We don’t need permission to do a TikTok dance challenge

BTS encouraged the world to dance with their ″ Permission to Dance Challenge ″ on YouTube Shorts. [YOUTUBE]

BTS wasn’t kidding when they sang “we don’t need permission to dance”.

After releasing their single ‘Permission to Dance’ in July, BTS invited the world to dance to the song on YouTube Shorts, a TikTok-like feature that allows users to shoot 15-second videos using their phones. portable.

Called the “Permission to Dance Challenge”, the event started on July 23 and ran until August 14. The challenge was simple: dance to the song showing the International Sign gestures which mean “joy”, “dance” and “peace.” Participants also had the chance to see their videos featured in a compilation to be released at a later date.

BTS had previously released dance challenges for tracks “Life Goes On” (2020), “On” (2020) and band member J-Hope’s solo song “Chicken Noodle Soup” (2019) on TikTok. For the “Life Goes On” dance challenge, more than 463,000 videos were uploaded to the platform and totaled more than 2.2 billion views in just two weeks.

These types of challenges, which aim to draw social media users into the group’s already overflowing fan base, may explain why BTS has won the Best Social Artist category of the Billboard Music Awards for five consecutive years since 2017. The category has been awarded the Billboard Music Awards’ Best Social Artist category. first premiered in 2011. and is well known as a “popularity award”.

But how did BTS, which once won only in fan-voted categories, managed to conquer the US music industry and win awards in categories like Top Duo / Group, Top Song Sales Artist, and Top Selling? Song? The answer can be found in social networks.

The Korean music industry continues to grow at a steady pace. According to a 2020 survey of people’s music preferences released by the Korea Creative Content Agency, people who listen to music on video platforms like YouTube fell from 46.8% in 2019 to 60.3% in 2020. Only 28.7% and 11.5% of those polled said they listen to radio or physical albums, respectively. While video platforms are here to stay, music has merged with social media content, expanding the music industry.

Singer Lee Mu-jin's Traffic Light ″ gained popularity after fans issued a TikTok challenge for the song. [SCREEN CAPTURE]

Singer Lee Mu-jin’s Traffic Light ″ gained popularity after fans issued a TikTok challenge for the song. [SCREEN CAPTURE]

Singer Lee Mu-jin’s hit song “Traffic Light” (2021) is an example of the huge role social media can play in making a song popular. The song disappeared from the local music charts directly after its release in May, but returned in June after being featured in a TikTok challenge. Over 36,000 videos have appeared on the platform and the song rose to # 4 on the Gaon Chart, # 3 on Melon and # 2 on Genie Music.

Girl group Brave Girls also enjoyed sudden success after their 2017 song “Rollin ‘” returned to the charts earlier this year. When Viditor, a YouTube channel with 20.8,000 subscribers that uploads K-pop performances with comedic comments, posted a video for “Rollin ‘,” Brave Girls instantly became a nationwide hit, reaching No. 1 on the Melon charts. Monthly for three consecutive months. and see great success in weekly music television programs.

These days, K-pop artists are pre-posting new music through social media. TikTok has over 600 million daily active users, who played a part in rapper Zico’s “Any Song” dance challenge that went viral in early 2020. Since then, other stars of the K-pops like Seventeen, Sunmi, and Blackpink have also used the platform to promote new music. BTS teased 30 seconds of “On” 12 hours before its official release on streaming platforms in February 2020.

K-pop artists tend to make clips of their dance moves relatively easy, encouraging viewers to participate in dance challenges, like the International Sign choreography in “Permission to Dance.” Girl group WJSN The Black uploaded 18 different dance moves in separate TikTok clips for their song “Easy” (2021).

Twice recently launched a TikTok dance challenge for their 2018 hit song What is Love. ″ [SCREEN CAPTURE]

Twice recently launched a TikTok dance challenge for their 2018 hit song What is Love. ″ [SCREEN CAPTURE]

Hosting dance challenges can lead to increased music sales as users will be listening to the full version of the music they hear on TikTok on streaming sites, influencing the ranking of the charts.

One example is “What is Love” by girl group Twice, released in 2018. The track has become even more popular on TikTok than the group’s most recent hit “Alcohol-Free” (2021). According to K-pop Radar, a site that analyzes K-pop data, more than 140,000 clips from the “What is Love” dance challenge on TikTok have racked up 750 million views. The “What is Love” music video on YouTube recorded about 890,000 views in one day on August 27 thanks to the challenge while the “Alcohol Free” music video only gained 690,000, despite being released in June. K-pop Radar analyzed this as being influenced by the TikTok Challenge, stating that “the active participation of fans [in the challenge] unintentionally resulted in increased publicity.

The promotion of music via social networks is based on “two-way communication”. Whereas in the past the methods of broadcasting over the radio and selling albums were one-sided, nowadays fans can participate and share music content. Rapper D-Hack, who rose to No. 19 on the Gaon Digital Chart on August 17 with his song “Ohayo My Night”, rose to popularity after TikTok user Hyeda uploaded a cover of the song. in July. Nearly 23,000 covers were then downloaded. D-Hack thanked Hyeda by responding via a TikTok video with the duo feature.

“My song got more recognition recently thanks to TikTokers covering my song, even though it was released last year,” D-Hack said. “I love every piece of content because it’s unique in its own way. Social networks give everyone the opportunity to become a creator, because music is shared without prejudice. ”

It’s not just artists who profit from social media. Social networks have opened the door for people who aspire to become musicians. Singer-songwriter Stella Jang became known to the world after actress Jessica Alba uploaded a video last year of Jang’s “Colors” (2016). The track was subsequently featured in over 1.3 million TikTok videos.

This Viditor YouTube video, with over 22 million views, can be credited with making Brave Girls '″ Rollin' ″ a national hit. [SCREEN CAPTURE]

This Viditor YouTube video, with over 22 million views, can be credited with making Brave Girls ‘″ Rollin’ ″ a national hit. [SCREEN CAPTURE]

Among experts, social media is seen as the engine for the growth of K-pop.

“K-pop has become much more influential with cover dances and addicting melodies used on short-lived video platforms,” said Choi Kwang-ho, general secretary of the Korea Music Content Association. “These platforms have offered consumers a new way to listen to music. Music isn’t just something you buy and listen to anymore – you can produce secondary content with it and enjoy music on a whole new level. It helps unknown musicians and their music gain recognition that they were not able to get before. Social media is increasing the scale of the music industry by promoting diversity.

As the line between creators and consumers blurs, the old music industry focused on labels and agencies has shifted to a consumer-centric strategy.

“Now the industry is unable to create content without first communicating with consumers during the process,” Choi said. “Agencies and labels know that the key to success lies in involving consumers from start to finish through different channels. This is why agencies sign with platform companies. This strategy of producing musical content by communicating with consumers will continue to be reinforced.

BY YOO JU-HYUN [kjdculture@joongang.co.kr]