BTS responds to allegations of 'chart manipulation': 'We’re easy targets because we’re a boy band'
BTS has one of the most devoted fan bases on earth, yet it was recently claimed that they had manipulated their chart success. Some critics believe that BTS's followers, known as the ARMY, may be gaming the system by coordinating large purchases of their songs. As per E! online BTS member RM strongly denied allegations of “manipulative” methods.
According to Billboard, despite the group's lower streaming statistics and radio exposure than some of its mainstream rivals, BTS' songs have topped the music charts. "It's a fair question," BTS member RM told the magazine, regarding allegations that the ARMY's work amounts to chart manipulation. "But if there is a conversation inside Billboard about what being No. 1 should represent, then it's up to them to change the rules and make streaming weigh more on the ranking." He added, "Slamming us or our fans for getting to No. 1 with physical sales and downloads, I don't know if that's right...It just feels like we're easy targets because we're a boy band, a K-pop act, and we have this high fan loyalty."
Meanwhile, "Butter," BTS' most recent song, is now at No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles list. "Permission to Dance," their previous single, sits at No. 66. Both debuted at the top of the charts. However, when BTS' label president, Shin Young-Jae, was questioned whether parent firm HYBE Corporation organizes followers in any chart manipulation. He chuckled and replied, "Wouldn't it be nice if we actually had the ability to mastermind such a thing?"
He further added, “I get that there are market developments [related to BTS] that are head-scratchers for some people. But I don’t believe the U.S. market is one that can be handily topped by downloads alone. We think the songs’ impact was shown in many ways, and we are proud of that achievement.”