BTS Ponders Its Future, and South Korea’s Financial system Warily Takes Word

The fallout from BTS’s announcement on Tuesday that the Okay-pop juggernaut could be taking a break as members discover solo careers was speedy and drastic.

In only a day, the inventory value of the group’s administration label, HYBE, plummeted 28 % to 139,000 gained — or $108 — its lowest value because the firm went public practically two years in the past, shedding $1.7 billion in market worth. The inventory value has barely moved since.

The drastic plunge underscores how South Korea’s best-selling boy band has change into not solely a cultural sensation but additionally a strong stakeholder in South Korea’s financial system.

Because the group’s debut in 2013, BTS has raked in billions of {dollars} by album gross sales, live performance tickets and social media. Its YouTube channel alone, which is the twentieth largest on the planet, can generate as much as $2 million a month. By 2020, the group was contributing $3.5 billion yearly to the nation’s financial system, in line with the Hyundai Analysis Institute.

Even in the course of the pandemic, which devastated the dwell live performance trade, BTS drove a 58 % improve in HYBE’s income, in line with the corporate’s year-end studies for 2021. The label raked in a 1.3 trillion gained final yr, practically a billion U.S. {dollars}.

The group’s monetary contribution to South Korea’s financial system had solely been anticipated to develop as pandemic restrictions eased, in line with the Korea Tradition and Tourism Institute, which predicted {that a} single BTS live performance may generate upward of $500 million or extra.

Information of the group’s deliberate hiatus convulsed the web as soon as the group posted its video announcement, which drew over 16 million views in two days. The group’s followers, who name themselves Military, swarmed social media in expressing help — and anguished misery — over the information.

“Thanks BTS for being our house, on your lovely music that enlightens our life, on your love & happiness to us,” one Twitter consumer posted. “We’ll help you. We’re all the time right here for you. We’ll anticipate you. ARMY FOREVER. We love you.”

Followers have been significantly confused by the time period “hiatus,” which was used within the English translations within the unique video. Experiences in South Korean media retailers have been fast to hyperlink the announcement to the truth that Jin, the oldest member of the group, would wish to enlist for necessary navy service by the top of this yr.

Hypothesis in regards to the group’s doable disbandment led to a fast backpedaling of statements by the label and the group members themselves.

Information organizations reported the group was not taking a hiatus, however that group members have been pivoting to focus extra on their particular person careers. The group will “stay energetic in varied completely different codecs,” in line with the assertion.

RM, the group’s chief, posted on the social media web site Weverse on Thursday, saying that many individuals had despatched him messages assuming the group was breaking apart.

“Though it’s not like I didn’t anticipate this or was oblivious that this might occur, I nonetheless really feel bitter,” he mentioned, explaining that his intentions have been to speak overtly with followers on the group’s reflections of the previous decade and to not announce that the group was disbanding.

Jungkook, the youngest BTS member, additionally tried to make clear issues in a dwell video stream on Thursday. “We don’t have any ideas of breaking apart,” he mentioned, including that BTS nonetheless had plans to carry out sooner or later.

In Tuesday’s announcement video, members gathered round a desk and spoke candidly in regards to the intense pressures they face to continually churn out music and ship, finally resulting in their resolution to quickly pursue solo careers.

“I felt like I used to be trapped and couldn’t get out,” mentioned Namjoon, who defined that he felt the years of continually being within the highlight as a Okay-pop idol didn’t depart him a lot room for private development.

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