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BTS smash YouTube record with 78m first-day views of ‘Boy With Luv’


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2019 is going to be a very big year for K-Pop stars BTS, spurred by their new mini-album ‘Map of the Soul: Persona’. Milestones are already tumbling.

The band’s ‘Boy With Luv’ video smashed YouTube’s single-day viewing record, notching up 78m views in its first 24 hours last week. That takes the record from another K-Pop band, Blackpink, whose ‘Kill This Love’ video was recently watched 56.7m times in its first day.

‘Boy With Luv’ features western star Halsey, and three days after its release is now up to 126.5m views on YouTube. BTS are also blowing up on other music-streaming services though: Spotify announced on Friday that they are the first K-Pop band – and indeed, the first artist from Asia – to reach the milestone of 5bn streams on its platform. The band currently have 10.2 million followers on Spotify and 9.2 million monthly listeners. They’re also taking over Spotify’s Teen Party playlist for a week in support of the new mini-album. Apple had already announced in November 2018 that BTS had become the first Korean artist to reach 1bn streams on Apple Music.

But it’s YouTube where the band are really stepping up: according to its Artist Insights tool, BTS have generated 5.18bn total plays on YouTube in the last 12 months alone. And their largest single country for those views? The US, with 537m. In fact, Vietnam (412m), Indonesia (350m) and Mexico (340m) are all ahead of South Korea (314m) in their list of top countries, reflecting the increasingly-global nature of the BTS Army. That can also be seen on Spotify, where BTS’ top five cities are Jakarta, Quezon City, Singapore, Los Angeles and Mexico City – note, Spotify is not available in South Korea.

Stuart Dredge

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