Again, it’s thanks to fans that BTS enjoy so much success on social media. In fact, their fans have assembled themselves into a formal group called the ARMY. When we checked the data out last year, we (conservatively) estimated the number of unique authors mentioning the band could theoretically form around 48 actual armies. In short, BTS command the biggest, most buzzing online following of the genre (and potentially of all musicians).
Mentions are one thing, but how does that translate to commercial success? On top of the money the band generates from their music, brand partnerships, and events, there’s now a new opportunity for fans to invest in the K-pop sensations.
This month, Big Hit Entertainment (BTS’ record company) went public. The move allowed die-hard fans to finally buy a share of their favorite band — kind of.
The news generated nearly a million online mentions in itself, and, while it’s a pretty novel prospect to buy into a band in this way, it seems to have paid off.
Vulture reported: “The BTS boys became millionaires today with an impressive initial public offering of 135,000 won for label Big Hit Entertainment. That’s approximately $115 per share — the biggest South Korean market debut in over three years — which values the label at over $4 billion. Each member of BTS got 68,385 shares from Big Hit CEO and producer Bang Si-hyuk in August, putting $7.9 million in their pockets with Big Hit’s September 28 debut.”
This represents a big shift in how fandoms enjoy music – they are both proud to show their support and happy to buy into the band instead of just streaming them. K-pop isn’t just a genre of music. It’s a force, and the power is growing.