By Chang Dong-woo
SEOUL, Aug. 24 (Yonhap) -- The three-letter acronym of global K-pop sensation BTS, which stands for either the Korean expression Bangtan Sonyeondan, meaning Bulletproof Boy Scouts, or Beyond The Scene, may as well stand for Break The Stats, with the band's new digital single "Dynamite" blowing up international chart and YouTube records.
At 1 p.m. Friday, the Korean septet released the upbeat disco-pop track with full English lyrics -- a first for the Korean septet that has produced music primarily in Korean even after its global breakout. "Dynamite" is an immediate follow-up to "Map of the Soul: 7 — The Journey" released in Japan in July.
From the moment it dropped, the music video for "Dynamite" attracted more than 3 million concurrent viewers from across the globe at its premiere and later chalked up a whopping 10 million views within 20 minutes and 20 million views within just an hour and 14 minutes.
A full 24-hours later, the video, according to YouTube, reached 101.1 million views, making it the music video with the biggest first-day debut on the global-video streaming to date. As of Monday morning, "Dynamite" has attracted over 170 million views.
BTS also topped the main Global Top 50 chart on international streaming service Spotify for Friday.
The band not only became the first-ever K-pop artist to reach No. 1 on Spotify's benchmark chart but also achieved the biggest Spotify song debut of the year, earning 7.778 million streams within 24 hours to beat American singer Taylor Swift's previous record of 7.742 million streams with "Cardigan" released last month.
What makes the feat more remarkable is the fact that Spotify isn't even available in South Korea, BTS' home country, highlighting the raw scale and organizational power of the band's wide-reaching international fan based, referred to as ARMY. "Dynamite" reached No. 2 on Spotify's Global Top 50 for Saturday.
"Dynamite" also reached the No. 1 spots on Apple iTunes' Top Song charts in 100 countries and regions within eight hours, making BTS the fastest artists ever to reach the top spot on the iTunes charts in 100 markets.
Online, the anticipation and buzz around "Dynamite" was also apparently the biggest among new international releases. In an online poll conducted by Billboard last Thursday (U.S. time) asking music fans of their favorite new releases, "Dynamite" received a whopping 94.34 percent of the vote, leaving Mariah Carey, Katy Perry and more trailing.
With the band's debut of its first-ever song sung entirely English, the chances of BTS making a huge splash on the upcoming Billboard Hot 100 chart look high, too.
U.S. online entertainment website Headline Planet reported that "Dynamite" was played 1,554 times on the radio in America by the end of Friday (U.S. time), citing data from music industry data aggregator Mediabase. BTS' prior opening day record in terms of U.S. radio airplay came courtesy of "Boy With Luv," which garnered 850 spins.
The hype surrounding "Dynamite" and BTS is expected to be fueled further this week, as the band, in a rare move, dropped two alternative versions -- an acoustic version and an electronic-dance version -- at 1 p.m. Monday.
Despite being unable to do in-person publicity, the band has also been busy promoting the song -- the inception of which was almost serendipitous -- virtually at home and abroad.
On Friday, the band held an online press conference ahead of the song's release, during which members explained that neither BTS nor Big Hit Entertainment initially had plans to put out "Dynamite" as a stand-alone single.
"We wanted to try something that was light and mindlessly exciting. We had a blast recording the song, dancing in the studio while recording," BTS leader RM said on Friday during the press conference. "We had the urge to share the song as soon as possible while still working on it, hoping to offer a boost of spiritual energy to fans."
Jimin said that the new single is "the song that BTS wants to play to fans at this moment in time."
The septet also held an interview with MTV's music program, Fresh Out Live, and is scheduled to appear on NBC's TODAY show on Monday (local time).
BTS is also scheduled to perform the new single at the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards on Aug. 30 (local time) in its first-ever appearance on the awards show. Due to the virus situation, the band will deliver the performance virtually from Seoul.
"We've been nominated at the awards but never had the opportunity to perform there. It would have been best if we were able to do it in person," RM said, reassuring fans that the band members "will do our best to prepare for the performance" regardless of the situation.
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