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Is BTS’ Jimin a victim of the US Billboard charts?

todayMay 19, 2023 292 1

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After the recent release of Park Jimin’s first solo album, titled FACE, on March 24, 2023, fans of BTS (ARMY) have taken to social media to voice their complaints as they have suspected foul play from the US Billboard Charts. On the 3rd of April, the title track, Like Crazy, surpassed Miley Cyrus’ Flowers and took the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100’s chart.

However, the next week, the song slipped out of the Top 10, which came as a shock to ARMYs as they had expected the song to last a few weeks in the top 10. Rumors of US Billboard charts allegedly changing their criteria for measuring the popularity of songs went viral across various platforms.  

ARMYs accused the platform of being biased, xenophobic, and corrupt as they demanded to know the reasons behind the sudden change. They accused Billboard of allegedly filtering streams and deleting 100K units of Jimin’s Like Crazy album sales. Hits Daily Double had reported the unit sales numbers to be around 120,000, but Forbes (the source of sales information for Billboard’s music charts) published extremely low figures, saying they sold less than 15,000 units. 

In a tweet, Billboard had announced it will no longer count bulk album purchases for its Hot 100 and other charts. The new rules were announced by Billboard in December 2021, and became effective in 2022. With the new rules, a single digital sale will be counted per customer per week for songs and albums. The new rule applies only to digital sales, and not physical album sales. ARMYs are unhappy with this development as they are known to purchase multiple album copies in support of their idols. 

Even though it seems that Billboard is encouraging fans to focus on the importance of using streaming platforms to influence the charts, this is more detrimental to less popular musicians who are earning very little from streaming sites, such as Devin Jay, a musician from Wisconsin. He agreed the new rules will affect musicians like him. In a tweet, he revealed Spotify paid him a measly US$27 for his music that reached over 25,000 streams. 

An easy comparison of the billboards is in looking at the difference between the Billboard Hot 100 Charts in the week the song debuted on the charts (April 6) and week following (April 13).  

Written by: Yanika

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