“Even in the face of this new normality, out life goes on and imparts a message of healing to fans and to the world.”
Big Hit, the label behind South Korea’s mega pop outfit BTS, have announced that pre-orders have already started this week and general release of their new album is due on November 20. They’ve described the highly anticipated as “the most ‘BTS-esque’ music yet”, whatever that means!
The unlikely pop music heroes, who have burst through the bamboo ceiling and made an Asian band the biggest pop act in the world, announced the date of their second album release for 2020. ‘Map of the Soul: 7′ debuted on top of the Billboard chart on March 7, 2020, marking BTS’ fourth Number 1 album. In 2019 they matched The Beatles record of 3 albums to reach the Number 1 position in the same calendar year.
The arrival of their new album, simply titled ‘Be’, is the band’s answer to reach out to their fans, called ‘ARMY’, since they had to cancel their entire 202 sold out stadium concert world tour.
The announcement of the new album follows the release of the hit single, and summer disco bob, ‘Dynamite’, their first all English-written song, and their first song to reach the Number 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 main singles chart for 3 weeks (over a 4 week period). The song not only reached the Number 1 position, it debuted at Number 1.
‘Dynamite’ broke the YouTube record for most views in a 24 hour period, racking up an astonishing 101.1 million views. The band also has another 4 songs in YouTube’s Top 10 most viewed videos in 4 hours.
Here they are performing ‘Dynamite’ at this year’s VMA awards (they also won 4 VMAs)…
(The link, if the video doesn’t play… https://youtu.be/zJCdkOpU90g)
They’re also the first K-pop act to reach the Number 1 spot on the Billboard chart – Psy and ‘Gangnam Style’, despite its worldwide success, only reached the Number 2 spot in 2012.
The company behind BTS, Big Hit Entertainment, completely unknown until their sole act BTS started rising through the ranks of South Korea’s K-Pop, and then take on the world pop market, has priced its initial public offering at the top of its range last Monday, as hopeful buyers chased South Korea’s largest listing in 3 years.
Institutional investors expressed interest in more than 1,000 times the number of shares on offer. Even the die-hard BTS fans are putting in bids in the hopes of securing even one share in what analysts expect to be South Korea’s hottest listing this year.
Here’s a live version of ‘Dynamite’ and some of their other songs, performed last week on NPR…
(The link, if the video doesn’t play… https://youtu.be/gFYAXsa7pe8)
Big Hit priced the IPO at 135,000 won (US$114.99) per share, the top of an indicative price range of 105,000-135,000 won announced earlier this month.
Big Hit reported a 49.7 billion won (US$42,695,950) profit for the first half of 2020 as its online concert and merchandise sales on the Weverse app more than offset the stadium concert and event cancellations during the Covid-19 pandemic. Big Hit have kicked off a few more acts in recent years but 99% of the company’s revenue comes from just one band, BTS. BTS is short for their full Korean name Bangtan Sonyeondan (방탄소년단), translated loosely as Bulletproof Boy Scouts.
The 7 members are RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V and Jungkook and have been working together since around 2011 but debuts in June 2013. Coming from a ‘no name’ production company they battled the tough ‘pop blood sport’ of K-Pop and had very difficult times in their early days before breaking into the world market sometime around 2016. Their success in the US has only really been over the past 2 years.
The IPO will makes the 7 BTS members instant multimillionaire stockholders, as Big Hit CEO Bang Si-hyuk gave them 68,385 shares each, worth nearly US$7.9 million at the issue price, in August.
The pricing values Big Hit at around 4.8 trillion won (US$4,124,989,920), literally off the back of just 7 young Korean men, their talent and their legion of fans.