South Korean act BTS is the harbinger of the revolutionary cultural change in the global music industry and they have the numbers to prove it.
The wildly popular septet has just surpassed 21 billion streams on Spotify, a singular feat no other group or Asian act has achieved since the platform’s inception.
The streams amassed by RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V, and Jungkook, who have also set a slew of records on their own, are among the most convincing testaments that K-pop is not just a fleeting viral sensation but a massive phenomenon that will be conquering the world for the years to come.
While the lucrative industry had been steadily rising in the last decade or so, no other South Korean act has shattered the Asian pop glass ceiling in the West the way the seven-piece has.
To date, no other artist from the region has come close to the figures churned out by the Bangtan boys.
In fact, the tally of BTS still outpaces the combined sum of the nine next most listened to idol groups on Spotify by a 10-digit margin.
Currently, there is a 15 billion gap between the band and BLACKPINK, the next K-pop leader.
As of this writing, the female quartet has drawn 5.9 billion streams. TWICE follows with 3.2 billion, EXO with 2.3 billion, Stray Kids with 1.8 billion, Red Velvet with 1.7 billion, SEVENTEEN with 1.6 billion, NCT 127 with 1.24 million, TOMORROW x TOGETHER with 1.1 billion and BIGBANG with 1.1 billion.
Moreover, the top three most played songs on the music sharing giant by a South Korean artist are all owned by BTS.
“Dynamite,” the only track performed by a South Korean to reach the 10 digit mark leads with 1.1 billion, followed by "Boy with Luv” featuring Halsey with 745 million, and “Butter" with 615 million.
Meanwhile, BTS dominated the entire top 10 most listened to tracks among male idol groups. Along with the aforementioned titles, the band ruled with "FAKE LOVE," "DNA" "Life Goes On," "Blood, Sweat, and Tears," " Permission to Dance," "Euphoria," and "Spring Day," which respectively clinched 469 million, 426M, 396 million, 356 million, 290 million, 285 million and 282 million streams.
Beginning from just January 2021, BTS had already earned over 6.4 billion streams, a count that surpasses the total of every K-pop performer dating from their debut.
The sum ranks the septet as the second most-streamed artist this year, only trailing behind Puerto Rican rapper Bad Bunny, who has so far pulled 7.3 billion plays.
Overall, BTS, the 30th most popular act on Spotify, draws about 41.3 million monthly listeners.