BTS’ new album Love Yourself: Answer has officially become the number one album on the Billboard 200 chart, and “Idol” has smashed records on Youtube. Yet, it’s still noticeably missing from most American radio stations.
It’s a travesty, and it’s also ridiculous when you stop to think about it.
BTS has undeniably catchy music. I’m sure that everyone can remember when they first heard a song by BTS, and how they stopped what they were doing to listen. When you’ve heard them once it’s hard not to go back and start it all over again. The group is even more mesmerizing when you’re watching them preform, but their songs are easy to listen to on repeat even without the visuals.
It’s difficult to see why a radio station might not want to play them when it could so easily hook listeners and reel them in. By design, the songs are written to be popular across different cultures. Yes, the songs are mainly in Korean – but they’re also mixed in with English in a way that’s easy for fans to bop along to. Watch any performance from the group and you’ll hear fans screaming along to the words no matter where in the world they are.
Since “Idol” has a remix featuring Nicki Minaj, you’d think that would make the song even more appealing to radio. But that doesn’t seem to be helping the boys out any more than normal. While the remix is being played on some radio stations, it’s nowhere near as widespread as it should be when you consider how popular the band really is.
BTS is also on the worldwide Love Yourself tour which will make a pit stop in the U.S. for concerts in Los Angeles, Auckland, Fort Worth, Newark, and Chicago – with 14 total shows. All the tickets sold out in just three days, which prompted them to add an additional show. Some dates reportedly sold out within minutes of becoming available.
If that’s not enough to prove just how popular BTS has become in the U.S., it was just announced this past weekend that the band landed the number one album on the Billboard 200 chart with Love Yourself: Answer. According to Nielsen Music the album sold 185,000 equivalent units in just one week, which landed it the top spot on the Billboard 200.
And this isn’t even the first time they’ve made this accomplishment. They also achieved the number one spot with Love Yourself: Tear which was released earlier this year.
You’d think all of this would prove that not only is BTS worthy of radio plays, but that it would also be a smart business move for these stations. With such a limited amount of them taking advantage of this popular group, they could easily draw in more listeners that are already a loyal ARMY.
And with how talented the boys are, even those that may never have listened to BTS before could quickly be turned into fans.
As an added bonus, BTS’ message of love and acceptance is just what everyone needs right now. It’s no secret that many people are struggling to put on a happy face with everything that’s going on in the world today. With lyrics like “I love myself,” it’s easy to see why fans praise the band for helping them through hard times.
Although it’s not necessarily something that would be conveyed over the radio, it’s also important to note that the band is dedicated to making the world a better place outside of their music. They began an anti-violence campaign with United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) called LOVE MYSELF. The campaign is for, “pursuing love and a better place to live for all” as well as to work to end violence. The funds from the campaign are used to protect and support victims of domestic and school violence as well as victims of sexual assault.
With all of this in mind, it’s really difficult to understand why we’re not hearing BTS on radio stations across America. Though it is harder for international musicians to make it onto the radio here, it’s certainly not out of the ordinary. Which means it just comes down to a bias or dismissal of the band because they’re Korean.
One can only assume that BTS will just continue to grow stronger and more popular, which will eventually make it impossible for radio stations to deny them. Until then, fans will continue to turn off the radio and pop in Love Yourself: Answer.
For the radio stations that are playing BTS, we applaud you.