Here’s something U.S. fans can do….

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I was noticing that “Shall We Dance” is still at #2 on the U.S. iTunes K-Pop list, second only behind “DNA” by BTS, which of course is currently being promoted in this country. That to me suggests that it’s a song the U.S. market is responding to, and of course attention for BTS can easily translate into attention for other K-Pop acts, including Block B.

And I saw this article in the Wall Street Journal about U.S. streaming services and the individuals who curate very influential playlists for them. (And if you think I’m old and curmudgeonly, you should check out the hilarious comments on that article, which can be summed up as: GET OFF MY LAWN!)

Which makes me think that we may have an opportunity here to push “Shall We Dance” to these guys (obviously given the kind of song it is, I’d suggest focusing on the hip-hop and Latin music people). From these Billboard articles on Busa and Chery, it seems like:

  1. They give suggestions more weight if they come from people who are actually on the streaming service they work for.
  2. If you’re on a streaming service, you should definitely be using your playlist and social tools to promote the song.
  3. More weight is given if the suggestions appear to be organic and spontaneous; i.e., no form letters, just tell them in your own words why you think “Shall We Dance” kicks ass.

So, here’s the WSJ‘s list:

TUMA BASA
Age: 42
Title: Global head of hip-hop, Spotify
Influential because: Curates RapCaviar, considered the most powerful playlist today

CARL CHERY
Age: 38
Title: Head of artist curation, Apple Music [Note: worked for XXL, has a hip-hop background]

ALLISON HAGENDORF
Age: 37
Title: Global head of rock, Spotify

MIKE BIGGANE
Age: 39
Title: Head of pop, Spotify
Influential because: Oversees “Today’s Top Hits,” which has 18 million followers, among other playlists….

ALEX LUKE
Age: 49
Title: Global head of programming and content strategy, Amazon Music

Five more leading playlist professionals to know:
Rocío Guerrero (Latin and global music, Spotify), whose Baila Reggaeton playlist has over 6 million followers and helped the Spanish-language song “Despacito” hit No. 1
Elliott Wilson (hip-hop, Tidal)
Arjan Timmermans (pop, Apple Music)
Tony Gervino (Tidal)
Jerry Pullés (Latin, Apple Music)

ETA: There’s this chart about Block B’s current performance on Spotify, if you think you’d find that helpful. While I think it’s probably best to focus on the new release, there’s nothing inherently wrong with also giving “Toy” or one of the other songs a nudge to the people who might not be such a good fit for “Shall We Dance.”

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This is why I can’t get upset

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Oh, nooooo, Block B failed to win their…um…gotta look this up…their ninth music-show trophy! Instead it went to That Jooheon Kid and the rest of Monsta X!

How awful. Monsta X got their first win, which made them super happy so that they cried and cried (and cried!), and Block B ran right over and hugged them and were grinning and the tension was just so awful, because Block B was obviously super upset not to get their…well, if you count Zico and Park Kyung’s wins, then it would have been their twelfth trophy. Instead they had to watch those Monsta X kids have a day they’ll never forget, which I’m sure was especially awful for Block B because it would remind them of their first win and how much it meant to them.

Of course, it was nowhere near as horrible for Block B than the day Winner beat them out to get their first win.

Lo, the anger and resentment!

See? Quality entertainment

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I was just looking through Block B Styles, and oh yeah:

$612!

ETA: OK, now the Inkigayo performance is up, and P.O is not only wearing my grandmother’s earrings, but you know that tall furry hat he was wearing in the video?

Screen Shot 2017-11-11 at 11.32.33 PM

That is an honest-to-Good coonskin cap, my friends.

King of Face Dancing!

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His specialty!

The dance is really great! And damn, Jaehyo’s knee must be well and truly fixed!

Also, if you haven’t checked out their V Live channel, English subs are up on basically everything, and there’s a lot of really funny stuff!

ETA: I think P.O gets Most Improved, though. He’s basically dancing the whole time, instead of just kind of wandering around the back of the stage when it’s not his turn.

And what does it say that I have no idea if he’s actually chewing gum or if he’s just working his jaw like a crazy man, and that I believe either option is equally likely?

How are things going?

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Obviously, I lovelovelove “Shall We Dance,” but now’s the time for me to get all cold and analytical. And the fact is that the song isn’t sweeping the charts in Korea or anything–it’s not doing horribly on the daily charts, but it’s not doing fantastic, either.

And that’s kind of how things are elsewhere. BlockB.com‘s traffic looks like this:

That’s 322 visitors–less than “Toy,” but more than “H.E.R.” (I didn’t actually write down the number of visitors for “Yesterday“–oops! ETA: It’s 406 views! Improved Web analytics FTW!) The international iTunes charts look OK, including their first appearance on the UK charts (where is Finland, though?), but not as high as “Toy.”

But of course “Shall We Dance” and “Toy” are completely different songs, and I think that’s pretty much the issue–when you switch up a sound, the people who liked your old sound may not like your new one, and the people who would like your new sound don’t yet know you exist. So it can take some time to find an audience.

There’s definitely some good news–Billboard gave a really nice write-up, and we’re at 1.7 million YouTube views a day-and-a-half in, which is quite good. Block B is going to do music shows, and while I obviously hate the whole trophy business with the fire of a thousand suns, appearing on the shows does have promotional value.

And of course they probably felt like they could take a risk with their lead single because they already made bank using “My Zone” for an LG endorsement. It’s also simply not that important these days that every Block B release be a huge hit, because they’re so much more diversified with all the solo activities and everything going on in Japan. They also reportedly have two concerts in Korea coming up that will be in an 11,000-seat stadium, and there’s always the old-school method of having a thousand fan signings to sell CDs, so, yeah–they have whole a lot of avenues through which they can drum up revenues. They’re not going to die if the Korean market never really warms to “Shall We Dance.”