Spotify, YouTube Crack Down on Millions of ‘Fake’ BTS ‘Dynamite’ Streams — Is That Fair?

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Spotify and YouTube are cracking down on millions of ‘fake’ streams garnered by the newest BTS track, ‘Dynamite.’ But because the plays in question largely derived from diehard fans’ repeat views – not bots – are the adjustments really fair?

BTS dropped “Dynamite” four days back, on Friday, August 21st, and the nearly four-minute-long track made a huge impact out of the gate. Boasting roughly three million concurrent viewers at the time of its YouTube premier and cracking 100 million plays in 24 hours, the boy band’s first English-language song allowed the group to reclaim several YouTube records from Blackpink.

To be sure, we also covered Blackpink’s nabbing the titles with “How You Like That.”  In June, the work attracted 1.66 million concurrent viewers and managed to secure some 82.4 million plays in 24 hours.

Spotify officials confirmed that BTS’s fanatic followers played “Dynamite” approximately 12.6 million times during the 24 hours after its release. However, the leading music streaming service acknowledged just 7.78 million of these plays – close to five million less than the actual total – on its Top 200 chart for August 21st.

Though the Stockholm-based company has long employed a (non-publicly disclosed) formula for omitting certain repeat or inauthentic streams from charts, many are expressing disappointment with the decision, as the streams appear to have resulted from a carefully coordinated effort among BTS ARMY members, once again.

Aside from posting on social media about the international attempt to boost “Dynamite” with repeat plays, a substantial number of ARMY devotees addressed the initiative in YouTube’s comments section. “100 million in the first 24 hours we can do it army let’s go,” one individual encouraged on the day that the single debuted. A fellow BTS enthusiast replied: “I’m slowly losing hope, I’m afraid we won’t reach our goal [of hitting 100 million YouTube views in 24 hours] but I won’t stop str34ming.”

Lastly, different BTS superfans yet are taking to social media with detailed explanations on “how to stream on Spotify.” Utilizing premium accounts, listening through certain playlists, and skipping several songs (not “Dynamite,” of course) per hour are just some of the many recommendations that these persons have made. BTS buffs have posted other, similar workarounds for streaming on YouTube – with a specific focus on seeing the plays count towards the viewership total – but the video-sharing platform hasn’t expressed its stance on genuine “Dynamite” streams resulting from rapid-fire replays.

In all likelihood, YouTube has also tossed millions of actual plays because of excessive repeats and bot-like streaming behavior. But despite its insanely-rabid and persistent support, ARMY fans aren’t bots — they’re just obsessed humans.

On a broader scale, viewership policies stemming from “Dynamite” could have a far-reaching impact on the streaming landscape – including, most immediately, what exactly defines a stream. Years back, DMN was first to report that Vulfpeck had funded a tour with royalties from Sleepify, the nine-year-old group’s first (and only) “silent” album filled with short, completely silent tracks. Spotify initially laughed off the work, but as fans continued to play the aptly-titled album before bed and Vulfpeck’s corresponding revenue swelled past the $20,000 mark, company higher-ups ripped down the 10-track release.

13 Responses

  1. BTS = Frauds

    BTS is as fake as they come. Fake views, streams, likes, comments, fans, subscribers, etc.

    • Fgt

      BTS are not fake but their fans can be ultra extreme and way too shrill, crowding anything else out. It’s like 1D fandom on steroids. Most K pop fandoms are extremely childish and annoying though. They all suffer from having young fans who think they know it all at 15 years old.

    • Observer

      So the people who fill up their sold out stadium tours are also not real? Hmmmm… Okay.

    • BlackPinK

      Idiot. You are jealous of their achievements. Atleast they have die-hard fans who will go extreme for them.

  2. Fgt

    Yes, I think it’s fair. These huge fandoms have been disengenuous for a long time now, zombie streaming and squeezing out anything else. Competition is fine but monopolies aren’t. I love BTS and I love Dynamite. But trying to balloon figures falsely so you can force chart positions and clout is not necessary and displays hysteria, paranoia, and a lack of class. If a thing is good it should place on its own merit, not fake streams. Unfortunately this supercompetitiveness is the only thing most of the current young generation understands. The channels are within their rights to even the playing field imo.

  3. Fgt

    I should that I don’t think BTS is manipulating the figures of course. The fans are quite capable of doing that. Even if it’s just to stay ahead of EXO or BlackPink.

    • MPG

      BTS fans are just passionate but it doesn’t mean their streams should not be considered. I mean, I personally liked their new song dynamite and played it the whole day on it’s release because I happened to have a very bad week that time and it instantly puts me into good vibes. Does it mean my streams are irrelevant? I remembered doing the same thing for other western pop songs before but no one seems to question it back then. And if their fans are organized in doing these streams, who are we to judge? Like I’m sure these fans would really stream the song of their favorites nonstop anyway, so what’s wrong if they do it in an organized way that could help their artist to chart? Isn’t it what fans typically do?

      And take note this is all their fans initiative, unlike some Western artists who blatantly encourage their fans themselves on IG live to buy their songs using VPN to help their songs chart on hot 100.

  4. Johnny

    We had Beatles, Beach Boys, Pink Floyd, Led Zep and Queen and now we have ………… BTS! Amazing how the people are all brainwashed into thinking this is great music! Of course the Record companies buy all the plays on the radio (Payola)and so the fans think this is ‘popular’ and so they go buy it too!

    • Dr.

      The Beatles were fake,also. The only thing real about them is that Macca brought the China Virus to America. He’s a communist.

  5. lmn

    Wow the amount of hate they are getting just because they’re existing. For one, it’s not them who tagged themselves whatever title people or media are giving them, which also btw I also hate cos some of it is reaching. And this is just one song of their very wide range with different genres of discography, which I’m sure people don’t get to listen first before judging them because people just love to stick with their prejudice and hate kpop without giving it a chance. And fyi, it’s only now that they got a chance to be on the radio, because their song is in English cos guess what, their songs before are ignored by radio stations just bcos it’s in Korean. This is just a fun song just like any other pop songs out there, but I don’t get why people are getting pressed about this? I don’t like to think that it’s because they’re East Asian cos that’s just Xenophobic.