Bangtan Boys' 'Army' of Fans Credited for Band's Runaway Success

  • By Lee Hai-woon

    September 16, 2020 10:56

    Boy band Bangtan Boys, also known as BTS, slipped one spot to No. 2 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart on Monday with their new single "Dynamite" after staying at the top for two weeks.

    "Dynamite" is one of only 20 songs to debut at No. 1 and stay there for two consecutive weeks in the history of the Billboard Hot 100.

    Behind the boys' runaway success are their fans, known as the "Army," which CNN described as "one of the world's most powerful fandoms."

    An Army member on Monday wrote on the fan community platform Weverse, "BTS ranked No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in its third week. We are the great Army. We kept BTS' 'Dynamite' in the top spot for two weeks in a row. I'm proud of the Army."

    Bangtan Boys

    The Hot 100 ranks the top 100 songs of the week based on sales, streaming data, radio airplay and YouTube data. BTS fans used three strategies -- Shazam, music video watching and music streaming -- to push the song up the chart.

    Shazam, which is an app that allows users to identify music, is known to affect the amount of radio airplay a track gets, as U.S. radio DJs are believed to play songs that are searched more frequently on the app.

    The strategy of music video watching on YouTube saw "Dynamite" become the first video to get 100 million views in less than 24 hours.

    Thanks to the Army, "Dynamite" has notched 136,000 downloads. As the Billboard chart only includes downloads made on U.S. accounts, Korean fans have been raising money to help American fans download the song more.

    Notably, BTS fans engage in these activities voluntarily, without being asked to do so by the operators of the group's fan club. 

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