By Chang Dong-woo
SEOUL, Aug. 27 (Yonhap) -- BTS is no stranger to breaking records, but this time the K-pop band may be on the verge of making history, as the chance of it becoming the first-ever South Korean music group to conquer the highly coveted Billboard Hot 100 chart appears more and more within range.
Upon its release, "Dynamite," the septet's new disco-pop single released on Friday, has been met with raving responses, with its first week metrics on various fronts pointing toward a massive debut on the Billboard Hot 100, which factors in physical and digital sales, radio play and streaming.
The online edition of American business magazine Forbes predicted Wednesday (local time) that "Dynamite" is "expected to explode to No. 1 on next week's Billboard Hot 100," citing music industry data analysis website Chart Data and other available metrics on the new song.
"When the Billboard Hot 100 refreshes next week, the superstars septet could very well rule the roost," it said.
The highest-charting South Korean artist ever on the Hot 100 was PSY with his 2012 viral hit "Gangnam Style," which peaked at the No. 2 spot.
BTS previously topped Billboard's main album chart, the Billboard 200, with "Map of the Soul: 7" released in February, which ended up becoming biggest-selling record in the U.S. during the first half. But on the Top 100, the septet has managed to go as far as fourth place with the album's lead track "ON."
The reaction for "Dynamite" has indeed been explosive from the get-go, with the music video attracting more than 3 million concurrent viewers from across the globe at its premiere and chalking up over 20 million views within just a little over an hour.
A full day later, the video reached 101.1 million views, making it the music video with the biggest first-day debut on YouTube to date. As of the end of its sixth day, the video has attracted over 213 million views.
On the streaming front, the band has also made history, becoming the first K-pop act to debut at No. 1 on Spotify's Global Top 50 index.
Not only did BTS become the first-ever K-pop artist to top Spotify's main chart, but it also achieved the biggest Spotify song debut of the year so far.
"Dynamite" earned 7.778 million streams within 24 hours to beat American singer Taylor Swift's previous record of 7.742 million streams with "Cardigan" from last month. Noteworthy is the fact that Spotify isn't even available in the K-pop giant's home country, which highlights the sheer scale of the band's wide-reaching global fans base referred to as ARMY.
As of the fifth day of its release, "Dynamite" stands firm at No. 3 on the Spotify chart.
Digital sales-wise, the band has also been strong, with "Dynamite" sweeping Apple iTunes Top Songs chart in 104 countries and regions upon its debut. The limited physical vinyl and cassette tape versions, which count toward the Billboard charts, also sold out on the first day of their releases.
In terms of radio airplay in the U.S., BTS managed to make an impressive debut, with "Dynamite" earning 2,301 plays on American radio in its first three days to debut at No. 30 on the Billboard's Pop Songs radio airplay chart. The band's previous record debut was at 35th place with "Boy With Luv" last year.
With the song's first week sales tracking coming to a close, the band's U.S. fan communities are seen to be busy trying to promote sales and radio airplay requests to push BTS to the top of the Hot 100.
Several BTS fan Twitter accounts, such as @BTS_Billboard and @fundsforbangtan, were seen pushing out tweets asking fans to buy "Dynamite" on all platforms, continue with streams and contact local radio stations to make song requests.
Whether "Dynamite" could actually top the Hot 100 remains to be seen, but BTS is expected to remain in the spotlight for the time being. Within just days, the band dropped two remix tracks of "Dynamite," an acoustic version and an electronic dance version, to keep fans further satiated.
The release of "Dynamite" happened almost serendipitously, with the song coming out amidst the group's world tour and overseas publicity coming to a screeching halt due to the COVID-19 pandemic. BTS decided to release the standalone digital single while the members, as artists and individuals, were emotionally fatigued from the pandemic.
The group said the song was a "refresh project" for themselves and was meant to sent out cheerful, bright messages for people across the globe who are going through a hard time due to the pandemic.
Jimin said that "Dynamite" is "the song that BTS wants to play to fans at this moment in time."
BTS is also scheduled to perform the new single at the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday (U.S. time) in its first-ever stage performance on the awards show. Due to the virus situation, the band will deliver the performance virtually from Seoul.
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