BTS thinks about its future and the Korean economy will surely take notice

The fallout from BTS’s announcement on Tuesday that the K-pop boy will take a break as the members explore solo careers has been immediate and drastic.

In just one day, the share price of the group’s management brand, HYBE, plummeted 28% to 139,000 won – or $108 – the lowest price since the company went public for nearly two years. before, a $1.7 billion drop in market value. The stock price has barely changed since then.

This dramatic drop shows how South Korea’s best-selling boy band has become not only a cultural hit, but also a powerful stakeholder in the Korean economy.

Since the group’s debut in 2013, BTS has raked in billions of dollars through album sales, concert tickets, and social media. Its YouTube channel alone, the 20th largest in the world, can generate up to $2 million per month. According to the Hyundai Research Institute, by 2020, this group has contributed $ 3.5 billion annually to the national economy.

Even in times of pandemic ravaging the live concert industry, BTS has boosted HYBE’s revenue by 58%, according to the company’s year-end report for 2021. Last year, the studio grossed 1.3. trillion won, nearly one billion US dollars.

The group’s financial contribution to the South Korean economy is only expected to increase as pandemic restrictions ease, according to the Korea Culture and Tourism Institute, where predicted that a single BTS concert could gross $500 million or more.

News of the group’s planned shutdown sent shockwaves through the internet as the group posted its video announcement, which garnered more than 16 million views in two days. Fans of the group, who call themselves Army, have flooded social media to express their support – and grief – for the news.

“Thank you BTS for being our home, for the wonderful music that lights up our lives, for your love and happiness for us,” one Twitter user said. posted. “We will support you. We are always here for you. We will wait for you. MILITARY EVERYTHING. We love you.”

Fans were particularly confused by the term “interruption”, which was used in the English translation in the original video. Reports in the Korean media were quick to link the announcement to the fact that Jin, the oldest member of the group, will be enlisting for his mandatory military service later this year.

Speculation about the possible disbandment of the group led the label and the group members themselves to quickly correct their statements.

News organizations say the group hasn’t gone on hiatus, but team members are aiming to focus more on their individual careers. The group will “remain active in various forms,” ​​according to the statement.

RM, the leader of the group, posted on social media site Weverse on Thursday, saying that many people have been sending him messages assuming the group has disbanded.

“While it’s not like I didn’t anticipate this or didn’t know it could happen, I still feel bitter,” he said, explaining that his intention was to communicate openly. with fans about the group’s reflections over the past decade and did not announce that the group had disbanded.

Jungkook, the youngest member of BTS, also tried to clarify the matter during a live video stream on Thursday. “We don’t have any thoughts on breaking up,” he said, adding that BTS still has plans to perform in the future.

In Tuesday’s announcement video, the members gathered around the table and candidly talked about the huge pressures they faced with constantly turning out music and distribution, ultimately leading to the decision to temporarily follow pursue a solo career.

“I feel like I’m stuck and can’t get out,” Namjoon said, explaining that he feels the years of constant attention as a K-pop idol have left no He has plenty of room for personal growth.

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