BTS and BLACKPINK’s succeed gave them longer strides on their career path but also accidentally established a whole new standard which is now an obstacle for idol groups from the same generation and later.
Looking at what BTS and BLACKPINK has achieved in their career ‘til now, it’s undeniable that they are the top 2 trendy K-Pop group with their fame surpassing the Asia scale, giving K-Pop a stable base in the international music industry. However, these same achievements is also what making everything harder for their colleagues and juniors. They accidentally set up a too high standard which is hard to catch up for all artists and has turned the K-Pop battlefield into a fight between BTS and BLACKPINK only.
Re-define success with achievements from Asia to US-UK
BTS and BLACKPINK is making the race between K-Pop idols even harder with their extraordinary records which makes them invincible every comeback and can only compete with each other. The definition of success to them is not only in Asia anymore, but also include the Western world, especially the America.
With BTS, each comeback means another series of fascinating records will be made. No group can surpass them in term of physical sales after “Map Of The Soul: Persona” reached 3 million copies, established the record of the best-selling physical album in history of Gaon. The 7 boys also proved their power in the digital field by surpassing many “digital monster” to become the first artist in 2019 to get a Perfect All-kill with “Boy With Luv”.
Not satisfied with just the domestic market, BTS left their rivals far behind to become the first Korean artist to have 3 consecutive albums on #1 of the prestigious Billboard 200 and is currently the highest-ranked K-Pop artist on Billboard Top 100 (#8 for “Boy With Luv”). Daesangs to BTS is not just a dream anymore when they are now even the first Asian representative to receive the title “Top Duo/Group” – one of the main categories of Billboard Music Awards 2019.
BTS’s so big that they are now the first Korean artist to have concerts and soldout at big stadiums in US – UK like Citifield, Rose Bowl,…(U.S) and Wembley – the legendary stadium of the U.K.
Even though their achievement is not as big as BTS but BLACKPINK has also proved themselves to be the queens of girl groups and is slowly catching up to their seniors in the Western market. There haven’t been any big awards for BLACKPINK yet but many impressive records have been written under their names.
On YouTube, the 4 girls from YG is now “the Queens” with their MV views far surpassed BTS’s. “Kill This Love” MV amazed the public by breaking the record of the first 24 hours debut of “thank u, next” (Ariana Grande).
BLACKPINK is also currently the girl group with the most views in the world after surpassing Fifth Harmony with 5,94 billion views.
BLACK PINK also has in their purse many undefeatable achievement for a K-Pop girl group in the US – UK industry. They are the first girl group of Korea to perform at Coachella – one of the biggest music festivals in the world. With “Kill This Love”, BLACKPINK is the first girl group to achieve no.1 on the U.S iTunes after 15 years (since Destiny’s Child) and the highest-ranked K-Pop girl group on both Billboard 200 and Billboard Hot 100. Their time on the chart was up to 4 weeks – a record for K-Pop girl groups and can be compared to their seniors BTS.
One thing in common between BTS and BLACKPINK is that they have done what no K-Pop artist has been able to do in the past: got their name approved positively in the Western market, especially the U.S. American is the biggest music industry in the world and they are not easy in accepting other culture. This is why BTS and BLACKPINK’s achievements are seen as one-and-only, setting a whole new challenge for other groups who want to defeat them.
An unequal battle and a huge challenge for artists from the same generation and later
What BTS and BLACKPINK has done have created a whole new set of standard for groups from the same generation and younger that if they want to be called “the King of album sales”, they have to at least be at BTS’s level. Once they want to be “The Queen of K-Pop”, they have to at least dethrone BLACKPINK on Billboard.
This seems to be an overly challenging standard for other K-Pop representatives and they are now thrown into an unequal battle against the 2 biggest names at the time. If the race between K-Pop 3rd generation also has the names of EXO, TWICE,…then at the moment, those 2 names seems to have become exhausted and left the stage for the candidates from Big Hit and YG.
Only a few years ago, EXO was still seen as the biggest rival of BTS, but now they seems to have passed their prime time. During comebacks, even though their album sales did surpass million copies but it’s still not enough for them to break the record established by BTS. EXO’s members are also starting their military services or focusing on their solo career, losing their spotlight.
About TWICE, they used to be “the Queen of K-Pop” 1 – 2 years ago but their fame is slowly deteriorating comparing to BLACKPINK on the international market and is losing to the 4 girls on YouTube and Billboard. The 9 girls from JYP haven’t got into Billboard Hot 100 and 200 once and their MV views couldn’t catch up with that of BLACKPINK.
BTS and BLACKPINK’s biggest rivals are slowly showing their weakness on this long-run race while other K-Pop representatives still don’t have a chance. Other groups from the same generation still cannot achieve a high position no matter how hard they try due to the shadow BTS and BLACKPINK have left. To younger generations, it will be hard for them to catch up to the enormous growth their seniors have been able to do. The standard of success for them will also be much harsher and hard to avoid being compared to BTS and BLACKPINK if they want to step into the Western market.
The race between BIG BANG, TVXQ, 2NE1 or Girls’ Generation in the past which was only on a domestic scale cannot be compared to BTS and BLACKPINK’s fame now. Everything have been expanded onto an international scale which no K-Pop idol has ben able to achieve. BTS and BLACKPINK is now the icon for many younger idols to envy and follow, but also makes their road to success harder.
But every challenge will come with a chance. It will be hard to surpass the shadow that BTS and BLACKPINK has left, but a new door for K-Pop to the international market has been opened for them. K-Pop is now seen as something much more high-class, and loved in many hard market such as the America. We hope this will help ensure an easier way for later generations if they want to conquer this industry.