Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Plop Go the Weasels: Korean K Pop Band BTS Not the Beatles of 2019, Album Was a One Week Sales Phenom in the US


Can you remember what happened in the last two weeks in the pop world? We were inundated with Korean K Pop group BTS. Remember? They were compared to the Beatles. There was a media frenzy.

And now, it’s over.

Two weeks ago, BTS released a new album in America called “Map of the Soul: Persona.” It’s distributed by The Orchard, formerly known as Sony-Red. The Orchard is part of Sony Music.

By the publicity, you’d have thunk BTS sold a million copies in the first week. According to Buzz Angle, they sold 160,000 albums. Add another 30,000 from streaming. That’s it.

Now we’re in the second week, which ends tomorrow. Total sales so far this week: 4,300. With streaming: 11,200.

Are you thinking what I am? That BTS is somehow gaming us with numbers? That they’re actually not so popular? Mmm hmmm.

“Map” is currently number 7 on iTunes, which doesn’t say much for how many downloads it takes to make that position.

Curiously, a similar situation happened last summer when BTS suddenly burst onto the charts with its last album, “Love Yourself.” After a big two day splash, the whole week ended with just 48,868 albums sold and streamed. The second week dropped to 5,161. Total sales of that album since last September are just 235,456. That’s not even “gold.”


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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