Despite having similar packaging, K-Pop superstars BTS are unlike any other K-Pop group.
They've achieved things that the others could only dream of achieving. The biggest K-Pop entertainment agencies have attempted many times to create an artist that could be considered as a global phenomenon but never really had the same results as BTS.
There is no formula that guarantees success within the music industry. Money, marketing, good content, and etc. aren't things that can replicate such results, otherwise, we'd have far more successful artists left and right to the point where the term superstar would no longer have any value to it. Cases in the past have proven that even with all of the leverages above, you just simply can't magically create a successful music artist.
Objectively speaking, K-Pop idols are generally quite homogenous in the sense that they all have perfectly styled hair, flawless skin, energetic choreography, and even similar sounds. So what really sets BTS apart from the rest of the K-Pop acts? How are they able to outperform everyone and replicate that same miraculous success that projected them to world stardom?
While it's impossible to explain every single one of their successful accomplishments, it is possible to see how they've reached #1 on the Billboard 200 Charts. Many people are aware that good music makes it to the Billboard Charts but many don't really know how the system grades and put them there. Of course, it's not simple but there are three major factors that come into play.
First is airplay. While you may think that no one listens to the radio anymore in this age, it doesn't matter. The more an artist's song gets airplay, it's likely that it will perform better on the charts. BDS (Broadcast Data Systems) is a way to measure how much airplay a song gets. The data collected by BDS helps Billboard and many other music-related platforms assess a song's popularity.
Second is social media and streaming. Now, of course, being the 'Top Social Artist' for two consecutive years, BTS definitely have capitalized the most on this factor. It's not just airplay that can project a song to the top of the charts. Billboard will take social media presences and streaming into account as well. How much an artist or song has been streamed, mentioned, and exposed on social media is a big factor in making it on the charts.
And third, we have retail and digital album sales. Nielsen Soundscan compiles data based on sales of music and MV.
BTS themselves are probably surprised at the success they've seen. It's highly likely they were seven talented boys who just wanted to make music and have fun with their fans. And they probably weren't aware that they were using social media in such a way that would project them into the American music market.
But having been active Twitter users since 2011, they've accumulated fans and social media presence for quite some time now. That is a marketing strategy that directly goes opposite of what K-Pop idols do, which is through South Korean TV. In fact, some could argue that their success could even be unintentional on their part if we think about it this way.