'Map of the Soul: 7': Despite coronavirus slump, BTS sells $4.02M copies in pre-sales for new album

The meteorically popular K-pop band has become the second musical group ever to outsell their album in pre-sales post Ed Sheeran's 2017 album 'Divide'


                            'Map of the Soul: 7': Despite coronavirus slump, BTS sells $4.02M copies in pre-sales for new album
BTS (Getty Images)
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With every new hit, ARMY's reactions and satisfaction know no bounds. The Bangtan Boys aren't just here to please, they're here to sweep us off our feet.

Easily claiming the title of the most successful K-Pop artists to ever make it big, globally, BTS has reached greater heights with the reception they have received for the newest album in their discography, 'Map of the Soul: 7'. They've set a new precedent for other artists, especially those hailing from their side of the world.

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Despite South Korea being the second-highest to be plagued by the recent Coronavirus pandemic, the 'Boy with Luv' singers are doing exceptionally well in sales and promotions. They have stormed major musical charts worldwide, making it to the 'Top 10' lists in several countries.

Forbes reported that the septet is in the 'Top 10' list of the best performing full length for their new album in the Canadian charts. Their single 'On' has become the second highest-charting song by a K-Pop artist ever, just behind their fellow Korean sensation, Psy's 2012 banger, 'Gangnam Style'. They're also spending their second week in the Australian Billboard charts 

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BTS comprising RM, V, Jungkook, Jimin, J-Hope, Jin and Suga, have a new milestone under their belt. The 'Fake Love' singers debuted in 2013 and shot to fame quite rapidly in their home country of South Korea. They quickly gained world recognition for their versatility in discography, visuals, and choreography and went on to become among the first groups to make their official Western debut. 

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South Korean group BTS visit 'The Morning Mash Up' On SiriusXM Hits 1 Channel at SiriusXM Studios on April 12, 2019, in New York City (Getty Images)

Since then, they've only soared higher (with the two wings that the ARMY has given them). They've put their 'Blood, Sweat and Tears' into their work to get to their current position, dominating the world with their ineffable talent.

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On one hand, if they have been selling out stadiums, they have also been engaged in humanitarian work, on the other. Their growing prominence and recognition enabled them to launch the 'Love Myself' global campaign that aims at fighting against violence. In 2018, they delivered a speech at the United Nations as UNICEF's global ambassadors. TIME Magazine deemed them the 'Next Generation Leaders' and among the 'Most Influential People of 2019'.

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The boys were only getting ready to embark on their new world tour when tragedy struck in the form of the Coronavirus outbreak. The number of confirmed cases began to rise in forcing them to cancel several scheduled dates in concern. They also made an official announcement urging fans to avoid physical appearances at their shows.

Jimin, in a live stream, advised fans saying, “Health is always on our mind these days, and our messages of facing your inner self and loving yourself is ultimately only possible when you’re healthy.”

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As of Tuesday, March 10, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in South Korea have reached 7,513, with 54 deaths. 

Even in the state of emergency that South Korea is in and the plummeting sales within the entertainment industry, the group has managed to somewhat stabilize their position economically. BTS has practically become the breadwinner for the country, bringing in billions in terms of national revenue.

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In Dec 2018, it was estimated by the Hyundai Research Institute (HRI) that BTS singlehandedly generates $3.56 billion in the country's GDP, annually with an added value of $1.26 billion, per annum. Statista analyzed 2018 company revenues and concluded that BTS' contribution to South Korea's income is almost on the same level as Korean Air. Currently, the national revenue they bring in amounts to $4.9 billion. BTS is also predicted to garner $49.8 billion in revenue with the next ten-year time frame. 

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HRI also stated that BTS is also credited with the increase in tourism numbers. Approximately South Korea has 796,000 foreign visitors, every year and the credit goes to Bangtan boys promoting the local tourism industry. Additionally, the HRI revealed that BTS was responsible for the sale of $1.1 billion worth of Korean consumer goods export out of the total $65.2 in2017.

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BTS performs onstage during the 2019 Billboard Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 01, 2019, in Las Vegas, Nevada (Getty Images)

The K-pop septet is also the global ambassador for Korea-based automobile company 'Hyundai'. According to SM2 Networks, Hyundai Motors made a whopping $504 million in sales as the result of promotions done while featuring BTS.

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Despite the possible losses they may have incurred by the recent tour cancelations, they've more than made up for it with album sales.

Number 3 on the Billboard Top 200, the group amassed a whopping 4.02 million copies in pre-orders for 'Map of the Soul:7', the only other group/ artist to outsell their album in pre-sales only, since Ed Sheeran's 'Divide' (2017). According to Hanteo, an online news site that analyzes K-Pop culture and music charts, recent statistics point out BTS has surpassed 3.7 million in sales.

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Furthermore, they've also smashed the streaming record for the music video of their song 'On'. The video garnered 1.54 million streamers, who tuned in to watch the video debut on YouTube Premiere on February 21.

In the week of the album release, the group was featured on The Jimmy Fallon Show, The Late Late Show with James Corden, and sat through their first-ever Carpool Karaoke. In a move to limit their physical appearance amid coronavirus scare, BTS also promoted their album through YouTube and TikTok. Many Tik Tok users complained of high traffic crashing the application and displaying error messages as well.

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BTS' popularity has only sky-rocketed since they debuted and their legacy seems to only grow with time. Their lucrative success amid the coronavirus outbreak is a sign that no matter what comes their way, they remain unstoppable. They are breaking barriers and smashing records, and will continue to do so for years to come.

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