BTS on success, the future and chart manipulation
The new issue of Billboard Magazine features an interview with BTS where they discuss HYBE , military enrolment and chart manipulation allegations.
On their expected military service:
The seven men all have a lot more weighing on their minds these days. Their importance as cultural ambassadors for South Korea has become so great that this past December, in an unprecedented move, the country’s government changed a law, allowing the group to wait until age 30 to enlist in the military. (Previously, it had been 28.) But with Jin turning 30 at the end of 2022, BTS faces a lengthy period with at least one member missing — and should they all choose to serve at the same time, as some stock analysts in South Korea have predicted, a group hiatus could last about 18 months (the minimum length of service).
It would be interesting to see if Jin and Suga actually leave for military service at the end of the year. Maybe there might be another postponement if they get a Grammy nomination? or the six members might have to do the Grammys without Jin (you know Suga will not go if they are nominated)
Surprisedly, the topic of the recent chart allegations came up. The ARMY fanbase have recently been seen to be exploiting loopholes in the music chart rules by crowd funding huge buying sprees of the BTS english singles (through Paypal and by forming NGOs no less!). BTS has been encouraging this by releasing six digital versions (seven by tomorrow besties!) of Butter and two physical versions and encouraging fans to buy them directly from their webstore which has no limit or cap. So while the other singles on the Hot100 typically rely on streaming, airplay and then sales, the recent BTS track Butter has been mostly propelled by sales.
RM had this to say in response to the allegations:
"These efforts have buoyed the group’s singles, as they have sailed to the top of the charts despite BTS’ weaker streaming numbers and radio airplay than some of its pop contemporaries. “It’s a fair question,” says RM of 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 it’s 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.”
To be honest, I never thought Billboard would ever question BTS and HYBE about the chart allegations as they seem to be very pro BTS. Also their charts and rules are the ones in question here.
All in all, it's a very informative article and can be found at the source.