Looking back, why did EXO's peak failed to match BTS'?

  • Looking back a couple years, It seems like EXO's dominance is unparalleled. Then BTS came in (in my view, all of a sudden) matched EXO's dominance... then I blinked and BTS soared even higher leaving them to the dust.


    At some point, it seems like EXO started to fall off (in comparison to BTS). Im curious why did this happen?

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  • Western validation happened. Kdiamonds no doubt is the backbone for BTS, but western armys carried so hard. Because of a lil paper award, BTS became a household name. The media took noticed and history was made.

  • Anyway stream exo’s impeccable discography


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  • This is just my opinion in a very cut throat industry... First, I LOVE EXO and support all of them, so please try to understand.


    1. Timing. EXO's members are (in general) older than BTS. So, the guys had to start military service right when Kpop was becoming a global phenomenon.


    2. Promotions and marketing. Just keep supporting and boosting your love for any groups!!

  • Bts tapped into a previously untouched(to the extent that a group could be considered successful there) market. They had a lot more room to grow as a result. While exo's main foreign market, China, was cut off to Kpop. The American market is the number 1 market in the world and in the first few years bts had a barely contested monopoly on all the Kpop fans that could be gained from the market and those in the West in general that America was the key to as the globalization superpower of the world.


    Of course the Western market was also harder to tap into so they had a harder uphill climb, especially as a group from a small company. The market was harder to crack but the rewards they reaped once they did was bigger than anything Kpop had ever seen.

  • exo never had the mass appeal needed to dominate the way bts does to put it plainly. exo was the mirror image of stereotypical kpop practices with the large amount of members and the concepts and music they put out back then. they appealed to a specific group of potential fans that kpop companies target each generation. but bts simply has things that appealed to people outside of that group of potential kpop stans, hence why there are so many bts only stans these days. bts being genuine in their message and music and passionate individuals set them way ahead of the crowd since day one

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  • They have different target demographic. Exo exhausted their demographic, and THADD happened, cutting it down even further. In contrast, BTS open the door to the New World and had the first arrival advantage. The new territory bts opened to has a bigger pool of people. Bts being first was able to take the monopoly hence bts peak look bigger.


    TLDR: there just simply more people for bts to win over and they did.

  • exo never had the mass appeal needed to dominate the way bts does to put it plainly. exo was the mirror image of stereotypical kpop practices with the large amount of members and the concepts and music they put out back then. they appealed to a specific group of potential fans that kpop companies target each generation. but bts simply has things that appealed to people outside of that group of potential kpop stans, hence why there are so many bts only stans these days. bts being genuine in their message and music and passionate individuals set them way ahead of the crowd since day one

    Bullshit. Complete Bullshit.

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  • Ok ok flop like exo. We get it. Now everyone do yourselves a favor and listen to Baby You Are


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    They’re second to no one is music quality of that I’m certain at least. :siptear:

  • There’s so many reasons they didn’t succeed like BTS did but to name one,,,


    BTS had the perfect mix of fantasy and relatability with their image and music. EXO had an image only a kpop stan would appreciate.

  • They have different target demographic. Exo exhausted their demographic, and THADD happened, cutting it down even further. In contrast, BTS open the door to the New World and had the first arrival advantage. The new territory bts opened to has a bigger pool of people. Bts being first was able to take the monopoly hence bts peak look bigger.


    TLDR: there just simply more people for bts to win over and they did.

    This.

    Is he.....you know?

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  • good advice

  • For me, BTS is relatable and their music is very appealing to wider audience. Big Hit did an amazing job for promoting BTS when they had the momentum. K-Armys and Western Armys also did a fantastic job. BTS Love Yourself campaign is one of the reasons why people are so into BTS, the message is very relatable and inspiring the youth.


    It's the combination smart marketing, hardworking artist, hardworking fandom, using the right momentum, great concept, inspiring messages, and great song that make BTS really huge.


    On the other side, i found it hard to stan EXO because i saw them as another Super Junior. Not really authentic to me

  • i agree with most of the reasons given here (the music, relateable, their messages, themselves,..), but i think there's one more. The fans bts attracted were/are so passionate.


    Personally i wasn't in the fandom yet, but western army worked their butts off ("desperately") to show bts' music & potential in the earlier years (asking radio's to play them, asking retailers to put bts' albums in Walmart/target/.., vote like crazy for BBMA,..). In the end, their work paid off & a lot of GP turned into army over the years.

  • I just know the same ppl with

    I have to disagree with you. Exo is a typical kpop boy group that is replaceable because they are the definition of every Kpop stereotype. That's why they are under SM.


    BTS is a once in a lifetime group. Bighit (or any other company) will never be able to duplicate them.

    Ehh that’s the same way I feel about BTS. For me BTS has never been anything more than big bang/BAP 2.0 and in a playlist if BTS stray kids even nct on occasion and some of these other boy groups play back to back for the life of me I cannot tell the difference.


    It all depends on what appeals to you.

  • I just know the same ppl with

    Ehh that’s the same way I feel about BTS. For me BTS has never been anything more than big bang 2.0 and in a playlist if BTS stray kids and some of these boy groups play back to back for the life of me I cannot tell the difference.


    It all depends on what appeals to you.

    in which world is bts's music even slightly similiar to that off stray kids and bigbang

  • in which world is bts's music even slightly similiar to that off tray kids and bigbang

    In all the ways that matter. What can I say not even kidding I was doing a TikTok challenge where you have to guess who the artists are and all these different 3/4th gen BGs played back to back and I could NOT tell the difference. It’s all some rapping and auto tune I can’t tell one from the other.



    I know this appeals to some people and ofc you’re entitled to it. But it’s not a universal experience.

  • That BTS vs EXO is truly the most overrated rivalry in the Kpop industry.

    They were just a half year rivals (late 2016 till early 2017).

    Since DNA there is no reason to compare them in any way.

  • Actually both have nothing to do with each other in term of growth, In sales and stats Perspective, BTS actually keep rising since their red bullet tour, both international and korean fandom keep growing and becoming louder, while exo was still peaking, BTS grow twice as their previous one each comeback, each releases they keep enlarging their fandom, kpop industry, kpop stans were just not paying attention to this, too busy to downplay them, in digital achievements, physical sales, tour etc, but actually they climb, little by little, coming for everyone's record that kpop stans use to underestimate them, that's why when BTS blew up with Wings and start winning daesang, having crazy longevity on korean+international charts, ever starting and setting many never seen before-records, y'all actually never ready for that.

    BTS simply grow better, for many good reasons too.

  • In all the ways that matter. What can I say not even kidding I was doing a TikTok challenge where you have to guess who the artists are and all these different 3/4th gen BGs played back to back and I could NOT tell the difference. It’s all some rapping and auto tune I can’t tell one from the other.



    I know this appeals to some people and ofc you’re entitled to it. But it’s not a universal experience.

    True Spring Day and Bang Bang Bang sound like one track, am I right? :/

  • To be fair, spring day sounds like Big bang old songs.

    Bangx3 is not the only type of songs Big bang have. You are obviously comparing the two extremes of songs by each group. Spring day is more comparable to Blue, Love Song

    First of all, not even these sound familiar at all. They are both slow and that’s it. BTS has never sounded like Big Bang at all


    Also it was an obvious joke, dude

  • I agree with most of these replies, but one of the reason maybe BTS can attract people outside of Kpop fans to become their hardcore fans


    Or maybe Exo just similar to their senior?

    I've been a kpop fans like 10+ years, I can be called as SM and YG stan, since I listen to Suju, SNSD, 2Ne1, BB, and BoA a lot back then, but I didn't have any interest with exo .. I watch their mv first thing came to my mind is "SuJu wannabe", and I don't even know they are from same company, I tried listen to their song,but I can't find any unique in them. So i just leave a whole kpop behind .. until BTS happen.

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  • exo has always been for me just another successful "PROJECT" - PRODUCED by a mega company. without any real identity and philosophy behind it. without any artistic involvement or interest. EXO as a group was uninteresting.


    they were always a group who were together only for business.

    their entire existence was well planned and directed by SM.

  • I just know the same ppl with

    Ehh that’s the same way I feel about BTS. For me BTS has never been anything more than big bang/BAP 2.0 and in a playlist if BTS stray kids even nct on occasion and some of these other boy groups play back to back for the life of me I cannot tell the difference.


    It all depends on what appeals to you.

    baby this just sounds bitter af. its a fact that exo was a stereotypical kpop bg and that bts is not completely. if bts was a big bang or bap 2.0, big bang or bap would have blown up to this degree before them. but newsflash, they couldn't. bc bts just has smtg that sets them apart. don't be so bitter that you cant admit the truth. its not cute.

    i just want to love myself

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  • True Spring Day and Bang Bang Bang sound like one track, am I right? :/

    Hmmm. Probably not those two songs. But most of the other songs esp whatever bside was on that challenge. I mean I don’t know what you want me to say lol I just wanted to say “sounding like everyone else/basic” is a personal experience. What you feel for exo and rest of kpop is what I feel for BTS and the rest of kpop.

  • baby this just sounds bitter af. its a fact that exo was a stereotypical kpop bg and that bts is not completely. if bts was a big bang or bap 2.0, big bang or bap would have blown up to this degree before them. but newsflash, they couldn't. bc bts just has smtg that sets them apart. don't be so bitter that you cant admit the truth. its not cute.

    Hmmm not really. In fact pop music is often popular because it sounds the same. Isn’t that what top 40 is all about. Becoming popular doesn’t mean you’re unique and never has been.


    You are saying exo sounds the same like an absolute fact while trying to say I can’t say that it’s BTS and their rap/auto tune sound that sounds the same to which I have nothing to say. You saying ‘no’ won’t change my personal experience.

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