But Why Can't BTS Get Radioplay Or Playlisting?

  • Genuine question from someone who barely (and I mean barely) understands how this stuff works, can't properly stream to save my life and generally not a numbers girl. Maybe somebody could clear up any misunderstandings or misconceptions I might have?


    BTS is signed to an American label, Hybe owns it has partnerships with several music companies here, Butter and Dynamite had radioplay and NewJeans apparently had a ton of playlisting.


    So what's keeping BTS from the same promotions a lot of other top artists have? What exactly is blocking BTS?

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  • BTS is not signed under any US label, they only have a distribution deal with UMG. This is basically why the industry is blacklisting them, because they can't capitalize over BTS' success and make money off of them.

    With both 'Dynamite' and 'Butter' the promo situation was different because the songs were produced by some big names from Columbia (the label BTS had a distribution deal prior to signing with UMG) and it was in their best interest to promote the songs.

  • I'm as clueless as you.


    And until now I still don't exactly fully understand what playlisting or payola is and what is illegal and what is not


    Google gives me different answers

    We need an updated "Idiots Guide to Kpop Stanning: Charts Edition" :pepecute:

    I just know if I was on Blink Twitter id get cussed tf out for how I listen to music :pepe-cross:

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  • They had a deal with Columbia records when Dyna butter ptd happened , now they are under umg

    Radio djs refuse to play BTS /BTS solo songs even when armys request on air because american radios are used to taking dollars for playing songs

    Uk doesn't have the same concept so jimin's like crazy is getting radioplay there with no label push

    BTS playlisting is decent, BTS member's solo playlisting is not good

    Spotify is also changing and becoming more deal based so we have this new playlisting deal going on which is making the songs which are part of the deal rise and get better playlisting

    It's speculated that newjeans had this deal going on, some one on akp was saying Miley cyrus flowers also rose because of this dea


    We don't really know what this Spotify playlisting deal means and who is eligible for it and at what cost the playlisting is happening so it's difficult to comment on why big artists may or may it be opting into this playlisting

  • Should korean songs be getting playlisting? ask yourself that. If there is a playlist for a certain mood, would anyone want to listen to korean song when they don't understand lyrics? This is how it is with kpop playlisting.


    So, it's interesting that the language barrier is the biggest obstacle bts/kpop have to go toe to toe with western artists and present in all of complaints. There is a growing disdain from fans that newjeans/any kpop group can get the same playlisting as bts if they have enough popularity. The bts solos are unable to get same playlisting because they are unproven and didn't do that well. But what i'm seeing now is Jimin is getting everything newjeans got.


    Bts has the highest playlist reach for a kpop group partly due to their english songs. Only when compared to other western artists, they look like they get very less for the streams they get from fans. They have only 3-4 kidzbop songs which are all very similar that are worth getting playlisted. They can't be at the level of western artists with that. Even spanish artists get more playlisting because there is lot of audience for that


    So basically, radio and playlisting is shit for every kpop group not just bts compared to others. It doesn't sit right for fans because "bts is bigger than kpop" for them.


    do you think bts deserve more radio and playlisting because they get more/similar number of streams from devoted fans?


    BTS | Spotify Analytics | Songstats

  • BTS has the largest fandom in the US out of all kpop groups and yet kpop fans really think BTS cheated their way to the top. First of all it has never been BTS/ BH/HYBE that “ cheated” but the fans. So stop accusing BTS of cheating when you all can’t even make that logical distinction. This begs the question on how NJ got on TTH ( or whatever it’s called) when they have zero presence in the US while members of a group that has a huge U.S. fandom doesn’t even get put on it even with a #1 hit. The answer is obvious. Just like for any other kpop group to get high profile playlisting would point to something shady going on, especially for Korean songs like NJ. As for the question of why BTS gets no payola for radio or streams. It’s because HYBE refuses to pay for it, support it, and/ or they expect ARMY to do all the heavy lifting just like always. HYBE doesn’t deserve BTS.

  • Easy and this is not just about BTS.


    Kpop competes with American artists. The American music industry doesn't want that on their home turf.

    So, radio counts heavily for charts and they play as little as they can.


    Same goes for Jisoo who does well globally, but is frozen out in the USA.


    The sooner we all realize that this is how they play and we stop fan warring amongst ourselves (=Kpop fans) about it, the better.

  • Should korean songs be getting playlisting? ask yourself that. If there is a playlist for a certain mood, would anyone want to listen to korean song when they don't understand lyrics? This is how it is with kpop playlisting.



    Should American songs be getting heavy radio outside the English-speaking world? Ask yourself that.


    And don't tell me they're organically popular abroad, because there have been literal decades of the American music industry pushing their artists abroad and that includes countries where few people spoke/speak enough English to understand the lyrics.


    Also, it's not like they're giving English music by Kpop groups a lot of radio either in the USA, but do give it to American newcomers that nobody heard of before and they call them organically popular because they get a lot of radio play. Instead of the other way around, where radio supposedly follows trends.


    If Kpop is top 3 globally, then Korean doesn't need to be an obstacle, because most people outside the USA don't speak Korean either.

  • I made a detailed post last night documenting BTS's radio since 2017. They have indeed had songs that received a large share of airplay and somehow this has been written out of history by fans. It's crazy how people have forgotten this/never documented it. I think a lot of the radio-educated ARMYs left the fandom post-Dyna/Butter because the discourse on Twitter got too toxic. So now we have people who were never there, or weren't paying attention, telling the story of BTS & radio, in some cases erasing the successes BTS *has* had there. People literally no longer know what going for adds or impact dates means...when I first encountered ARMY, I was impressed how knowledgable they were on these topics, sigh.


    Anyway.


    Those same songs that did well at radio also did well with playlisting. It really comes down to whether BH or Columbia was piloting the release.


    We're in the dungeon era now with Geffen, who probably were hired for extremely limited catalog services and basic global distro at best for BTS for the next few years.

  • Have they ever spoken up about it?

    Not directly! Fans use three specific quotes/moments from 2017-2019 that they decided were about 'payola' even though they're cryptic and were each generally understood to be about something else at the time they happened.


    People are overly confident they know BTS's attitudes on this, but we have nothing solid to go on. Plus, it's the label's job at the end of the day. And BTS =/= their label. (Worth repeating.)


    I look forward to the tell-all in 10 years. Then we may know some of these convos behind closed doors!

  • Changes were made in 2020. Yeah, it wasn't always like this. There's too much blocking now for kpop.

  • I was there and I remember how even Dynamite didn't get nearly the airplay the big American artists got in the beginning and even after it had hit Hot 100 number 1.


    From your post:


    Massive radio campaign (buses sent to DJ homes!), huge first week adds and airplay. Eventually peaks #5 Pop in December 2020 -- months later. Also peaked with 70m airplay, hitting Top 10 of all format ranking.


    A massive radio campaign means nothing when Deejays still don't play it, or much less than American artists. Even you say it yourself: they only got to #5 Pop (so not overall?) and that after months and being on the Hot 100 Number 1 for months. That is what it took.


    So, don't give me that BTS got huge radio even for their biggest and English hits and it was all fair. It was just a long time after they really couldn't ignore it anymore and even then it wasn't top 3 on Pop.

  • #5 at Pop is a really great achievement for any artist? And also it was Top 10 for ALL formats, I think #9 with 70m+ audience at its peak. That's a very high number for any artist and for that year.


    I don't disagree BTS overall should be played more, of course. But a lot of progress was made -- until the UMG switch/hiatus announcement. Sadly, I think most fans now think they literally have not received airplay at all, which is nuts. I saw people suggesting NewJeans gets more airplay than BTS ever has which is just hilarious...


    I just wish people could speak factually while also acknowledging it IS an UPHILL battle.

  • #5 at Pop is a really great achievement for any artist? And also it was Top 10 for ALL formats, I think #9 with 70m+ audience at its peak. That's a very high number for any artist and for that year.


    I don't disagree BTS overall should be played more, of course. But a lot of progress was made -- until the UMG switch/hiatus announcement. Sadly, I think most fans now think they literally have not received airplay at all, which is nuts. I saw people suggesting NewJeans gets more airplay than BTS ever has which is just hilarious...


    I just wish people could speak factually while also acknowledging it IS an UPHILL battle.

    That is a very different story than getting huge radio from the start, which even some American unknowns get very quickly. It was an English song that did very well globally and was on Hot 100 for months at the point it even got to that.


    So, no, they don't give fair opportunities to Kpop in the USA and that is a clear fact.


    I never said anything about NewJeans. I hope they'll get better opportunties than BTS did on radio, but I doubt it because they are again competing with Americans and will be fighting the uphill battle you mentioned.

  • #5 at Pop is a really great achievement for any artist? And also it was Top 10 for ALL formats, I think #9 with 70m+ audience at its peak. That's a very high number for any artist and for that year.


    I don't disagree BTS overall should be played more, of course. But a lot of progress was made -- until the UMG switch/hiatus announcement. Sadly, I think most fans now think they literally have not received airplay at all, which is nuts. I saw people suggesting NewJeans gets more airplay than BTS ever has which is just hilarious...


    I just wish people could speak factually while also acknowledging it IS an UPHILL battle.

    You are looking through the lens of a kpop fan. So yes BTS got More playlisting and radio plays (except BP) than any other kpop artist. You are conveniently missing the part where BTS has 6 #1 hits and Dynamite broke the record for the longest song on hot 100 while Butter was #1 for 10 weeks. Compare BTS to other groups who had the same accomplishments and then compare their radio plays and playlisting. That is the fair comparison. Then you will know and see the discrepancy and realize that BTS got and continue to get significantly less and what’s the reason for that? Hopefully you see what ARMY is talking about or your biased lens continues to blind you to the truth.


    As for NJ, organically they never should have bern put on TTH. Especially with Korean songs. Explain that because your argument against BTS is more accurately applied to NJ. Where is their #1 hit on the hot 100? Or even their US fanbase? NJ is known in Asia not the west/ US. They are getting more streams than they deserve by getting put on high profile playlists.

  • BTS is not signed under any US label, they only have a distribution deal with UMG. This is basically why the industry is blacklisting them, because they can't capitalize over BTS' success and make money off of them.

    With both 'Dynamite' and 'Butter' the promo situation was different because the songs were produced by some big names from Columbia (the label BTS had a distribution deal prior to signing with UMG) and it was in their best interest to promote the songs.

    Yes, and even then radio wasn't overwhelming like it was with some American artists.

    Even some American artists who just started out.


    And they do the same with other Kpop groups.

    There are fans of other groups who tried to get radio to play their songs by requesting on special request hours, but were basically just ignored.

  • Yes, and even then radio wasn't overwhelming like it was with some American artists.

    Even some American artists who just started out.


    And they do the same with other Kpop groups.

    There are fans of other groups who tried to get radio to play their songs by requesting on special request hours, but were basically just ignored.

    I also think language plays a big role here. Of all the times I've visited the USA never once have I heard a Korean song played on an American radio station 🤡. I think the census of a nation can answer that. You have a nation where it's national language is English in which 99% of its population speak it primarily and its secondary language is Spanish and the second largest population of it's people is Hispanic in origin. So it makes perfect sense to me when i heard music in America on the radio that it was either English or Spanish. We Koreans in America make up less than 1 percent of 1 percent of the population, so it comes at no surprise that kpop has no radio play. Kpop fans bulk buying etc overinflates kpop popularity they can make 100k fans look like 10million when the reality is much smaller. Which is likely why they won't radio play for you when you are a tiny drop in the oceanof that country's population

  • BTS is not signed under any US label, they only have a distribution deal with UMG. This is basically why the industry is blacklisting them, because they can't capitalize over BTS' success and make money off of them.

    With both 'Dynamite' and 'Butter' the promo situation was different because the songs were produced by some big names from Columbia (the label BTS had a distribution deal prior to signing with UMG) and it was in their best interest to promote the songs.

    It's funny seeing all the conspiracy theories when it's really just as simple as this

  • I also think language plays a big role here. Of all the times I've visited the USA never once have I heard a Korean song played on an American radio station 🤡. I think the census of a nation can answer that. You have a nation where it's national language is English in which 99% of its population speak it primarily and its secondary language is Spanish and the second largest population of it's people is Hispanic in origin. So it makes perfect sense to me when i heard music in America on the radio that it was either English or Spanish. We Koreans in America make up less than 1 percent of 1 percent of the population, so it comes at no surprise that kpop has no radio play. Kpop fans bulk buying etc overinflates kpop popularity they can make 100k fans look like 10million when the reality is much smaller. Which is likely why they won't radio play for you when you are a tiny drop in the oceanof that country's population

    Despite english being commonly used, US doesn't have an official language.

    I don't think the language is the problem, Gangnam Style was massively played back in the days. If you ever wonder why radio-play weighs in so heavily in charts is simply because it's the only 'platform' the customers cannot directly control. There's this common misconception that high radio play = popularity. As a listener you cannot control that, you are being forced to listen to a song as many times as they want to play it which creates the illusion of demand and popularity.

    There's definitely a decent demand for kpop, but unless you have the support of a label or play by their rules, it ain't really going to happen.

  • easy

    because hybe refuses to do anything that would help bts' carreer. (since they can't continu their downplaying act otherwise) Both radio & playlisting demand the label to do some behind-the-scenes deals, but spending effort or money on bts/members' solo is the last thing hybe is planning to do. e.g. Like Crazy is one of the most succesful ksolos, doing immense numbers everywhere, yet hybe couldn't be bothered to give it radio or playlisting (they added it only after the fandom was being loud)


    a good comparison is how Like crazy is doing in the UK where no "shady" deals are needed to be made for a popular song to be played

  • Have answered this in depth many times. Please go through my history.


    Short answer: they have before and to an impressive degree. It depends who is steering their release. It's very obvious 2022 onward, HYBE is not investing in radio or streaming for BTS members and are focusing on direct revenue from sales.

  • easy

    because hybe refuses to do anything that would help bts' carreer. (since they can't continu their downplaying act otherwise) Both radio & playlisting demand the label to do some behind-the-scenes deals, but spending effort or money on bts/members' solo is the last thing hybe is planning to do. e.g. Like Crazy is one of the most succesful ksolos, doing immense numbers everywhere, yet hybe couldn't be bothered to give it radio or playlisting (they added it only after the fandom was being loud)


    a good comparison is how Like crazy is doing in the UK where no "shady" deals are needed to be made for a popular song to be played

    Nailed it



    Also HYBE is banking on fandom to pay the bills forever. The Bang interview in Billboard made it very transparent the goal is to milk as much as possible out of an individual consumer vs actually invest in audience outreach. He seemed entirely dismissive of evolving strategy to really take streaming seriously.

  • Nailed it



    Also HYBE is banking on fandom to pay the bills forever. The Bang interview in Billboard made it very transparent the goal is to milk as much as possible out of an individual consumer vs actually invest in audience outreach. He seemed entirely dismissive of evolving strategy to really take streaming seriously.

    it's crazy how much money can change people (or rather; it shows someones true colors)


    bang pd really went from "the goal is real music to touch the fans, artist & music for healing blabla" to "my focus is how can i milk my artist & their fans - regardless of it being smart or right". in the end, hybe can amass billions quickly & keep buying other companies, but mentally they will stay a small or medium sized company.

  • it's crazy how much money can change people (or rather; it shows someones true colors)


    bang pd really went from "the goal is real music to touch the fans, artist & music for healing blabla" to "my focus is how can i milk my artist & their fans - regardless of it being smart or right". in the end, hybe can amass billions quickly & keep buying other companies, but mentally they will stay a small or medium sized company.

    🤡🤡🤡😂😂😂 This is what all agencies do. Lol what made you think they would be any different? Same with that radio play bs hybe knows it costs money etc, why take a chance when loyal kpop fans will pay anything for their oppa? Fans complain but take the bait all the time. Artist popularity by fan driven sajaegi? Easy whip up cult mentality and cult level sports competitiveness and boom fans are fighting over charts and bs numbers like they are stock market brokers and streaming and bulk buying hundreds of albums etc either for OMG my fave must be number 1 buy 20 albums and every bit of Merch they looked at. Oh my fave has a thousand postcards? Bruh buy em all like it's fukin pokemon deck. Now y'all want to cry about him milking fans?🤡😂 Really? You literally played yourself, can't blame them when fall for the trap 24/7 despite knowing it. So they know fans can give out more revenue than anything else so why risk other ventures if you are always going to fork over 90% of your annual salary to them ?

  • I also think language plays a big role here. Of all the times I've visited the USA never once have I heard a Korean song played on an American radio station 🤡. I think the census of a nation can answer that. You have a nation where it's national language is English in which 99% of its population speak it primarily and its secondary language is Spanish and the second largest population of it's people is Hispanic in origin. So it makes perfect sense to me when i heard music in America on the radio that it was either English or Spanish. We Koreans in America make up less than 1 percent of 1 percent of the population, so it comes at no surprise that kpop has no radio play. Kpop fans bulk buying etc overinflates kpop popularity they can make 100k fans look like 10million when the reality is much smaller. Which is likely why they won't radio play for you when you are a tiny drop in the oceanof that country's population

    They do the same with English songs or English versions.

    English music has been played abroad for decades, including countries where almost nobody speaks/spoke English.


    It is much harder for Kpop as they barely get any radio and thereby both the charting push radio gives and getting casual listeners familiar with the songs.

    In spite of this, BTS can sell out stadiums 4 times within very short time. That is saying something about BTS and Kpop in general.


    Many Kpop groups have at least a bit of a hardcore fanbase in the US. Some have more than that.

    Contrast that with some new American artists who have none of that yet but get played all over the radio before anyone ever had a chance to determine that they are trendy. So then radio makes them trendy instead of radio playing what's trendy. This is also visible in concert ticket buying, where 'hot' new artists can barely send any tickets.

    I doubt many people care if exactly that artist is playing or another artist or perhaps a 1980s song.


    For anyone thinking I am talking I am talking about all American artists, I am not. Since there are a few that can sell out stadiums.

  • English music has been played abroad for decades, including countries where almost nobody speaks/spoke English

    Difference here in English is the most popular trade language period it's used for flights, aircraft navigation,ship navigation, computer language coding and finance. THAT'S why it's played everywhere when Korean ends up being the language everyone uses for money then you could say that 😂

  • Anyone can get playlisting if they pay for it, I think hybe doesn't want to pay for it. They've said it in the past as well that armys are the biggest promoters, they do all the work for them even the translations. And then signing with Geffen was one fo the worst decisions ever, it only benefitted hybe and their other artists more than bts itself.

  • Difference here in English is the most popular trade language period it's used for flights, aircraft navigation,ship navigation, computer language coding and finance. THAT'S why it's played everywhere when Korean ends up being the language everyone uses for money then you could say that 😂

    Yes, there is always an excuse, even when I mentioned countries where almost nobody spoke/speaks English. No average person was going to care that a few pilots or tradespeople spoke a language if they hear something on the radio.


    Perhaps it actually has something to do with the US being generally more prejudiced against hearing other languages than many other countries are. Or perhaps money changed hands to get American music to be played on radios abroad.


    In my personal opinion, I find it rather rich that a country that has pushed their music so much around the world, seems to have such big issues with even a tiny, minuscule fraction of that in competition coming from Korea or any other non-English speaking countries.

    Yes, the very occasional fad song might be tolerated, but that is about it.

    It makes me question why we should always be as unquestioningly welcoming to American music in return.


    Other people I know had similar ideas and we are now no longer letting the American music industry dictate what we should listen to. Instead, it's much more fun to look for music from other countries, which includes but is not just South Korea. Through this, we've discovered a lot of good music that we would never have found if we just listened to whatever Spotify puts on their playlists again.

  • 🤡🤡🤡😂😂😂 This is what all agencies do. Lol what made you think they would be any different? Same with that radio play bs hybe knows it costs money etc, why take a chance when loyal kpop fans will pay anything for their oppa? Fans complain but take the bait all the time. Artist popularity by fan driven sajaegi? Easy whip up cult mentality and cult level sports competitiveness and boom fans are fighting over charts and bs numbers like they are stock market brokers and streaming and bulk buying hundreds of albums etc either for OMG my fave must be number 1 buy 20 albums and every bit of Merch they looked at. Oh my fave has a thousand postcards? Bruh buy em all like it's fukin pokemon deck. Now y'all want to cry about him milking fans?🤡😂 Really? You literally played yourself, can't blame them when fall for the trap 24/7 despite knowing it. So they know fans can give out more revenue than anything else so why risk other ventures if you are always going to fork over 90% of your annual salary to them ?

    lol, why so pressed? i can point out how much hybe/bang are starting to focus on useless/weird stuff (like that copying voices stuff)...


    my comment is how bang pd has lost his sense of suave business mentality... sure, milking fans is how the industry works, but most ACTUAL big companies would be smarter about handling an act of bts' level. if handled better, hybe could probably double or triple bts' potential & revenue, but they have lost the plot to such an extend that it's a lost cause... they are only thinking short term, how to make a quick buck - no matter if it hurts them in the long term.

  • lol, why so pressed? i can point out how much hybe/bang are starting to focus on useless/weird stuff (like that copying voices stuff)...


    my comment is how bang pd has lost his sense of suave business mentality... sure, milking fans is how the industry works, but most ACTUAL big companies would be smarter about handling an act of bts' level. if handled better, hybe could probably double or triple bts' potential & revenue, but they have lost the plot to such an extend that it's a lost cause... they are only thinking short term, how to make a quick buck - no matter if it hurts them in the long term.

    This is unfortunately common. All companies fall for the quick buck route because it pleases shareholders

  • I'm so not the target for bangpd then...


    I buy the albums (ONE VERSION) because I like the music, couldn't care less about photocards. I wish their songs could be played in our radios so that more people in my country could know about them but there's no playlisting unless it's My Universe.


    I don't care about streams or charts, because being number 1 doesn't mean anything anymore because that's just obsessed fans pushing for it and not having the gp interested on it (not organic). In my country their albums would be number 1 in sales for a while not because they're super popular, but because no one in this country can afford to buy albums anymore. So when armys buy you get that perception.


    I don't want merch (can't even get that here) or anything, I really just wanted what all the regular artists do - a concert. Not too much to ask.


    But only easy cash matters now... streams and merch. And yes, many people are guilty because they support that.

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