Entertainment

How boy band BTS went from South Korean idols to international superstars

VIDEO12:0512:05
How K-pop band BTS generates billions of dollars for South Korea
Key Points
  • BTS has sold millions of albums and is one of the most-watched artists on YouTube.
  • Their "Love Yourself: Speak Yourself" tour has reportedly had more than $100 million in total ticket sales.
  • It's estimated that BTS is worth about $3.6 billion per year to the economy of South Korea and more than $1 billion in consumer exports.

Meet BTS, a seven-member South Korean boy band from Seoul.

The band has sold millions of albums and is one of the most-watched artists on YouTube. Not to mention their stadium shows around the globe have quickly sold out.

BTS is comprised of RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V and Jungkook, skilled dancers, singers and rappers, who were brought together through a series of auditions in 2011 and 2012. They debuted in 2013 and are signed to South Korean entertainment company Big Hit Entertainment.

While the group skyrocketed to popularity in 2017 in the U.S. after performing at the American Music Awards, BTS really is a global sensation.

The band's most recent album "Map of the Soul: Persona" had more than 3 million preorders internationally and, upon release, went to No. 1 on iTunes album charts in 89 countries.

BTS has had three albums hit the No. 1 spot in America in less than a year, the first group to achieve this since the Beatles did in 1964, 1965 and 1966.

Although, BTS, like most music artists, makes the bulk of their money from touring. Their "Love Yourself: Speak Yourself" tour has reportedly had more than $100 million in total ticket sales, averaging about $4.5 million per show.

It's estimated that BTS is worth about $3.6 billion per year to the economy of South Korea and more than $1 billion in consumer exports, according to the Hyundai Research Institute, citing factors like tourism and merchandise sales. Should BTS maintain their popularity, they could generate $37 billion in economic value for South Korea over the next 10 years.