BTS Universe Story mobile game launches for Android and iOS

The new mobile game for K-Pop stars BTS has gone live. Netmarble’s BTS Universe Story was made available for Android and for iOS overnight, and is the band’s second foray into mobile gaming following last year’s BTS World. As we recently reported, BTS Universe Story is about tapping the BTS Army’s creativity: creating their own animated stories set in […]

Fortnite is the next frontier for K-Pop stars BTS

BTS are no strangers to the gaming world, having starred in their first mobile game BTS World last year, with a follow-up (BTS Universe Story) about to launch. Now the K-Pop stars are heading to one of the biggest, buzziest games of all: Fortnite. This Friday (25 September) they’ll be premiering a new “choreography version” music […]

Next BTS livestream comes with month-long virtual exhibition

K-Pop stars BTS are already one of the big success stories of lockdown livestreams: their ‘Bang Bang Con’ concert in June pulled in 756,000 paying customers. Now they’re following it up with an even more ambitious event. ‘Map of the Soul ON:E’ will take place on the weekend of 10-11 October, with two broadcasts. However, […]

The latest BTS product is a Korean language-learning kit

In March, BTS launched a new video series online called ‘Learn Korean with BTS’ – 30 three-minute lessons teaching their global fanbase how to speak the band’s native language. Now this has evolved into a physical package developed by the educational arm of Big Hit Entertainment, the band’s management company. The new product includes four textbooks and a […]

BTS fanfic meets mobile games as Netmarble preps BTS Universe Story

Netmarble is the South Korean company that launched the BTS World mobile game in June 2019, offering the BTS Army the chance to play manager to the K-Pop stars – complete with an original soundtrack album. The game topped app store charts in 25 countries immediately after its release, and by the first quarter of this year Netmarble’s financials revealed […]

BTS set a new world record for livestreamed music audience

We’ve already reported on BTS’s successful ‘Bang Bang Con’ livestreamed concert in June. Now it’s been awarded an official Guinness World Record for attracting the ‘most viewers for a music concert live stream’. The official figure is 756,000 fans from more than 100 countries – and what made that even more impressive was that this was a paid livestream, with […]

What can the global music industry learn from K-Pop and South Korea?

K-pop is the genre that ate the world whole. Acts like BTS, Blackpink, Twice and TVXQ are not just some of the biggest acts within the genre – they are some of the biggest acts in the world. There is a lot that other artists can learn from how K-pop markets itself, how its acts […]

BTS Army (and Cape Verde) help K-Pop stars break iTunes record

Is there any country in the world where BTS aren’t big? They’re certainly big in Cape Verde: their ‘Black Swan’ track has gone to number one in the country’s iTunes chart. Why are we writing about this? Well, this was the 103rd country where the track had topped the iTunes rankings, breaking Adele’s record of […]

Sandbox Issue 255: K-Pop. What the Global Music Industry can learn from South Korea

Lead: K-pop is eating the world whole and is changing what marketing – especially superfan-centric marketing – can do. We speak to those working in and around the K-pop world to learn how the genre markets itself, where its acts engage with their fans to build incredible levels of loyalty, why trans-media marketing underscores everything they do […]

BTS take over Uno! mobile game and donate to Crew Nation

Music Ally knows card game ‘Uno!’ best for being second only to Monopoly in the chart of ‘games most likely to cause almighty family rows at Christmas’. What we don’t know it for, until now, are digital marketing campaigns with world-famous K-Pop groups. But yes: BTS are taking over the mobile game version of ‘Uno!’ […]

Sandbox Issue 249: What music can learn from YouTube’s biggest channels

Lead: Music is critical to YouTube while the music industry (beyond the politics of the value gap debate) is hugely reliant on the platform. But so too are other content types. We look at the biggest channels on YouTube generally – including categories such as comedy, education, film, sports and gaming (as well as music […]

BTS로 한국어 배우기 (that’s ‘Learn Korean with BTS’ in Korean)

We really hope that means ‘Learn Korean with BTS’ – blame Google Translate if not! We wrote about Weverse earlier this year as part of our report on K-Pop giant Big Hit Entertainment’s latest financial results: it’s a fan community platform focusing on artists including BTS, TXT, Seventeen and Gfriend, launched by Big Hit subsidiary beNX. Now it […]

BTS YouTube premiere broke records with 1.54m concurrent viewers

Earlier this week, we reported on a strong start for K-Pop stars BTS’ latest music video, ‘Kinetic Manifesto Film: Come Prima’, on YouTube. The video was the fifth biggest 24-hour debut in YouTube history, but it turns out it also set a new record in another way. BTS used YouTube’s ‘premiere’ feature to time-release the […]

A BTS-fuelled IPO is still on for Big Hit Entertainment

Warner Music Group is having an IPO. Universal Music Group will be having an IPO. And now K-Pop giant Big Hit Entertainment’s plans for its own initial public offering appear to be progressing too. The company, whose biggest star is BTS, has now chosen the banks and brokerage firms who’ll be handling its IPO, according […]

Despite link issues, BTS TikTok #OnChallenge has 133.8m views

We reported last week on TikTok’s coup in securing a 30-second exclusive preview of ‘ON’ – a track from the new BTS album – ahead of its official release to streaming services. The app challenged fans to create their own videos for an #onchallenge, and as you’d expect, the BTS Army responded in droves. So much so, that at […]

BTS show off Spotify stats, but YouTube still bigger for them

The latest act to get into the Spotify Wrapped co-promotion mood are BTS, with the headline stat being that their music has been streamed over 3bn times on Spotify in 2019. Those streams come from 60 million people across 79 countries – resulting in 178.4m listening hours. Reminder: Spotify’s ‘Wrapped’ data covers the period of January […]

BTS Army’s latest battle was with… the World Record Egg

Yesterday, Twitter announced that the most-retweeted tweet of 2019 was January’s ‘World Record Egg’ – an attempt to break the previous retweets record with a photo of an egg. According to Twitter, the egg beat a tweet by K-Pop stars BTS featuring band-member Jungkook dancing to Billie Eilish’s ‘Bad Guy’ into second place. We’ll let you guess what happened once […]

Take cover! Viberate claims Blackpink are bigger than BTS

It takes a brave person to get involved in arguments between the world’s keenest superfans over whether one artist is better or bigger than another. So doff your caps but retreat a safe distance from music-database Viberate, which has sent out some figures claiming that Blackpink are ‘the biggest K-Pop group’ ahead of BTS. Blackpink […]

BTS are top-ups of the pop-ups

The idea of the pop-up tied into an album release is hardly new and often involves taking over a small and recently vacated shop (or the site of a different pop-up from the previous week) and selling a few T-shirts and posters from it, hoping the pop stars themselves show up to gain a bit […]

Sandbox Issue 237: VIEWTUBE. When Music Video Plays Get Juiced

Lead: Sony Music India artist Badshah claimed to have broken the 24-hour record on YouTube for 75m plays of his track ‘Paagal’ in July. Then people started asking questions. It eventually emerged that the track’s success had been boosted by TrueView ads before and during other YouTube videos, all of which counted toward the opening […]

K-Pop stars BTS are the latest artist to join TikTok

At the time of writing, it’s 19 hours since Big Hit Entertainment’s official Twitter profile for BTS made this announcement: “#BTS TikTok Channel Open!”. 19 hours later, BTS’ TikTok account is being followed by 2.2 million people. Their two posts so far have 2.9m and 1.9m likes respectively. BTS are the latest prominent artist to join TikTok with […]

BTS fuelled Big Hit Entertainment surge in first half of 2019

Korean music firm Big Hit Entertainment held its latest media briefing yesterday, and dropped some impressive numbers to show how its business is surging in 2019. The company’s revenues in the first half of 2019 were more than 200bn Won (around $166m) – already more than Big Hit’s revenues for the whole of 2018. And […]

Sandbox issue 232: Music Marketing in Trigger Cities

Lead: This issue we have a special extended feature looking into the phenomenon of Trigger Cities. These are places outside of the obvious music markets that are now – due to streaming and how algorithms are fed – playing a key role in helping break artists and genres. This represents a whole new dynamic for […]

Report: Big Hit Entertainment may launch own streaming platform

Music Ally has been reporting recently on BTS World, the mobile game launched as a partnership between BTS’ management company Big Hit Entertainment and gaming firm Netmarble. Now a report claims the companies may be looking to do something even more ambitious together: “to launch a brand-new music-streaming platform”. That’s according to the Korea Herald, citing […]

BTS World mobile game launches today with another new track

Today’s the day that BTS fans get to play the band’s new, official mobile game, BTS World. It’s being released by publisher Netmarble as a free download for Android and iOS from this evening (26 June). As we reported previously, the game puts players in the role of BTS’ manager at the start of their career, […]

BTS top YouTube global artist chart with Blackpink at number two

Music Ally reported last week on the success of K-Pop group Blackpink, specifically on YouTube, where they topped its weekly artists chart with 342m views for their music. Now they’ve been unseated… by another K-Pop group. Yes, BTS are sitting proudly atop this week’s YouTube artists chart, with 307m views for their music in the week […]

BTS smash YouTube record with 78m first-day views of ‘Boy With Luv’

2019 is going to be a very big year for K-Pop stars BTS, spurred by their new mini-album ‘Map of the Soul: Persona’. Milestones are already tumbling. The band’s ‘Boy With Luv’ video smashed YouTube’s single-day viewing record, notching up 78m views in its first 24 hours last week. That takes the record from another K-Pop band, […]

BTS success fuelled record year for Big Hit Entertainment

You may have noticed that K-Pop band BTS are just a little bit popular around the world. That’s now translating into financial success for the company behind them, Big Hit Entertainment. The firm reported a 132% growth in its annual revenues to 214bn won (around $190m) in 2018, with an operating profit of 64.1bn won […]

K-Pop music sparked 5.3bn tweets on Twitter in 2018

Twitter is shouting proudly about the popularity of Korean pop music within its community: “With a new global record of 5.3 billion tweets last year” according to a blog post yesterday. Naturally, this is about K-Pop’s popularity outside South Korea continuing to grow, but Twitter is keen to stress the efforts it has been making […]

Aller à la barre d’outils