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 redder they get, the more they underperform. 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

You may be interested in…

… more about BTS

BTSfull CSPC analysis

BTSstreaming masters analysis

… K-pop artists

… other Global heatmap analyses

… sales and streaming tops and tools

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