I am not a BTS expert. But I know when fans aren’t excited or motivated.
That seems to be the case with the latest single dropped for summer by the KPop Korean boy band.
Their “Permission to Dance” has been denied. The single is number 1 right now on iTunes after a Friday release. But according to Buzz Angle/Alpha Data, total sales through Saturday night were just under 70,000 copies. Most of that came from streaming.
That’s an anemic number compared to BTS’s “Butter,” released two months ago. “Butter” is up around 900,000 plus in sales, a fifth of that from paid downloads and CD singles. “Butter” was a massive hit and still is. But “Permission to Dance” has been snubbed by the hardcore BTS corps.
Is it just overload after “Butter” was spread over everything in its path? Or has BTS changed sounds with “Permission” only to alienate fans? The latter is likely as the group– now owned by marital scandal plagued Scooter Braun — is being accused of going mainstream for Western marketing purposes.
“Permission to Dance,” unlike past BTS singles, is written by Ed Sheeran, Steve Mac, Johnny McDaid, and Jenna Andrews. That’s a very generic pop committee. It could have been recorded by a dozen different acts, which is very much the case these days with a lot of songs. They’re auctioned off to the highest bidder. So BTS won the auction but lost the audience.
What’s very telling is that right now there’s no sign of BTS on the Z100 playlist or bestsellers. The biggest pop station in the country, owned by I Heart Radio, is devoid of all BTS mention. And the singles chart, which is usually ballot-stuffed by BTS fans, is remarkably quiet. We’ll keep an eye on this change in BTS fan devotion.