And all the Americans are like, “You want to talk about disappointing numbers?”


Yeah, that joke is going to be the last of my election commentary, because my hopes that I would never have to look at Donald Trump’s face ever again have been cruelly dashed. (Some serious advice, because there are people who are genuinely ready to throw themselves down a well: If you usually give or volunteer for the holidays or at the end of the year, start looking into non-profits that serve the people who you think will be worst affected by this election and channel your generosity there. It’s better to light a candle….)

Anyway, just to keep the downers going, as expected Bastarz did not do great digitally in Korea, although the album is #6 and they are continuing to do a lot fan signs.

On a more upbeat note, though: I read a translation of an article in which they mention that “I Am You, You Are Me” was touted in Dazed, and the result was more YouTube views.

Like, a whole lot more.


So, “Tough Cookie” has less than 3 million views, “Eureka” has less than 4 million views, and “I Am You, You Are Me” has more than 21 million views.

And “Boys and Girls,” which was the video XXL linked to in their article, has more than 16 million views.

Hello, Western music audience!

I could be wrong, because it’s not like I’ve been keeping track of “Boys and Girls” YouTube views all along or anything. But neither “I Am You, You Are Me” or “Boys and Girls” outperformed “Eureka” on that kind of scale when it comes to downloads, so…. Something’s going on there, and I think the most likely reason is those articles. Getting stories into the mainstream press can really help expand a musician’s audience–this is why I harp on it!

ETA: If you’re thinking to yourself, “But Dazed and XXL don’t have THAT big a readership,” well, this is the magic of “You Might Also Like” algorithms. If you get a certain number of people watching and liking a video, YouTube starts serving it up as a recommendation to other people who also like similar videos.


4 responses »

  1. “I used to be a business reporter” is always such an interesting tag. 😀
    I had no idea I Am You You Are Me had so many views already. Wow. So Zico is officially a big name in the western side of k-pop-loving-dweebs now? Like the people responsible for planning “which artists appear on k-pop Youtubers React videos”, singing Fantastic Baby in 2016 and so on? Ah, mankind always reminds me of why I shouldn’t get my hopes up.

    • I would argue that no, “I Am You, You Are Me” doesn’t have a lot of views because it’s big with Western K-Pop lovers. I think that it has a lot of views because it’s gotten publicized to the MUCH MUCH MUCH larger group of Westerns who don’t give a fuck about K-Pop, but like that genre of song. It’s like Baby Metal–the group isn’t popular in the U.S. because they’re Japanese (most Americans don’t give a crap where you’re from), they’re popular because they’re heavy metal.

      • Oh, I see! I was thinking it was something like SNSD or PSY, the kind of song that just gets really popular with the dweebs who are casually into k-pop (and I guess there are many people who fit this, considering TWICE’s newest recordbreaking MV and stuff…). But now you made me wonder if it’s actually a different public, like the R&B loving group, which is possible, or maybe it’s both…? We will see!

        • In the United States anyway, there’s a HUGE gap between SNSD and PSY. “Gangnam Style” really was a popular hit–it sold millions of downloads and played on the radio and everything. The average American knows that song.

          SNSD, however, is more what you’re talking about–their albums sell only a few thousand copies here, which is typical for K-Pop (that’s why BTS selling 16,000 copies of Wings was such a big deal). The average American doesn’t know who they are or any of their songs. You’d never know the difference from looking at K-Pop news or K-Pop blogs, but that’s the thing–K-Pop =as K-Pop= is basically its own genre here, and the audience for that genre is WAY smaller than, as you say, R&B, or hip-hop, or dance.

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