Up to this point this year, BTS has released a worldwide bestselling album (Map of the Soul: 7), a Japanese-language album, a docuseries and a documentary film, continued with their existing reality show (RUN BTS!) while filming a new series (In The SOOP), performed a virtual concert for an audience of over 750,000, with another virtual concert coming up in two weeks, hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for the first time (for two consecutive weeks) with “Dynamite”, on top of all their brand partnerships, and appearing on award shows and other international broadcasts, and shooting music videos.
Turns out they’re not done with 2020. This weekend, their label, Big Hit Entertainment, announced that BTS’s new album, BE (Deluxe Edition) on November 20. So pretty much exactly three months after dropping “Dynamite”, they’re on yet another comeback. If the promotional cycle for “Dynamite” was any indication, BTS will be right up in our faces… even more. Or, rather, they won’t be leaving our faces at all. Because tonight they kick off the first of five days of their week-long takeover of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. They’ll end the week with more new content drops to mark Chuseok, which is what Koreans call Mid-Autumn or Harvest Moon Festival.
ì¶”ì„ íŠ¹ì„ ì•„ë¯¸ë°ì´!— BTS_official (@bts_bighit) September 28, 2020
ì•„ë¯¸ì˜ ì¦ê±°ìš´ ì—°íœ´ë¥¼ ìœ„í•´
ì¶”ì„ ì„ ë¬¼ ë³´ë”°ë¦¬ë¥¼ í’€ì–´ë´…ë‹ˆë‹¤ðŸŽ#BTS #ì¶”ì„ì„ ë¬¼ë³´ë”°ë¦¬#ë°©íƒ„ë‚˜ì™€ë¼ëšë”± #ì—í”¼ë°¤ë³´ë”°ë¦¬#ì¶”ì„_íŠ¹ì„ _ì•„ë¯¸ë°ì´ #EPIBOMB_zip
From there it’s another week until Map of the Soul ON:E, their upcoming live online concert happening October 10/11 (which is Thanksgiving weekend in Canada so it’s back to back Thanksgivings for me!).
With the news about the upcoming album, this concert now tracks on a business and creative level. BTS, as we know, was supposed to be on tour this year in support of Map of the Soul: 7; the tour plans were well underway when the pandemic halted everything. Tours are, by design, reflective of the most recent era of an artist’s work from the set list and set design to choreography and costuming. BTS is moving into a new era with BE, but they haven’t yet had a chance to put Map of the Soul to bed yet. So the online concert, Map of the Soul ON:E, may serve as a chance to showcase at least some of the tour ideas they had for that album, close off that era for now, and kick into a new one with BE to end the year, putting updated tour plans in place in the hopes that at some point in 2021, they will be able to go on the road and showcase this latest album in arenas. If not though, well, they’ve just created a template for how virtually “tour” their albums. Which everyone in the music industry should be paying attention to as we’re getting deeper into the second wave and case numbers are rising in so many countries around the world and it doesn’t seem like a vaccine will be ready any time soon.
For BTS though, there’s added incentive to continue to innovate – they’re shareholders now, proper bosses. As I reported earlier this month, Big Hit Entertainment filed to go public and now here’s the latest on the IPO:
JUST IN: #BTS record label Big Hit Entertainment will raise about $820 million from its IPO after pricing shares at the top end of the range.— Bloomberg (@business) September 28, 2020
The listing is set to make founder Bang Si-hyuk a billionaire while turning the singers into multimillionaires. https://t.co/9aAc2GOX3K
According to Bloomberg, the IPO has given Big Hit “a market value of about $4 billion. The country’s largest listing in years took just hours for underwriters to find buyers for the available stock and priced on Monday at the top end of a marketed range. That’s even after COVID-19 forced BTS to cancel its world tour, and despite the risk that some of its stars may have to do military service.”
Each member of BTS was given shares of the company that are now valued at about $8 million. So they’re getting out what they’re putting in – from the music sales to the endorsement deals and everything else. Capitalising on the success of “Dynamite” which has introduced them to even more fans and expanded their reach, the new album and the success that will undoubtedly be forthcoming strengthens Big Hit’s entry on the stock market in its infancy.
But we’re not done with the updates. Yesterday BTS posted this on TikTok:
I can’t with my bias, Jungkook, flexing all that boyfriend energy in pyjamas, stompers, and that manbun. Anyway, they weren’t doing this just for kicks. BTS will be featured on the “Savage Love” remix. If you’re not familiar with this song (probably because you’re not on TikTok), I covered the backstory back in May for a refresher. Joshua Stylah’s original track “Laxed (Siren Beat)” was TikTok’s most “explosive viral track” earlier this year. Jason Derulo sampled it for “Savage Love” without crediting Joshua and got called out for it. They ended up sorting the situation out and the “Savage Love” dance is what BTS is performing in the video above. Getting the band to be featured on the remix is an attempt to extend the song’s popularity, not unlike what Lil Nas X did with “Old Town Road”.
Hilariously though, Jason thirstily told people yesterday that he’d be making a “special announcement” if his post gets to 10 million likes. He is nowhere near that. But also… BTS isn’t here to operate on his time or to invest in Jason’s social media influence. They made it official this morning on their own channels, LOLOLOLOL.
It’s not just funny because of their unwillingness to respect Jason’s thirst though. It’s a demonstration of how proprietary they are about their own sh-t. They will make the statements on their own behalf which centers control of their brand with them, out of their mothership in South Korea, and not out of the west. This is another example that while they may be finally breaking through on the biggest levels by western success standards, they’re not letting the west dictate their moves. They still run their own show.