Who is the K Pop group BTS

After their hearts, the K-Pop band BTS is now also moving the markets

Big Hit Entertainment's IPO next week will highlight the cultural and economic traction of Korean music groups.

In South Korea, the biggest stock market event in three years is casting its shadow: When the shares of the music management label Big Hit Entertainment were allocated for the first time on Monday of last week, both institutional investors and private interested parties scrambled for the papers. Especially fans of the boy band BTS, represented by Big Hit, hoped to get a little closer to their idols by buying even a single share for the equivalent of CHF 105. The demand for shares was over a thousand times greater than the number of securities on offer. Big Hit, which lives almost exclusively from the success of the singing septet BTS, is now valued at CHF 3.5 billion. The company is expected to be listed in the Kospi on October 15th.

The run on the stocks proves once again the cultural and economic traction that Korean pop music has developed. If you will, South Korea's singing youths - mostly men - no longer only move hearts, but also the markets. The K-Pop genre first came into the spotlight in 2012. Back then, the singer Psy landed a summer hit with his catchy tune «Gangnam Style», which topped the charts around the world for months. The surprise hit from back then has long since become a phenomenon. Even if many middle-aged Europeans have never come into contact with K-Pop, the genre has millions of loyal fans around the world. BTS are considered to be the most successful of the boy bands from Asia. Their level of awareness in the region can only be compared with that of the Beatles.

BTS is raising the morale of the nation in the Corona crisis

The strategists of Big Hit are meanwhile working hard to expand the status of BTS as superstars outside of Asia. In August the band released their first piece sung entirely in English, “Dynamite”. The video for the song was viewed over 100 million times on YouTube in the first 24 hours. The record earned BTS praise from the highest level: South Korea's President Moon Jae In congratulated the young men on their “outstanding performance” and raved that the song was made to keep the morale of the Korean nation high in times of the Corona crisis.

The leaders of the states are well aware that BTS is an extremely important export item for South Korea. A debate is currently underway in parliament about whether singers between the ages of 23 and 29 should exceptionally be exempted from compulsory two-year military service. Proponents argue that the BTS members are doing their homeland an irreplaceable service in polishing South Korea's global image. "You are worth more than a thousand diplomats," the Korea Times quoted MP Yoon Sang Hyun as saying.

Like many Korean bands, BTS was retorted. In 2010, the experienced music manager Bang Si Hyu set about putting together a new music group that should be tailored to the tastes of the audience. As elsewhere, singing competitions broadcast on TV are very popular in South Korea. Bang found a squad of suitable guys from among the candidates.

The success was planned according to the general staff

The name BTS initially stood for "Bangtan Sonyeondan" (bulletproof boy scouts), but is now meant to be used as an abbreviation for "Beyond the Scene". Bang planned the success of his protégés in a meticulous manner: The carefully maintained profiles of the band members in the social networks were just as important from the start as the catchy melodies and the slightly androgynous, mainstream style that the young men display. Bang hit the mark with his concept: Last year, Big Hit achieved sales of around CHF 465 million and an operating profit of CHF 78 million.

At first glance, it seems unusual that the members of BTS, unlike other Pops stars, seem to take their role model function very seriously. In their lyrics, the young men deal with topics such as consumerism or social envy. You have repeatedly spoken out against bullying and are committed to protecting children and young people on behalf of Unicef. The singers - Kim Tae Hyung (stage name V), Jung Ho Seok (J-Hope), Kim Nam Joon (RM), Kim Seok Jin (Jin), Park Ji Min, Jeon Jung Kook and Min Yoon Gi ( Suga) - regularly speaking. This year they donated $ 1 million to the Black Lives Matter campaign in the United States.

It should be thanks to the string puller Bang that BTS has matured into a band that can inspire its young fans without scaring off their parents at the same time. Who can object to teenagers planting a forest for their idols' birthday? An incident in June showed how great the influence the band has on its fans. At the time, US President Donald Trump was forced to give his opening speech for the US election campaign in a stadium in Oklahoma in front of almost empty stands. The reason: In order to wipe out Trump, the globally networked BTS fans had agreed and reserved a large part of the tickets that could be pre-ordered online for the event - without, however, intending to participate in the event. Real Trump fans therefore received nothing.