The popularity of K-pop has grown exponentially over the past few years, with a number of Korean artists making a splash across music charts around the world. Given that it is undoubtedly a fiercely competitive industry, here's the big question - who are the most influential K-pop artists currently active today?
To answer that question, Korean media outlet Sports Chosun decided to survey 20 of Korea's biggest entertainment agencies and almost all of them agreed that BTS and TWICE are K-pop's current top idol groups.
BTS received 18 votes out of the possible 20, and the surveyed entertainment agency representatives stated that the group's success can be pinpointed to their content. According to an unnamed agency CEO, BTS have excelled in creating content that the fans want from the very beginning.
“In the male idol market, a group’s fandom size determines the success or failure of that group. BTS has been creating tailor-made content, from the initial planning process to what kind of fans to target. When you look at their contents, you can’t not acknowledge why they are on top.”
Another agency representative claims that another big factor in BTS' success is that the group have managed to not only continuously creating music that fans want and enjoy, but they've been consistently communicating with their fans in order to receive feedback.
“Knowing how to provide the activities and sights that fans can enjoy and go wild for is a determining factor in growing a strong fandom. BTS has been consistently communicating with their fans and creating fitting content.”
While BTS are predominantly based in South Korea, they've experienced considerable success on the Western music charts. This can be attributed to how the group have managed to find common ground in regards to their lyrical subject matter, such as the growing pains and struggles of youth during high school.
As BTS cements itself as K-pop's current top male idol group, TWICE have got their hands firmly on the crown as K-pop's current top female idol group, receiving 17 votes out of 20 from entertainment agencies.
In just a little over a year upon debuting, TWICE have cemented themselves as Korea's "in" girl group, managing to sell record-breaking numbers of their albums and garnering incredibly impressive viewership numbers on YouTube.
According to agency representatives, the main reasons for TWICE's success are the great personalities of each group member and the easy-going catchiness of their songs. One unnamed agency CEO states that TWICE's origins from the reality show "Sixteen" and their ability to embrace various concepts were key to the group's immediate success.
“TWICE, the head of the new generational shift in girl groups, gained attention by choosing their team members through an audition reality program, and have been receiving much love and attention from the general public for the easy-to-follow songs and performance. They’ve opened the doors for a new generation of idol groups with their various concepts, ranging to cute to girl crush to sporty, and their adorable style and lyrics."
Another representative noted that TWICE have released four extremely successful singles since their debut, and this can be attributed to not only the quality of the songwriting, but also the positive rapport between all the group members, some of whom are from different nationalities.
“Having a harmonious group of members from various countries, with each member having a unique personality that brings new fans in, has helped them create a strong fanbase. They’re even doing quite well in album sales, a category that girl groups are usually weak in. Another reason for their popularity is that their songs are easy to follow and are relatable.”
What are your thoughts about BTS and TWICE being the top K-pop idol groups currently active?
- Entertainment agencies who participated in the survey:
Amoeba Culture, Big Hit Entertainment, Brand New Music, Cube Entertainment, GYM Entertainment, Happy Robot Record, Jellyfish Entertainment, JYP Entertainment, MBK Entertainment, Mystic Entertainment, Pledis Entertainment, RBW, Santa Music, Starship Entertainment, SM Entertainment, Star Empire, Widmay Entertainment, Woollim Entertainment, YG Entertainment, and YNB Entertainment.
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