To a certain degree, it can be agreed that the internet has the magical ability to amplify the popularity of something, making it appear bigger than it really is. An article published by Digital Music News gave their insight on the matter while bringing up interesting data to support their idea that K-Pop's actual popularity within the US is overestimated.
While not necessarily attempting to undermine the great achievements accomplished by BTS, it is worth noting that Ed Sheeran's album 'Divide', which was released over a year ago, beat out BTS's 'Love Yourself: Tear', which hit number one upon release, in a matter of weeks, meaning the K-Pop idols' dominance on the Billboard charts didn't last very long.
Digital Music News say that "for something considered “popular”, these are pretty weak numbers. Ed Sheeran’s year-and-three-month-old album managed to bring in more equivalent albums than a brand new BTS album"
And given that EXO, Girls' Generation, TWICE, BLACKPINK, and other super popular K-Pop idol groups were nowhere to be seen on either Hot 100 and Top 200, one can't help but question whether K-Pop is actually popular among the general music listeners, the ones besides K-Pop fans who are busy stanning their favorite idols.
K-Pop fans generally buy albums and stream their idol group's music within the first week upon a release, whereas non-fans and the rest of music listeners obviously seem to listen to other songs and move on after they've checked them out. And among those other songs, some of them have managed to stay in the top ten within Billboard's Hot 100, even after months of its release. Then the question is, how is it that popular K-Pop songs by popular idol groups aren't able to stay high on the charts as long as non K-Pop songs, some of which have been released ages ago? The answer seems to hint that K-Pop, while it may have a large fan base, doesn't appeal as much to an average music listener.
Do you think K-Pop's popularity has been drastically exaggerated? Feel free to share your thoughts!