BTS: Success and Risk with Fans and Influencers on Social Media
Korean pop music (K-pop), once limited to an Asian market, broke its cultural boundaries and became global in 2012 when Psy's song-and-dance video "Gangnam Style" went viral around the world. The subsequent global success of the Korean idol boy band BTS confirmed that K-pop had a place in an international music market. With international performances and major US awards since its debut in 2013, BTS was carefully analyzed by those who wanted to identify the reasons for its success. Factors such as the band's active use of social media and quality transgenerational content were commonly identified, but media reports pointed mainly to the influence of the band's fan group, or ARMY, and its social media influencers, known as hommas, as reasons for BTS's success. Big Hit Entertainment (Big Hit), BTS's talent agency, needed to sustain the band's unprecedented success. What should Big Hit consider in developing a sustainable competitive advantage in a global music market increasingly taking advantage of new media? Daegon Cho is affiliated with Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology. Sunghan Ryu is affiliated with Shanghai Jiao Tong University.