BTS is worth about 3.6 billion
dollars per year to the economy of South Korea and more than 1 billion
dollars in consumer exports.
The idols as South Koreans call its megastars were the reason that 1 in
every 13 foreign tourists visited the country in 2017.
BTS even partnered with visit Seoul on a tourism campaign.
which were featured in videos for the campaign have become hot spots for
tourists.
Should beaches maintain their popularity they could generate 37 billion
dollars in economic value for South Korea over the next 10 years.
So how did BTS break the mold in South Korea and jump to the top of the
charts in the U.S..
BTS wasn't an overnight sensation debuting in 2013 the K-pop group took its
name from a Korean expression "Bangtan Sonyeondan" which translates to
"Bullet Proof Boy Scouts."
Although the acronym has since morphed to stand for beyond the scene a nod
to how connected the band is to its loyal fans known as "Army.".
So what is K-pop anyway.
K-pop is short for Korean pop or Korean popular music.
It's a music genre that blends together electronic, hip-hop, pop, rock,
R&B, and even rap.
The genre can be traced back to the early 90s but rose to popularity in the
2000s.
It has since grown into a 5 billion dollar global industry.
Typically K-pop groups have gained a foothold in South Korea and throughout
Asia before trying to expand to a global audience.
But when they did travel abroad these trips were actually detrimental to
many of their careers because it ripped them out of the spotlight in their
home country.
So previous generations of K-pop idols Korea very much depended on TV as a
platform whereas BTS used social media to really kind of make themselves
available and visible and that can be done anywhere in the world.
But BTS did things a little differently.
The boys of BTS were signed to South Korean entertainment company Big Hit
Entertainment who had conducted the auditions that brought them together.
The group spent several years refining their dance moves and sound before
debuting in 2013.
Two band members Jimin and V hailed from the Korean Arts High School in
Seoul a private educational institution that has many K-pop idols as
alumni.
The school closed in February 2019 however as it was unable to keep up with
new and strict laws and decided to stop taking students.
Other performing arts high schools sometimes called K-pop schools remain.
Here young South Korean students practice their dance moves and polish
their vocal skills.
The boys hail from cities and towns from all over South Korea and were
brought together through a series of auditions in 2010 and 2011.
Big Hit Entertainment was on the brink of bankruptcy in 2007.
However it wasn't until BTS's launched that Big Hits' financials really
turned around.
By 2018 the company's profit soared 97 percent from the year prior hauling
in around 57 million dollars.
Revenue rose 132 percent from 2017 to 2018 and the company's net income
rose 105 percent year over year.
Much of this growth was due to how Big Hit first marketed betas to the
public.
Yes kind of circumvented traditional model of the viewing on TV music shows
and gaining visibility and rather they took a route of reaching out to
global fandom through social media directly.
So it is a band that gained fame and popularity overseas even before they
became superstars in Korea itself.
The band was given full control of their social media presence and we're
encouraged to live blog their practices and daily lives.
Social media has been playing a tremendous role not only into Korean Wave
but also in exchange and propagation of culture.
In fact Korean Wave including K-pop, K-beauty, K-food, movies, and games is
a worldwide trend now because of the social media and a U.S.
market is no exception.
In recent years the millennials have spent enormous time on social media
and a massive cultural content has been consumed especially the expansion
of Korean Wave on YouTube is the most powerful driving force.
Notably, none of the band members have their own individual accounts on
social media.
There's just one band account meaning the group's fan following is
concentrated on one account per platform.
On Twitter the band has more than 20 million followers on Instagram more
than 19 million.
And YouTube has just over 20 million as of July 2019.
This massive fan base isn't concentrated in one country or region; it's
global.
And that has been a major factor in BTS's success.
Their record label even gave the boys latitude to create their own solo
music.
BTS first arrived in America in 2014, to be part of a South Korean reality
TV show called "BTS American Hustle Life" which aired on a South Korean
network.
The show centered around the band living in L.A.
while learning more about Western culture and rap music from industry
veterans Warren G and Coolio.
Later that year BTS became the youngest artist to play L.A. K-con
on an annual festival that features the biggest K-pop superstars.
This performance garnered the group a lot of attention.
In 2017, BTS received its first billboard music awards for top social
artist. Nominees are artists that fans engage with the most on social
media.
The first one at the Billboard Music Awards in 2017 was a total shock to
the majority of U.S.
media because BTS captured the top social artist overtaking superstars
such as Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez.
The Beatles were from Liverpool not from a rich background.
BTS is very similar.
Their daily lives it would be in the delivery room with friends every day.
They show that their lives are not much different from ours.
They are the same as us, they are real.
Otherwise they would never be able to gain this level of popularity.
The band also gained notoriety for their show stopping choreography and
highly stylized music videos.
In May 2019, at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey nearly 100,000 people showed
up to watch the band perform shelling out between 55 and 250 dollars per
ticket.
Sales from the two shows reach more than 14 million dollars.
Earlier that month in Chicago attendance was around 88,000 at Soldier Field
over the two performances.
The band hauled in 13.3 million
dollars in ticket sales.
For comparison, Taylor Swift also played at Soldier Field earning 14.5
million dollars for two performances in front of one hundred and 5000 fans
each night.
Swift also played at MetLife Stadium, earning 22 dollars for three
performances playing to crowds of over 165,000 thousand.
In 2018, BTS has earned its first platinum certification for its song "mic
drop" and its first gold album for "Love Yourself: Answer."
Answer debuted number one on the Billboard 200 chart and was recognized as
the best selling album ever on South Korea's Goan Chart.
There are so sung not about love or broken hearts.
It's about identity, confidence, and loving oneself.
It is socially conscious message that's why we pull their music the music
of this generation.
This messaging is especially important as the K-pop industry has become
mired in scandal in recent years.
In early 2019 a number of prominent K-pop idols were named as being part of
an online group that shared sexually explicit videos of women filmed
without their knowledge or consent.
Many K-pop fans in Korea are discontent with labelling bikinis as
K-pop acts because they think BTS is more than K-pop and beyond K-pop.
Particularly at this moment when K-pop world in general is mired in very
severe scandal involving sex trade, rape allegations, and illegal drug
sales and what not.
BTS has partnered with UNICEF to stage campaigns against violence towards
children and teens around the world.
Last November, BTS launched the Love Myself campaign with UNICEF building
on our belief that true love first begins with loving myself.
We've been partnering with UNICEF's End Violence program to protect
children and young people all over the world from violence.
And our fans have become a major part of this campaign.
With their action and with their enthusiasm.
We truly have the best fans in the world.
In 2019 BTS continue to break records.
The group was the first K-pop band ever to perform on Saturday Night Live.
The band's most recent album "Map of the Soul: Persona" had more than 3
million preorders internationally and upon release went to number one on
iTunes album charts in 89 different countries.
Unlike other K-pop stars who mainly target Southeast Asia or Chinese fans,
BTS has targeted the U.S.
market directly.
The boy band has collaborated with a number of music heavyweights that are
popular in America.
Including Nicki Minaj, Ed Sheeran, and Halsey and BTS isn't just taking the
music industry by storm.
Toys, apparel, and cosmetic companies are all benefiting from the band's
global fame.
BTS has partnered with Converse, Coca-Cola, Puma, and Hyundai in the form
of clothing lines and advertisements.
Not to mention BTS has collaborated with Funko on a set of seven Funko
Pops.
All the social media engagement we've had with any property this
year, BTS is number one and that's ahead of Game of Thrones ahead of
Avengers: Endgame.
So that's a surprise to us and it's a it's a huge win and we got a little
bit of how powerful the BTS brand could be at New York Toy Fair when we
start to see that was our number one instagrammed, tweeted, facebooked
item for that for that for the show.
So we're seeing diversity across who and what the K-pop fans are and I
think that's one of the reasons why the products are resonating at
different retailers.
I mean you can't get any more diverse from Barnes and Noble to Hot Topic to
Amazon.
Three very diverse retailers in all three are doing exceedingly well with
the BTS brand
It's clear however that BTS isn't just a passing fad.
The Love Yourself, Speak Yourself tour has reportedly made more than 100
million dollars in ticket sales averaging about 4.5
million dollars per show.
The group has been prolific about releasing new music.
Since 2014, BTS has released six studio albums and six EPs.
For comparison, the Beatles released 12 studio albums and 13 EPs between
1962 and 1970.
Not to mention Beatles is the first band since The Beatles to have three
albums hit the number one spot in America in less than a year.
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How BTS Became A Major Moneymaker For South Korea

171 Folder Collection
ayane published on November 7, 2019
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