If members of the K-pop fandom who are unbiased were to be asked who the top male and female K-pop idol groups are in the industry today, without a shadow of a doubt, they’ll state both BTS and Twice. If anyone wants proof on just how popular these two K-pop acts are, all anyone has to do is observe the accomplishments the two made with their K-pop comeback in February of 2017 with BTS releasing You Never Walk Alone featuring “Spring Day” and “Not Today” and Twice releasing TWICEcoaster: LANE 2 featuring “Knock Knock.” Also, observe the “war” between A.R.M.Y. (official fan club of BTS) and Once (official fan club of Twice) that took place too.
We’ll start with BTS since You Never Walk Alone came out first. It is amazing the album actually dominated sales given the fact that it is a re-release of Wings with two new songs added. Still, “Spring Day” dominated viewership numbers bumping the record holder for a music video to reach 10 million and even 20 million views the fastest, “TT” by Twice. Eventually, Twice came back strong with a re-release of their own TWICECoaster: LANE 2 which featured two new songs including “Knock Knock” and “Ice Cream.” “Knock Knock” was poised to take back the record for a K-pop music video to reach 10 million views the fastest and it did, but “Not Today” by BTS took it back from them in mere minutes.
Imagine all of that chaos happening between BTS and Twice within the month of February. And that’s not even mentioning how many albums both You Never Walk Alone and TWICEcoaster: LANE 2 sold (over 266,000 copies for the latter while the former’s sales were included in the initial numbers for Wings).
It’s easy to see why BTS and Twice are considered the best K-pop boy band and girl group in the industry today. The sales numbers and the fandom activity don’t lie. But if that wasn’t enough of a testament, Korean entertainment labels and agencies in general are now saying that both BTS and Twice are the best of the best today.
Korean news outlet Sports Chosun made a survey with numerous Korean entertainment labels and agencies asking them which K-pop acts are considered the best of the best. According to their exclusive, they included Mystic Entertainment, Big Hit Entertainment, Brand New Music, Starship Entertainment, Star Empire, Santa Music, Woolim Entertainment, WIDMAY, Amoeba Culture, Jellyfish Entertainment, Pledis Entertainment, Cube Entertainment, Happy Robot Record, GYM Entertainment, JYP Entertainment, MBK Entertainment, RBW, SM Entertainment, YG Entertainment, and YNB Entertainment.
Out of the 20 entertainment labels and companies surveyed, 18 chose BTS as the most influential boy band today while 17 chose Twice as the most influential girl group today. They eventually broke down their reasoning for choosing the two over the others.
Starting with BTS, they were chosen for their strong content planning which is a fancy term for engaging with the K-pop community in a way that builds relationships than just enticing them. They’ve been creating content made strictly for said K-pop fans and A.R.M.Y.
“Knowing how to provide the activities and sights that fans can enjoy and go wild for is a determining factor in growing a strong fandom. BTS has been consistently communicating with their fans and creating fitting content.”
As for Twice, the reason they made the cut among so many of the Korean entertainment labels and agencies has a lot to do with their personalities and content they provide. They released four consecutive title track songs back-to-back and they were all major hits.
“Having a harmonious group of members from various countries, with each member having a unique personality that brings new fans in, has helped them create a strong fanbase. They’re even doing quite well in album sales, a category that girl groups are usually weak in. Another reason for their popularity is that their songs are easy to follow and are relatable.”
Let’s not forget that their sales are off the charts for a girl group. In general, K-pop girl group sales are considered meager compared to boy bands. Only certain girl groups, like Girls’ Generation, have beaten their male counterparts. With that in mind, Twice is the “Girls’ Generation” of today when it comes to sales. Only two K-pop acts overall have outsold them. One is EXO. The other is BTS.
Ultimately, fans should congratulate both BTS and Twice on their accomplishment, and they should also understand that just because they are the big K-pop acts today does not mean they’ll hold onto the titles forever. Longevity seems to be more important, something that certain K-pop acts like Big Bang and Girls’ Generation have accomplished. In another two years or so, an upstart K-pop act may shove BTS and Twice to the side. For now, fans should all enjoy the content they are pumping out and cheer them on to continue fighting.
[Featured Images by JYP Entertainment and Big Hit Entertainment/Screen Captures of Respective Music Videos]