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BTS Made Huge Gains In America With Second-Highest Album Sales In 2018


BTS poses in the press room at the 2017 American Music Awards at Microsoft Theater on November 19, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

In case BTS didn’t break enough records in 2018, new data shows they are the top-selling Korean act in America, according to BuzzAngle’s 2018 Year-End Report on U.S. music industry consumption.

If 2017 was the year BTS burst onto the American scene, 2018 was the year they flaunted their staying power. Now, BTS’s American crossover has become that much more quantifiable -- and this latest report proves they can claim space among top American stars. In fact, the Korean act demonstrated their charting bonafides across three BuzzAngle lists.

Two of their albums landed on the Top Albums By Sales chart. Love Yourself: Tear charted at No. 14 with 212,953 album sales, while Love Yourself: Answer reached No. 18 with 199,865 album sales. Both albums reached the top of the Billboard 200.

BTS was the only artist with two albums on the list. However, country rocker Chris Stapleton managed to chart three albums at once.

The soundtrack for The Greatest Showman was the No. 1 album with over 1.2 million sales. Meanwhile, BTS beat out Shawn Mendes’s self-titled album, Cardi B’s Invasion of Privacy and Panic! at the Disco’s Pray for the Wicked.

Over on the Top Artist By Album Sales chart, BTS made an impressive showing at No. 2 out of 25 top-level acts. Eminem reached the top spot with 755,027 album sales, while BTS’s cumulative album sales in the U.S. added up to 603,307. Rounding out the top five is Chris Stapleton, Metallica and Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper.

The sum of the sales from Tear and Answer amount to 412,818. The cumulative album sales figure shows that BTS sold an additional 190,489 albums in the U.S. last year. It’s unclear which albums make up the latter figure.

Thirdly, BTS appeared at the tailend of the Top Artists By Total Consumption chart at No. 25. The septet racked up 1,910,560 “total project units,” 603,307 album sales, 1,577,958 song sales and 1,724,185,536 on-demand audio streams. The “total project units” refer to total album consumption, which is calculated by adding album sales, song sales (10 is equivalent to one album) and on-demand audio streams (1,500 is equivalent to one album).

In 2018, BTS’s Korean album sales shot up to the millions. As of December, the Korean Gaon chart calculated 2,169,519 cumulative sales for Love Yourself: Answer and 1,835,012 cumulative sales for Love Yourself: Tear.

In total, BTS’s 2018 haul amounted to over 5 million album sales (across 12 different albums) in Korea by December. As a result, BTS reportedly reached 10 million album sales on Gaon across their five-year career, becoming the fastest artist that debuted after 2000 to do so.

Launched in 2016, BuzzAngle Music provides a music analytics service that “incorporates the daily sales, streaming and airplay activity of albums, songs and artists.” Penske Media -- which owns media brands like Rolling Stone, Variety and Deadline -- invested in the service last year. A 2017 Variety report listed the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), Music Biz and HITS as BuzzAngle clients.

BTS didn’t make it onto any of BuzzAngle’s charts from the 2017 U.S. Report, but “DNA” (the septet’s first song to chart on the Hot 100) did get a mention in the American Music Awards section. Following their debut performance at the ceremony, “DNA” saw a two-day average increase of 189 percent in streaming activity. BuzzAngle noted these metrics were “far ahead of any other song.”

Last year, BTS reached new heights on an assortment of levels. In one of the septet’s latest records, “Fake Love” became the all-time most-streamed song on Spotify by a Korean artist in 2018. Their accomplishments were far-reaching as RM delivered a speech at the United Nations, their concert film earned $18.5 million at the box office, and they raked in a handful of RIAA certifications.

BTS will release their second concert film, Love Yourself in Seoul, in 88 countries on Jan. 26. Their label, Big Hit Entertainment, plans to debut a new boy group in early 2019.

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