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BTS Shows the Power of Social Media in the Contemporary Music Industry

May 31, 20175 min read

Fine, I get it. You’re tired of hearing about them, seeing them all over your Twitter timeline and now television. I understand, anything that’s new and foreign is intimidating and BTS has daunted every fandom out there this year, especially last Sunday during the 2017 Billboard Music Awards. The Korean Pop, popularly known as K-Pop, boy group has been a hot topic since completing the sold-out, as reported by Billboard themselves, the first leg of their international tour, BTS Live Trilogy EP. III: The Wings Tour.

Nominated against Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Selena Gomez, and Shawn Mendes, for the Top Social Artist award, the group dethroned Bieber after winning for the past six years with a new record of over 300,000,000 votes.

BTS had a lot of firsts that evening. The seven-membered group was the first K-Pop act to be nominated for a Billboard Music Award, to walk the BBMA Magenta Carpet, their very first red carpet experience outside Asia, and to ultimately win a BBMA. But the group’s greatest win wasn’t during the award show, it happened online. Their fandom, ARMY, had already shown their social media power while voting for their favorite K-Pop group through the official Twitter hashtag, #BTBBMAs. BTS had already fallen under the graces of music media outlets during their tour, but the BBMAs had them taking over the US… and it was HUGE!

V, member of BTS. Photo: Headline Planet

The seven boys were the first nominees to walk down the Magenta Carpet, being able to take advantage of all of the press opportunities, a move well played by the group. BTS interviewed for E!, XFINITY, Good Morning America, the official live coverage of the BBMA itself, and much more. Since then, they have made it to Vogue, member V being nominated the most well-dressed man of the evening, E! Online, Buzzfeed, CNN, highlighting BTS’ win against superstar Justin Bieber, ABS-CBN News, and Refinery29 among others. Extending their visit, BTS has now been interviewed by ClevverTV, iHeartRadio, and Yahoo Music, all during the Tuesday following the award. The boys have even made an appearance in Logan Paul’s BBMA vlog. Accompanied by Lindsey Stirling, it was Paul himself who gave BTS their award.

Living in the age of social media, the power it now has over music can no longer be ignored. Without it, it might not hove been possible for BTS’ fandom to have grown to such an extent.

Without it, BTS might not have been able to share their talents with the world to the extent that they have. We are the real winners here, the ones that are able to experience all that they have to give us. Watching them grow and prosper while being able to give them a helping hand, even if only through Youtube views and a Twitter trend, now seems to be enough. Artists and outlets also took it to their social media accounts to congratulate BTS and comment on the importance of their win.

Their social media power had been proven long before the BBMAs, taking over the Social 50 Chart for over 30 weeks, passing legendary Rihanna and Miley Cyrus.

BTS at the Magenta Carpet. Photo: Headline Planet

If you weren’t sure before, now you are. K-Pop can no longer be seen as a genre competing only within itself. K-Pop has now, officially, entered the world of the global competitive music business and it’s about time K-Pop acts like BTS stopped being ignored. Oh, and a friendly heads-up, Steve Aoki might have just announced a MAJOR collaboration. Be on the lookout, folks!

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Giovanna Trabasso

Giovanna, most commonly known as Gigi, is a 20 (1997) year old Brazilian that makes up 1/6K+ of NYU's Class of 2020 as a Media, Culture and Communications major. Her interests are heavily based on intersectional feminism, social justice, comic books, K-Pop, and colored hair.