According to 2021 (January to July) artist survey announced by the global music consulting group Reel’s Corporation, BTS took the overwhelming first place in the K-pop genre with 1.42 million points.
This score is calculated based on the same counting standards as the Billboard Chart, one of the world’s most trusted music charts. It should be noted that the total score of K-pop artists is 3,248,492 points, and BTS holds 44.01% of the whole K-pop genre in the United States. In particular, considering that the scores were compiled in early July, it is expected that the scores of ‘Butter’ and ‘Permission to Dance’ will be added later to occupy a greater proportion.
BLACKPINK came in second place with 250,000 points (excluding individual performance), and despite not making a comeback as a group in 2021, they are maintaining excellent results. Next, TWICE, Tomorrow X Together, Stray Kids, N Hyphen, NCT 127, ATEEZ, Seventeen, and Itzy took third to tenth places, respectively.
What we should pay attention to is the actions of groups that debuted less than a year ago. SM Entertainment’s ‘ESPA’ reached 25th, Hi-Up Entertainment’s ‘StayC’ ranked 26th, and YG Entertainment’s ‘Treasure’ called 29th, making it the 30th or higher ‘Hot Rookie.’
In the entertainment ranking for the top (30th and above), SM Entertainment took first place with a total of 8 teams (NCT 127, EXO, Red Velvet, SHINee, NCT DREAM, NCT U, Aespa, Super Junior) and JYP Entertainment with a total of 4 teams. 2nd place (TWICE, Stray Kids, Itzy, Day6), Hive-Big Hit (BTS, Tomorrow x Together, N Hyphen), and YG Entertainment (Blackpink, Treasure, iKON) achieved joint third place.
Next, RBW and Cube Entertainment achieved joint 4th place with two teams each, followed by Starship, KQ, Pledis, Blockberry Creative, Dreamcatcher Company, Yuehua, J Planet Hi-Up Entertainment with one team each. Fourteen companies produced top 30 artists.
The distributor has entered the form of a three-way structure of ‘Dreams (Dreams),’ ‘YG PLUS (YG Plus),’ and ‘KAKAO Entertainment (Kakao Entertainment).’ Dreams distribute music for top artists by 12 teams, YG Plus distributes seven sections, and Kakao Entertainment distributes six teams.
In particular, YG Plus is in charge of distributing three teams of BIG4 artists (BTS, Black Pink, Twice, Tomorrow X Together), which occupy about 60% of the market share. YG and the Hive-Big Hit alliance occupy more than 50% of the total market leadership in the United States. However, the actual distribution of BTS in the US is led by Columbia Records, so that the solid distribution structure will be different.
Considering that the entire K-pop genre is growing at a rate of 15% YoY in the US market, K-pop’s position in the US market is rapidly increasing. However, the consulting group downgraded the genre safety level from BB to BC.
In response, Reel’s Corporation said, “The dependence on a specific artist is too high, and in this case, the safety of musical genres in the US market cannot be guaranteed. Unlike J-pop in the 1980s and 1990s, for K-pop to settle into the mainstream, the size of BTS must be the average value of the top 20 domestic artists. Asian music is always challenging the American market, and a newborn baby has just moved on.”
In fact, according to a report by a consulting firm released last year, K-pop is a market that accounts for about 31% of the classical/jazz genre and is classified as ‘indie’ in the US genre classification.