Big Hit CEO Bang Si Hyuk Interview with TIME Reveals BTS's 'Secrets of Global Success'

FILE PHOTO: Members of K-Pop band, BTS perform on ABC's 'Good Morning America' show in Central Park in New York City, U.S., May 15, 2019. (Photo: REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo)

Big Hit Entertainment CEO, Bang Si-hyuk, had an interview with Time, the weekly magazine.

Bang's interview was released on Time's website on October 8. The interview was held in Los Angeles earlier this month and lasted about an hour and a half.

Time magazine introduced Bang Si-hyuk as the "producer of the world's best boy band BTS" and evaluated his Big Hit Entertainment as "the most interesting research case in the current music industry."

In particular, the article focused on BTS's "Secrets of Global Success," including the "Equation of Success in the American Music Market."

In an interview, Bang said, "I fundamentally believe BTS' success in the U.S. had a lot to do with luck. It wasn't my brilliant strategy or BTS being such a perfect fit for the U.S. market. It was rather that their message resonated with a certain demand, and through digital media it spread quickly." He added, "But what I can say is that BTS' success in the U.S. market was achieved by a formula different from the American mainstream formula. Loyalty built through direct contact with fans had a lot to do with that."

In addition, the CEO said, "I believe at the time, BTS touched something that young people from all over the world were seeking." He also explained, "Ever since BTS' debut, they've never suddenly switched gears or changed pace. They were consistent. I think that convinced the public. They don't shy away from speaking about the pain felt by today's generation."

Bang expressed his thought on "Manufactured K-pop" saying, "Another layer is that in the U.S., an artist will work in the underground scene for many years before signing with a major label. In Korea, that time is spent as a trainee. I think it's debatable which system produces the better artist."

He addressed, "In addition, I believe the statement that an artist must sing their own songs to have good results cannot possibly be true. A singer is foremost a performer, and a good performance can convince audiences."

Bang also talked about the training system in the company saying, "In our company, we invest a lot of time educating trainees about life as an artist, including social media." He added, "Since BTS' success, I've been changing the trainee system to be more school-like, with mentorship and a coaching system, and opportunities for students to work together."

In regards to Source Music, the CEO said, "We are also going to be promoting an audition for a girl group with us and Source Music. Just like with Disney - animations, family movies, Marvel and Star Wars - I am trying to approach market segmentation while retaining the virtues of K-pop."

Finally, he said, "I believe there is some connotation to this title, which is that BTS was able to create a global fandom, which was very rare. Through that gigantic fandom, they were able to reshape the order of commerce; they are creating new forms of communication." Bang added, "I hope to protect that honorable title and remain heroic figures down the line like the Beatles. To get there, it would be good if BTS could continue to receive recognition in major global arenas. It would be nice to get some reaction from the Grammys; ARMY has long awaited a BTS performance at the Grammys."

© 2019 Business Times All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
Sign Up for Newsletters and Alerts