It is not surprising that the view count of K-pop stars’ YouTube music videos exceeding 100 million views is now considered a “basic”.
As of Feb 12th, the views of BLACKPINK‘s “Ice Cream” MV exceeded 700 million views. It has been about a year and five months since the video was released in August 2020. BLACKPINK set a record of 700 million views for the 10th time in its career, following “DDU-DU DDU-DU” with 1.8 billion views, “Kill This Love” with 1.5 billion views, “BOOMBAYA” with 1.3 billion views and “As If It’s Your Last” with 1.1 billion views. YG Entertainment, the group’s agency, announced, “BLACKPINK has become the group with the most videos of more than 700 million views among K-pop artists.”
Among the videos released by BLACKPINK on YouTube, a total of 32 videos have recorded hundreds of millions of views. BLACKPINK‘s official YouTube channel has more than 72.1 million subscribers, the largest number among artists worldwide.
The music video of the group BTS also surpassed 700 million views on Feb 9th. BTS will have its ninth 700 million-view music video in its career as YouTube views for the music video of “Dope” from its mini-album “HYYH pt.1” released in April 2015 exceeded 700 million views. The “Dope” music video was the 1st BTS music video to surpass 100 million views in October 2016.
BTS has a total of 35 billion views in terms of music videos. “Boy With Luv” achieved 1.4 billion views, while “DNA”, “Dynamite” each recorded 1.3 billion views, and “FAKE LOVE” and “IDOL” each achieved more than 1 billion views.
It was in September 2012 that the 1st Korean singer achieved 100 million views for the first time. At that time, singer PSY surpassed 100 million views on YouTube, a worldwide video platform, with his title song “Gangnam Style”, in 52 days after the music video was released. At that time, PSY made headlines for achieving the best record in the shortest period.
Psy was officially invited to the “MTV Video Music Awards” (VMA), a music awards ceremony that is considered the world’s most prestigious based on worldwide interest. Due to its continued popularity, the number on that specific YouTube video exploded. About a month later, Psy‘s “Gangnam Style” music video surpassed 400 million views on YouTube for the first time as a Korean singer. “Gangnam Style” surpassed 200 million views 14 days after surpassing 100 million views, and further shortened time to reach 300 million views in 10 days. In addition, “Gangnam Style”, which achieved 400 million views 10 days later, ranked ninth in YouTube’s total views at the time (as of October 2012).
The reason why music videos of popular K-pop stars exceed the view count of “billion” is because of YouTube’s increased status and influence, but it is also proof that K-pop has achieved such a high level of awareness. Each agency has invested a lot of money in the production cost of music videos by recruiting high-profile music video directors.
YG‘s rookie group TREASURE, which made a comeback on Feb 15th, reportedly costs about 500 million won to produce a music video. Considering this is a bold investment of production costs which is usually for large names such as BLACKPINK, YG said it is doing its best until the end to improve the completeness of TREASURE’s music videos.
In the case of BTS‘s hit song “Dope,” the music video showed BTS transforming into various professionals such as police, detectives, and office workers on the same screen with strong colors, providing a unique attraction with their disciplined group choreography.