At the Kwanhun Forum held at the Korea Press Center on March 15, Bang Si Hyuk, the “giant” behind BTS, said: “I can’t promise to resume operations as a full group in 2025, but I hope so.”
BTS can hardly resume operations in 2025
In December 2022, BTS Jin joined the military as an active duty soldier. J-Hope will be the second member to join the army after his solo promotions end.
Previously, BigHit revealed that BTS would pick up where they left off in 2025, but did not specify a return date. Bang Si Hyuk replied: “It’s not that we will resume full group classes, but that we and members hope to resume full group classes around 2025.” addition “However, this is a promise on both sides that we will actively do this, not a hope that will be blown away.”
The founder of HYBE also declined to disclose the recruiting dates of the other members, claiming that these are personal details that cannot be easily divulged. Once the deadlines are set, the company will publish the information “transparently and sequentially.”
Recognizing the social impact that BTS contract renewals could potentially have, Bang Si hyuk said: “I’m careful about saying this. BTS discloses the term for transparency and the term of the contract is still in effect. We’ll talk the rest of the time and it’s polite to tell the artist and the fans when the story is over.”
According to the initial announcement, BTS intends to end its mandatory conscription in 2025. Nevertheless, due to the discrete dates of enlistment, it is more difficult to predict a specific date.
Bang Si Hyuk noted that Kpop is going through a “crisis” while the indexes are falling. Currently, K-pop accounts for 2% of worldwide album sales. Companies such as Universal Studios, Sony Music and Warner Music account for 15 to 30%, for a total of 67.4%.
The number of songs hitting the charts fell by 53%, and exports to other music industries saw a decline. Compared to the same quarter last year, the Southeast Asia region recorded negative growth, with the number of listeners on Spotify falling by 23%.
BTS generates an economic value of 1,000 billion won every concert night
According to estimates by the Korea Institute of Culture and Tourism published on March 12, BTS would create a maximum of 1,000 billion won (equivalent to US$770 million) of economic value per concert night in Korea.
During their four-day concert in Las Vegas, BTS received 131.5 billion won in revenue from concerts and related promotions. In terms of lightstick sales, the figure was 15.3 billion won.
Lee Young Ryeol, a professor at the Seoul Institute of the Arts, pointed out that the huge impact of the Hallyu wave in general could have a positive economic impact on the Korean economy.