BTS, is one of the most loved Kpop group. The boyband enjoys massive popularity around the world. Its fans are collectively known as ‘BTS ARMY’. BTS recently released two singles, ‘Butter’ which stayed on the No.1 of Billboard Hot 100 for the longest time. ‘Permission to Dance’ was also a single from which they gained even more fans and love from people around the world.
Recently, Billboard interviewed BTS and the cover story consisted of xenophobic content and alot of slander against them and their fans.
Billboard mentioned how both the group and the agency are coming under scrutiny for BTS’s recent chart successes, and also added how some competing acts Fan’s said the success are achieved through concerted ‘Manipulation’. Some even said that the AMRY’s were using tactics like bulk purchases of physical albums and coordinated digital buying to influence chart performance.
However, HYBE and BTS both rejected the accusations that chart manipulation accounts for group’s success. “Its a fair question,” says RM on allegations that ARMY’s work amounts to chart manipulation. “But if there is a conversation inside Billboard about what being No. 1 should represent, then its up to them to change the rules and make streaming weigh more on the ranking. Slamming us or our fans for getting to No. 1 with physical sales and downloads, I don’t know if that’s right… It just feels like we’re easy targets because we’re a boy band, a k-pop act, and we have this high fan loyalty”.
When asked if HYBE itself organizes fans in any chart manipulation, Shin Young-Jae — president of BTS’ label, Big Hit Music (a HYBE subsidiary) — answers with a chuckle. “Wouldn’t it be nice if we actually had the ability to mastermind such a thing?” he says. “I get that there are market developments [related to BTS] that are head-scratchers for some people. But I don’t believe the U.S. market is one that can be handily topped by downloads alone. We think the songs’ impact was shown in many ways, and we are proud of that achievement.”
This story originally appeared in the Aug. 28, 2021, issue of Billboard.