BTS’ global heatmap

From local newcomers to selling millions of albums globally and topping the Billboard 200 twice! It’s safe to say that K-pop group BTS is the hottest boyband in the world at the moment. But have they really hit mainstream status everywhere?

The method

In order to identify on which countries BTS performed well, the way to go is to look at data from various top sellers and compare his own results with theirs. Thus, we collected market by market YouTube statistics of 14 major artists including the Beatles, Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, Madonna, and Queen. The sample also includes a various recent artists among which Adele, Britney SpearsBeyoncé and Eminem.

As stated inside the article Learn how to exploit YouTube Insights, the absolute number of views is irrelevant. Depending on your target audience and its YouTube usage habits, you will have very different results. Relative results do matter though. That’s why rather than comparing views numbers, we compare the share of views coming from each market for all these artists. For example, both the Beatles and Queen have over 1,6 million monthly views in Japan. Since Queen outperform the Beatles by 3 to 1 globally, that means Japan is a market 3 times more relevant for the Beatles. In conclusion, even if both have similar views there, the latter group is relatively speaking bigger there.

Once we defined the strength of each market for scale artists, we calculate their averages. To continue with our example, our scale artists register 1,62% of their global streams in Japan. Beyoncé‘s count there stands at 2,60%, it means the relevance of this market is 161% (2,60%/1,62%) as high for her as for the others.


The results

The greenest a country is, the best BTS performed in comparison to the scale artists. On yellow ones, they are on par with the average. Countries in orange represent weaker performances, the most red they get, the most they underperforms. Countries in white fail to appear among their personal Top 100 markets on YouTube.

We aren’t done still. An artist can record a huge chunk of his views in a few countries only, say in the US. Their comparative shares in remaining countries would then underperform massively reference values. This issue is known for years in the world of statisticians. A very efficient way to avoid these outliers consists in comparing rankings instead of raw values. As a result, instead of saying that BTS outperforms the scale by 13.84 to 1 in Vietnam, we will say that Vietnam is the country of rank 1, the one where they perform the best relatively speaking.

The greenest a country is, the highest it is among BTS top markets and so on until red markets.

The analysis

Their home country of South Korea is surprisingly enough not the country where they perform the best, that title belongs to Vietnam at 13,84 to 1. South Korea comes at second with 7,69. The rest of the top 9 consists of Asian countries including Cambodia (#3), Indonesia (#4), Japan (#5), Malaysia (#6) and Thailand (#7) in all of which they outperform by more than 3 to 1, this clearly highlights the insane popularity of the group on the continent.

What might come as as a surprise is Saudi Arabia finishing the top 10, other Middle Eastern countries are doing well too including Iraq (#14), Turkey (#20), Jordan (#28) and Kuwait (#29)

In Europe it’s not looking good with major markets such as Germany (#73), France (#75), Italy (#95), and the UK as far down as #96. Eastern Europe is doing much better with both Russia and Belarus at #16 and #18 respectively. Moldova, Ukraine and Bulgaria are also in the top 50, performing better than 1 to 1.

One may wonder where the US is on this list considering they have two number one albums there. Well… It’s at a quite disappointing #84 (strength 0,44), Canada is doing slightly better at #78 (strenght 0,50). While these numbers look bad one may think deeper about it. If the US is only their 84th best market popularity-wise while they have got a pair of chart toppers there, it’s simply proving and huge they have been getting globally lately.

This widespread appeal is confirmed in Latin America where they are doing better than in North America with most countries in the top 50 including Brazil at #46. Peru performs extremely well for the region with an overall #12 placing.

BTS views global list

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I don’t like this. It makes it seem like US Army haven’t been doing a thing, but us doing so much carries on for other countries. -_-



Joanna Dsouza

India is waiting


It’s good to see them doing well in the Philippines too. 🙂


I’m so sad Italy is 95 TT we deserve more attention


Turkey is not a middle east country please correct this article.


Hi Dilara!

Of course Turkey is part of the Middle East. This isn’t a political statement, it’s the way geographical regions are considered in popular culture. You can look at various places online to confirm it. Myself when I used to work for large companies Turkey was always part of the ME region (at times grouped under the NME folder).


No, we are in the middle of europe and asia. WE DONT SPEAK ARABIC WE HAVE OUR OWN LANGUAGE .


Okay i searched me countries, unfortunately Turkey is included to me countries. But most of them are arab countries, we are not arab we are turks.



Europe have multiple languages. French people and British and Germans are not the same but they r europeans. Japan and Indonesia are totally different countries, cultures, languages, etc. But they are asians. Just as the Turks are not arabs but Turkey is in the middle east. I really dont understand what is the problem of Turkey excepting the fact that they are geographically speaking located in the middle east. You cant lie to geography and facts.


I come from Vietnam and I have to agree that BTS is really popular here. But just wondering, shouldn’t they be more famous in South Korea or America?


Hi Pear!

They sell the most in South Korea and in the US since their markets are a whole lot better than the Vietnamese one, but relatively speaking they are currently hotter there than anywhere else!


To cross over used to mean to be big in the US now to cross over means to be big everywhere else I am gathering.Can an act be big( excluding Garth Brooks) and be just a US market seller or is that impossible in 2019 MJD?Touche , as always !


They are no.1 in Korea. Come on we are not living in 2015.


Yep they are not so popular in Korea. Now Wanna One, Exo might be the no.1 in South Korea. It was like Korean school cultures. I mean BTS 1th leads next 1 year and company make another BTS 2nd for the next 1 years. As a Eminen music video slim shaddy video. Anyway I’d like to see Nirvana’s heat map.


They are number 1 in korea, it isnt 2015. BTS has highest album sales for one of their albums in this century. Since Love Yourself: Her they be outselling. Exo couldn’t even beat BTS’s first month sales of it with their newest release. Lmao


what do you mean? Eminem is a rap artist not pop artist. For sure Eminem is more popular in Asia for years now.


South korean comes as 2nd ranking . It doesnt meant they so above them 🤣 just the strength of vietnam exceeds SK based on this perspective of this report !!!
Ànd please dont bring your faves get involved in this


Are you stupid or just ignoring the truth ? They are very known and popular in South Korea. Wanna One and Exo aren’t the most popular. The fuvk are you on ? They only receive positive response from Koreans, people are happy BTS represent South Korea in foreign countries, for the Olympics BTS were asked before EXO but they had no time on their schedule. I don’t want to drag your groups because they are human beings and deserve respect but honestly do more research before saying bs.


Wow. Their no 1 country is not in South Korea. And im surprised that they have a wide reach up until Peru to Saudi Arabia. Impressive.