BTS: How did they create the dedicated and faithful ARMY?
For fans of K-pop, BTS has ushered in a new era. Bangtan Boys – composed of RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V, and Jungkook – have won over the hearts of millions of their fans worldwide. These fans – referred to as the BTS ARMY – form possibly one of the most loyal fandoms any celebrity has ever had.
When BTS’ latest single “Dynamite” released a couple months back, ARMY took it upon themselves to help the boy band break existing records and set new ones. Within twenty-four hours of the release of the song, it has crossed 100 million views on its music video on YouTube, becoming the fastest Korean outfit to reach that figure.
Here’s how it went: at first, the music video – full of fluorescent hues – managed to garner over 10 million views in just twenty minutes. In the process, it went on to surpass its fellow K-pop group Blackpink who previously held the record for a debut day with 86.3 million views. Now, the “Dynamite” video has reached over 500 million views, thereby becoming the fastest video by any Korean outfit to reach this milestone.
To add another feather to their cap, the song ended up helping them dethrone Taylor Swift in her debut day record for the most Spotify streams for “Cardigan”. With a debut on the first position, BTS made it to the streaming giant’s daily Global Top 50 chart and eventually claimed the title for the biggest Spotify debut of the year. “Dynamite” truly brought in an explosion.
None of these numbers seem surprising to the BTS ARMY because they set these goals for themselves. They flooded social media with the song – so the fact that they managed to shoot up the first-day views of the music video for “Dynamite” doesn’t take us completely by surprise.
Clearly, none of these milestones would’ve been possible without the steadfast commitment of the BTS ARMY & even the BTS members know this. It’s why they always thank their fans for everything, including the larger good. It piques one’s curiosity: how does a K-pop band garner such an enviable following within years?
Curated with care, kept with love
Did you know that unlike most fandoms, ARMY wasn’t just an amorphous group of people with the same celebrity liking coming together slowly over the internet? Instead, Big Hit Entertainment – the record label behind BTS – created the BTS fan club as a conscious marketing effort to give the band members space to interact with fans.
ARMY’s presence is strictly managed by the record label company, even as the band members are always happy to talk with their fans. ARMY was formed just a month after BTS made their debut, and the name is undergirded by the military focus of the group. The acronym, as well as its full form, Adorable Representative M.C. for Youth, both, have a military tone.
Kindness begets kindness
ARMY has been nothing but kind & reciprocating of the band’s love. Earlier this year, BTS revealed that they’re donating to the Black Lives Matter Movement – a whopping $1 million donation – for charities working for racial justice. The ARMY was quick to show their support.
Within a day, ARMY had matched that donation by pitching in more than $1 million, showing the power they have if they put their mind to something. They used the hashtags #MatchAMillion & #MatchTheMillion to push the fundraiser. The main agent in the process was One in an Army, a charity program which happens to be a BTS fanbase subset.
A spokesperson was quoted in a press release regarding the unprecedented nature of the gesture, “We’ve run big projects before, but the amount of support for this project is overwhelming. We’re so proud that ARMY have once again channeled their power for good and are making a real impact in the fight against anti-black racism.”