Comments (0)
News |  22 May 2020 15:33 |  By RnMTeam

Twice, Blackpink and Red Velvet are game-changers in the industry

MUMBAI: K-pop record labels have long been thought to see boy bands as more lucrative than girl groups because they often attract loyal female followers eager to open their wallets for concert tickets and albums.

In terms of global appeal, phenomenal boy band BTS’ 2019 “Love Yourself: Speak Yourself” world tour played to a total audience of more than 2 million, while heavyweight girl group Blackpink’s “Kill This Love” world tour drew around 260,000 concertgoers.

Billboard reported that BTS grossed about 136 billion won (US$117 million) through ticket sales, while Touring Data said Blackpink earned 44.2 billion won.

And when it comes to album sales, BTS topped South Korea’s 2019 Gaon music chart, selling more than 3.7 million copies of their sixth mini-album Map of the Soul: Persona. Another all-male group, Seventeen, came next with their third studio album, An Ode, selling 850,000 copies. Twice secured the No 10 spot on the chart, the highest position for a girl group, with their eighth mini-album, Feel Special, selling around 413,000 copies.

At first glance, it looks like today’s female K-pop bands are comparatively underperforming. But in a deeper sense, they should be seen as game changers who made breakthroughs in the K-pop universe by shattering the traditional beliefs that girl groups – which have a relatively small international following – cannot generate notable profits through concerts abroad. Spearheading the trend are Twice, Blackpink and Red Velvet.

“Thanks to a spike in the number of female fans and the expansion of global fandom, the three are playing concerts overseas, not only in Asia but also in North America, and making substantial profits,” Seattle-based music critic Kim Young-dae says.

Nine-member group Twice played 25 gigs in 16 cities around the globe last year, as part of their world tour. They also performed at the Tokyo Dome, which can accommodate 100,000 people. A wave of K-pop boy bands including TVXQ, Exo and BTS previously held concerts there, but Twice were the first female K-pop act to stage one.

Critic Park Soo-jin, who writes for music magazine IZM, said girl groups were rising because many were changing their image from passive girls to active women.

“As can be seen in Blackpink’s Kill This Love, female stars are exhibiting a more active and charismatic demeanour,” Park says. “They are relaying different messages to people through their songs, as the times change. This seems to have appealed to listeners of the same gender.”