A few reasons why BTS might not be played on American radio stations

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On September 3, 2018, an article was released by Hypable.com titled: BTS has the No. 1 album in America, but it’s still not playing on radio stations.

At the end the author put: For the radio stations that are playing BTS, we applaud you.

Aw thank you! My radio company Entercom and my local upper management knew of my passion for BTS and have supported me every step of the way by leading on their records. I’m blessed to work in a top 100 radio market (Chattanooga) that listens to every genre of music.

There are a few things that are stopping BTS from getting that instant radio add that many of their peers (cause let’s face it, their peers aren’t K-Pop anymore) Taylor Swift, Shawn Mendes, and Drake get.

1. English 

I can already hear the chants of “they are a Korean band!” ARMY you don’t have to tell me this, I KNOW. The facts are this, America is an English speaking country and many people won’t give BTS a chance simply because the song is not english. “But what about spanish speaking songs?” Great point (Despacito and I like it) but the second biggest language in the United States is Spanish.

So let’s say that radio gives them a chance and plays “IDOL”, the only person radio can really talk to in the group is RM. BTS does a full day of promotions in the United States and RM has to not only answer questions but translate to his bandmates. That’s a lot of pressure to put on one person.

You have other K-pop groups coming over to America who have 2-3 english speakers in their group, making it easier for english interviews and conversation.

2. Location

BTS are at the top of their game but in America they are still new to the general public. When a new artist debuts, they make a 6 month tour run in the United States to introduce themselves to radio programmers and the public. BTS’ family and heart is in South Korea but if they were to move to the states for say…3 to 6 months and be easily accessible to media and new fans it would make a world of difference since getting them for interviews in our time zone and their time zone is difficult. Once again, EVERY major artist had to do this.

3. Radio 

I go back to an article I posted last week where I asked Ed Sheeran the biggest advice Taylor Swift gave him, he said “She said to always work with radio.” This is what BTS needs to do.

Look at last year’s B96

Some of the biggest stars in the world are on this bill, know why? Because radio is a partnership with the artists and their labels. We are in this together to bring listeners great music and promotions.

Other artists last year who partnered with radio for different projects: Ed Sheeran, Shawn Mendes,Camila Cabello, The Chainsmokers, Bruno Mars, Sam Smith, Demi Lovato, Logic, Kesha, Niall Horan, Halsey, Charlie Puth, Liam Payne, Why Don’t We.

These artists have sold out stadiums/arenas, had #1 songs on pop radio and still take the time out of their schedule to do radio concerts, lounges, and meet & greets because that’s what a partnership is. If BTS’ peers can do these things, so can BTS.


Oh boy…it hurt to type that.

ARMY as a whole have done something no other fandom for a K-Pop group has been able to do, cross over to America and get two #1 albums in a span of 4 months.

I’m talking about a small fraction of Army who go out of their way to make the whole fandom look bad. The Echosmith incident


I asked my good friend to get Echosmith to do the #VMINChallenge and they did. More than a few Army were very rude in the comments to the point where the Program Director and Music Director had to post and publically shame those Army that said something. This incident soured me on doing challenges and I haven’t done one since. The “Fake Love” incident 

Army demanding that US radio stations put back in the Korean word “naega” in the song, even after people told them radio had nothing to do with it

the radio censoring the word “naega” during fake love is the dumbest thing I’ve seen today like y’all really gonna make people believe they’re using slurs just because you’re not smart enough to go do some research and realise it’s just a korean word— t —- (@THOTTlEJIMIN) May 18, 2018


It took RM making a post to get some to calm down.

The “Jin is cropped out” incident

My company posted an OT6 photo companywide on all pop stations (I didn’t know about it) digital said “don’t erase until we find out why this happened” and even after they did, I refused to erase it because some Army needed to learn how to speak to programmers and social media people. What if that had happened to another station who wasn’t playing BTS and some had acted that way to them?

I’m the boss for a reason so I knew I could handle it. What I didn’t appeciate was how some went out of their way to ruin this project from this group (peep the comments):


*SASSY* Sassy’s been through the thick and thin with ARMYs. Let’s shower @/KissChattanooga with our love and gratitude! Project details below: [DO NOT @ SASSY! THIS IS A SURPRISE!> — ~200 HEARTS FOR SASSY~ — pic.twitter.com/aEv0hYxqSq— BTS Purple Iris Initiative (@BTSxPurpleIris) May 25, 2018


I felt bad for the ladies who started this and thanked them. Now I ask you: why would ANY programmer in the United States want to deal with this type of blowback over a picture mistake?

The way some Army come at stations for unimportant things and not prioritizing what the MAIN GOAL is (getting radio play) is an issue. When I was the target (and I have more of a perspecitive since I’m ARMY and involved with the fandom daily) I tried to tell problematic army in our mentions that them telling other army “Oh radio will play BTS! They can’t afford to lose us!” was spreading dangerous falsehood to naive Army who were going to get knocked out with the truth. Some radio don’t want to deal with those Army and if that means not playing the record then so be it.

In a nutshell shut down the ones who are being loud and wrong and focus on the goal. It can happen, it WILL happen this comeback so let’s keep going, fighting!

Note: This article was originally posted on 103.7 KISS FM Chattanooga Blog and has been republished with the author’s permission.