Even at the height of Beatlemania, few screaming fans stopped chasing the fab four to phone their brokers. But today’s pop-obsessed hordes do things a little differently.
As detailed in a report by Bloomberg, when Big Hit Entertainment Co., the agency behind BTS, became tradable in South Korea last week, the concept of “owning” a part of the supergroup became the newest status symbol. What’s more, BTS’s animated fans, known as the Army, began cheering one another on via social media, suggesting that a shareholder’s portfolio, not a poster in one’s bedroom, was the newest sign of support.
The report quotes BTS fans on social media boasting “I’ll buy a share whenever news media shakes things up and hold them until I die. Media keeps talking about losses, but they know nothing.” The Big Hit stock dipped 21 percent on Friday after it skyrocketed on Thursday to $235, double its offering price. The company’s valuation stood at $7.6 billion. BTS represents an estimated 90 percent of Big Hit’s revenue.
K-Pop is just about the only aspect of the recording industry showing growth, with a 46 percent increase this year, according to an analyst cited by Bloomberg. Overall, combined album sales of Universal Music Group Inc., Sony Corp. and Warner Music Group Corp. dropped 23 percent.
The BTS Army is known for its mobilization efforts. Recently, they organized to ensure that a newly released track, “Dynamite,” would break the YouTube record for most streams in a day. (They succeeded, with over 101.1 million views; it is now at nearly 500 million.)
When the band donated $1 million to Black Lives Matter organizations in June, fans quickly matched that amount (raising $817,000 in only 24 hours.) Famously, K-Pop fans on TikTok are alleged to have been the source of an intentionally embarrassing inflation of interest in President Donald Trump‘s June Tulsa rally. The lack of an actual audience is believed to have led to Brad Parscale‘s demotion within the reelection campaign.
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