What kind of week would it be if BTS didn’t set another record? In the last week, the Korean supergroup broke the glass ceiling for hosting the largest paid virtual concert to date.
Entitled ‘Bang Bang Con’, BTS hosted their virtual concert on 14 June to celebrate the 7th anniversary of their debut. According to their label, Big Hit Entertainment, the show peaked with 756,000 viewers at one time from over 107 countries, "marking the biggest audience for a paid virtual concert”.
The group charged between US$26 - US$35 for tickets, which approximately amounts to at least US$19 million in sales revenue.
While that number is undoubtedly impressive, it's not an amount the boys of BTS have not seen before. According to Business Insider, in 2019, the grossed over US$44 million across six stadium shows in just the US, as part of their Love Yourself: Speak Yourself world tour. But, for a virtual show, it's certainly an amazing feat.
Whether livestream concerts are financially sustainable for artists has been an ongoing conversation in the live music industry. With one concert, BTS just proved that it can be.
In the last couple of months, we’ve seen a multitude of artists take to fundraising concerts and pay-per-view shows, while many companies come up with new creative and inventive ways to reinvent live music events in the age of COVID-19. Most recently, we’ve witnessed the announcements of virtual reality music festivals and interactive digital concerts that provide immersive experiences for fans.
Whether these types of events can financially support the music ecosystem through this pandemic is, however, too early to say.
Following BTS’ revolutionary virtual concert, here what some fans and celebrities have to say:
South Korea's culture minister praised the agency of @BTS_twt for "providing a way forward to K-pop" with a paid online concert— Global ⟬⟭ ⁷ Force ⟭⟬ ᴰ² (@globalARMYforce) June 19, 2020
from me thinking 756k people isn't that much for bts to me learning that in fact it was "the largest global audience ever for a paid virtual concert"💀— Tasia⁷☁️🐋💜💫 (@_Universe_Eye_) June 15, 2020
bts so damn successful guys....break records set by music LEGENDS....the biggest korean group of all time and they still question whether people will come to their concerts or not....YALL MY STOMACH HURTSJFNS— e⁷ (@ultfiIter) June 18, 2020
756,000 concert viewers for bangbangconlive and that’s not including the people who watched via other streams, and the views really came from around the world. BTS are global superstars but wbk— Fatima⁷ (@fatimafarha_) June 14, 2020
bts and bighit really reinvented online concerts. this one was on an entirely different level.— Adam⁷ (@BTSBEINGBTSYT) June 14, 2020
the way they had the multi-view incorporated into it...
also, Kiswe, the company they partnered with for this live, worked with the NBA and the PGA Tour..
When I first saw @BTS_twt, they were the 120th artist I'd seen in concert. They continue to be the best performers I've experienced, whether it's live or through a screen. They're worth every cent and some artists only dream of a production like what they did today. I loved it.— Lauren⁷ 💜 (@LaurenJP68) June 14, 2020
Just abt every group I've interviewed said their best live performances occurred b/c they fed off of their audience's energy. @BTS_twt didn't have that interaction, yet look at what they created today. I am still thinking about the concert & how it was different, but spectacular.— Jae-Ha Kim 김재하 (@GoAwayWithJae) June 14, 2020
Cover image credit: BTS Official Facebook Page