BTS’ virtual concert becomes world’s biggest paid online music event

BTS’ virtual concert “Bang Bang Con: The Live,” which served as a substitute for the group’s tour that was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, has attracted a record-setting number of viewers from across the world.

The 100-minute livestreamed concert drew some 756,000 viewers from 107 countries, including the U.S., the U.K., China and Japan, according to Big Hit Entertainment. The number of online viewers is roughly equal to the combined audience of 15 stadium concerts.

“‘Bang Bang Con: The Live’ has become the world’s biggest paid online music event,” Big Hit Entertainment said in a release. “Despite the difficulties that the music industry is facing, BTS has opened up new possibilities for online concerts.”

The music label not only found an innovative way to connect its performers with audiences but also set a new profit model during the COVID-19 era.

BTS' virtual concert

Tickets for “Bang Bang Con: The Live” were priced at 29,000 won ($24) for members of ARMY, the official fan club of BTS, and 39,000 won for ordinary fans. It is estimated that ticket sales exceeded 22 billion won.

To go beyond simply broadcasting and to allow viewers a more personalized experience, the music label teamed up with the U.S. streaming startup Kiswe Mobile to allow viewers to watch the show through six different camera angles.

BTS' virtual concert

BTS’ virtual concert

Read more: 5 BTS members enroll in graduate school

During “Bang Bang Con: The Live” BTS performed in five different “bang,” a Korean word for room, and two main stages that were designed to match the songs BTS performed.

The set list consisted of 12 songs, from their earlier hits like “Just One Day” and “Spring Day” to their latest songs such as “Jamais Vu” and “Respect” from their fourth full-length album “Map of the Soul: 7.”

They performed a new rendition of “Boy With Luv” with lit-up umbrellas and a sea of bright light sticks referred to as “ARMY Bombs.”

BTS members expressed excitement about holding their first concert in seven months. They echoed how much they look forward to interacting with their fans.

“I hope we’ll be able to reunite with our fans soon. I want to meet ARMY in person,” member V said during the concert.

“We were able to perform thanks to the love fans sent us from all around the world. I hope this will be another start for us,” Jungkook said.

Following BTS, other K-pop groups are looking to hold virtual events. (G)I-DLE plans to hold its virtual concert “I-LAND: WHO AM I” on July 5 while Astro will hold a paid online concert titled “2020 ASTRO Live on WWW” on June 28.

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