Dear Gossips,

BTS’s “Butter” is the current #1 song on the Billboard Hot 100, its second week at the top of the chart. Tracking for this past week has ended, will be interesting to see if they can go three in a row, which would be a new milestone for RM, Jin, Suga, j-hope, Jimin, V, and Jungkook. Billboard typically announces the updated Hot 100 list on Mondays. But if they were to make an exception this week, it might be timely for Sunday, because that’s BTS’s anniversary and there have been two weeks worth of celebrations with their fans leading up to this weekend’s two online concert performances (Muster), the first on Sunday, followed by the World Tour show on Monday, which means there will be two different setlists. In North American ET time, it means that those of us who’ve bought tickets for the event will be watching starting from 530am on Sunday and Monday morning. LOL, I actually scheduled my weekend golf tee times around BTS’s Muster. 


BTS had originally hoped to have a limited audience present for the shows. But live audience concerts aren’t permitted in South Korea until next week, so the two performances will be virtual – although that hasn’t stopped them from scaling it to the max. 

Seoul Olympic Stadium is nearly 70,000 capacity. So whatever they’re planning, the sets and the effects, and the choreo and all the rest of it, will be designed for a venue of that size. It’s ambitious, as usual, because this has never been a band that doesn’t push the limits of what is achievable. Which is what they’ve been doing through the course of their careers but especially over this past year, with new and innovative ways to engage with their fans. They’ve already been using the technology with their ARMY Bombs, which are the handheld light-sticks that BTS fans wave around during the shows, to illuminate in unison at key points during their shows and now they’re apparently activating voice and visual elements to mimic attendance and give fans as close to an in-person experience as possible. All this for around US$50-ish per show. This isn’t cheap, obviously, but it’s also not exorbitant in comparison to online viewing costs for, say, a streaming movie premiere, where there’s no variation if the film is 90 minutes or two and a half hours, which is the minimum length of a BTS concert, and they often get to three hours depending on how much they talk. On top of that, everything you’re seeing during the show is live, which means what you’re seeing, as opposed to a film, is only happening in that moment. I’ve never been in person to a BTS concert but I’ve watched enough of their concert footage and I’ve seen every one of their virtual shows to know that they go full out every single minute.


On the business level, then, from a consumer deliverable standpoint, they’re doing the most to make every dollar spent count. And that doesn’t just mean the concert. During this Festa period to mark their anniversary, they’ve released an exhaustive amount of content both from their archives and recently filmed material, ranging from rehearsal videos to quiz and game sessions to photo cards to short live performances, like this mini concert that dropped yesterday featuring a medley of their songs which they would have needed to find time to rehearse and shoot in addition to prepping for these two massive shows they’re about to put on this weekend. I would like a documentary on the person or the people who make their schedules. Because I think it could be a work resource for all of us. 

Yours in gossip,