Will Kpop Decline Because of BTS’ Military Service?

Several reputable Korean media outlets have weighed in on the declining impact of Kpop as BTS temporarily suspends their activities

After nearly three months since all BTS members enlisted in the military, marking the beginning of the group’s two-year absence from the music scene, Korean media outlets have offered various assessments on the influence of BTS’ absence on the Kpop industry. 

On February 20th, Sports Today reported that the structure of the Kpop fandom community revolves around BTS fans and cannot expand due to the overwhelming size of BTS’ fandom.


The report further emphasizes that due to tensions in certain Asian markets—particularly China—concerns about the Kpop industry’s development are escalating. Consequently, with BTS temporarily ceasing activities, a portion of BTS’ fans, ARMYs, will lose interest, creating a “Kpop crisis.”

According to HYBE’s financial report, net profit in the third quarter of 2023 increased by 5.9% compared to the same period in 2022, reaching 98.6 billion won (73.3 million USD) despite BTS’ inactivity. The growth is primarily attributed to solo projects by BTS members. Among them, Suga’s World Tour D-DAY with 28 concerts generated a remarkable revenue of 57.2 million USD, becoming the highest-grossing solo tour in Korean history.

bts suga

HYBE’s increased revenue also relies significantly on BTS members’ solo album sales such as “Face” by Jimin, “Layover” by V, and “Golden” by Jungkook. Particularly, Jungkook’s solo debut not only achieved massive sales but also elevated his status, bringing him closer to the title of a new-generation popstar.

With BTS’ success, Kpop has opened up many opportunities to conquer global music awards. Cho Chu-yeol, Chairman of the Korea Music Copyright Association (KOMCA), believes that Kpop’s influence on the world not only benefits the music industry but also enhances Korea’s image. 


Evidence includes V being appointed as the Tourism Ambassador for the Seoul Tourism Campaign in 2023, which attracted over 500 million views on YouTube. 

The prolonged absence of BTS raises concerns among music industry officials that Kpop’s allure will diminish, entering a period of decline.

However, this prediction has sparked various conflicting opinions. Overall, Kpop is still vibrant and expanding. Top groups like BLACKPINK, SEVENTEEN, TWICE, etc., have contributed to many milestones. The next generation has standout groups like NewJeans, Stray Kids, LE SSERAFIM, etc., showing potential for international breakthroughs.

Overall, Kpop is still expanding in scope. BTS members are expected to return after fulfilling military service and resume group activities in June 2025. Industry insiders believe that there’s still hope for Kpop to continue its global expansion despite BTS’ temporary absence.

Source: k14

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