Chances are, when asked who the first K-Pop artist with 20 million YouTube subscribers was, many people would guess BTS. But no: their BangtanTV channel currently has 16.2 million subscribers, while the first Korean star to break through on YouTube, Psy, has 12.7 million. So take a bow girl-band Blackpink, whose channel has just crossed the 20 million mark (it’s on 20.2 million at the time of writing).
In its announcement of the milestone, YouTube noted that Blackpink are currently the 45th most-popular artist on its service, with 59.6m weekly views of their music. More stats? According to YouTube’s music insights tool, Blackpink have 3.29bn total plays on YouTube in the last year, and their homeland of South Korea is only their sixth most popular market over that period, with 162m views.
In fact, it’s Indonesia (629m views) where fans are truly hammering the group’s videos, some distance ahead of Thailand (392m), the Philippines (293m) and Vietnam (241m). The US, meanwhile, is Blackpink’s fifth biggest market on YouTube in the last year, with 162m views. We’ve also noted the presence of Brazil and Mexico in the top 10 for the band.
Update: Some BTS fans have commented (thank you!) pointing out that the ibighit channel owned by that band’s management company already has more than 20 million subscribers (22.3 million at the time of writing. That channel isn’t exclusively devoted to BTS – it has videos from other artists – so YouTube’s claim that Blackpink are the first K-Pop artist to pass the milestone is correct.
But hey: BTS are doing pretty well, eh? We’ll sidle carefully out of this fan-battle…