SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA – Media OutReach – 4 February 2021 – While 2020 changed the way that we enjoy many different types of entertainment, K-pop continued to be a worldwide cultural phenomenon and one of the most global communities on Twitter today. Fans connected with their favorite K-pop artists and participated in conversations with each other around the world, setting a new global record of 6.7 billion K-pop related Tweets in 2020. With over 300 K-pop Topics to follow on Twitter, it’s now easier than ever to see and participate in the best conversations every day about the K-pop artists you love.
“Even in a year where the sounds of K-pop were not able to fill the arenas and venues that they typically do, the #KpopTwitter community set a new worldwide record and K-pop artists continued to energize their global fanbase on Twitter. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic last year, Twitter provided the most thrilling social soundtrack for K-Pop fans, and enabled them to share their love for their favorite K-pop artists with their friends, as well as make new ones all over the world,” said YeonJeong Kim, Head of Global K-Pop Partnerships at Twitter.
Passionate fans with non-stop conversations: Top 20 markets by Tweet volume
The markets generating the most buzz about K-pop showed that the genre’s popularity continues to grow in markets where it’s secured a foothold – even pushing new markets to the top. Surging conversations from fans in Indonesia and India generated enough Tweets to push both higher in the 2020 rankings, with Indonesia taking the #1 spot, and India entering the top 10 for the first time. Despite fierce competition, Brazil and Mexico managed to retain their spots in the top 10, while Spain reached the top 20 for the first time due to the passion of the K-pop fans there.
The top 20 markets Tweeting about K-pop ranked by Tweet Volume in 2020 were:
- South Korea
K-pop popularity on the rise across the world: Top 20 markets by unique voices
Looking at the top 20 markets by unique voices reveals a diverse range of markets, highlighting the increasingly global nature of the K-pop community. K-pop increased its mainstream appeal in several of the largest markets worldwide as Japan and the USA topped this country list with the most number of people who Tweeted about K-pop in 2020. In addition, K-pop fandoms are growing larger across the globe, with other markets like Turkey, France, and Saudi Arabia moving up this country list.
The top 20 markets Tweeting about K-pop ranked by number of unique voices in 2020 were:
- South Korea
- Saudi Arabia
Worldwide favorites: Most-mentioned K-pop artists
Even without many events and tours, the biggest K-pop artists continued to drive conversations among their passionate fans. The top most-mentioned artists, including BTS (@BTS_twt), NCT (@NCTsmtown), EXO (@weareoneEXO), and BLACKPINK (@BLACKPINK) all released new music projects for their fans last year to help them get through 2020.
The top 10 most-mentioned K-pop artists on Twitter in 2020 were:
- BTS (@BTS_twt)
- NCT (@NCTsmtown)
- EXO (@weareoneEXO)
- BLACKPINK (@BLACKPINK)
- GOT7 (@GOT7Official)
- TREASURE (@treasuremembers)
- SEVENTEEN (@pledis_17)
- TOMORROW X TOGETHER (@TXT_members)
- TWICE (@JYPETWICE)
- ATEEZ (@ATEEZofficial)
Embeddable Tweet: https://twitter.com/BTS_twt/status/1303343927676731392
The songs that defined 2020: Most mentioned K-pop songs
Many different songs, whether from the early part of 2020 or just before year-end, helped us make it through 2020. The biggest may not surprise you – by offering “Dynamite” in part for its fans in English-speaking countries, BTS helped to make it one of the year’s biggest songs. Fans of other groups, like GOT7 and NCT 2020, generated plenty of conversations for their favorite artists’ comeback singles, “Breath” and “RESONANCE,” respectively.
The top 10 most-mentioned K-pop songs on Twitter in 2020 were:
- Dynamite, by BTS (@BTS_twt)
- ON, by BTS (@BTS_twt)
- Black Swan, by BTS (@BTS_twt)
- Life Goes On, by BTS (@BTS_twt)
- Breath, by GOT7 (@GOT7Official)
- RESONANCE, by NCT 2020 (@NCTsmtown)
- How You Like That, by BLACKPINK (@BLACKPINK)
- MORE & MORE, by TWICE (@JYPETWICE)
- Boy With Luv, by BTS (@BTS_twt)
- Shadow, by BTS (@BTS_twt)
The new kids on the block: Fastest-rising K-pop artists
Exciting artists emerged onto the scene or took flight in 2020, tantalizing fans with buzzworthy teasers and promising debuts. Each artist’s approach was different – from TREASURE’s (@treasuremembers) approach of solo debuts and their The First Step EP series, to TXT (@TXT_members) making their Japanese debut and second EP just months apart. In addition to TREASURE, many of the fastest-rising artists appeared here for the first time, including ENHYPEN (@ENHYPEN_members), THE BOYZ (@WE_THE_BOYZ), and IZ*ONE (@official_izone).
The top 10 fastest-rising K-pop artists on Twitter in 2020 were:
- TREASURE (@treasuremembers)
- TXT (@TXT_members)
- ATEEZ (@ATEEZofficial)
- Stray Kids (@Stray_Kids)
- ENHYPEN (@ENHYPEN_members)
- WayV (@WayV_official)
- THE BOYZ (@WE_THE_BOYZ)
- SuperM (@superm)
- IZ*ONE (@official_izone)
- ITZY (@ITZYofficial)
Connecting artists with fans: livestreams, virtual award shows, and more
In the new normal, artists found new ways to stay connected with fans to replace the concerts, events, and other activities a typical year would bring. The #TwitterBlueroom produced many of the most popular livestream viewing opportunities to get to know the top K-pop artists better.
The #TwitterBlueroom gave K-pop artists the ability to talk live directly to their fans on Twitter, as well as a chance to hear exclusive behind-the-scenes stories and other insights not available elsewhere – sometimes, artists like BLACKPINK (@BLACKPINK) even used the #TwitterBlueroom to give their fans content that they personalised for them.
Embeddable Tweet: https://twitter.com/BLACKPINK/status/1328624032787230720
To close out 2020, Twitter partnered with MAMA (Mnet ASIAN MUSIC AWARDS) to bring K-pop fans’ favorite artists closer to them than ever before. The hashtags #2020MAMA and #MAMA2020 topped Twitter real-time trends worldwide and in 68 markets, with a whopping 126 million Tweets related to 2020 MAMA generated from October 29 to December 6. #2020MAMA also marked the first time use of the ‘Twitter Stanbot’, the exclusive high quality, slow motion videos of K-pop artists and K-drama casts, with these videos viewable only on the official @MnetMAMA Twitter account.
Other #OnlyOnTwitter content like 1:1 Q&A, Emoji, Fleets, and Voice drove conversations and trending topics about album launches, key artist milestones, and more, to bring fans closer to their favorite K-pop artists.
More than music, K-pop idols and fans band together for social causes on Twitter
As shown by #YearOnTwitter, the second most-Tweeted hashtag of 2020 was #BlackLivesMatter as the world mobilized and amplified the need for equality and social justice. K-pop fans, as well as their favorite idols, participated in the movement by mobilizing others to use the hashtag and join the cause, as well as raise funds through initiatives like #MatchAMillion. The #KpopTwitter community’s involvement in the #BlackLivesMatter movement gave fans another way to stay connected and express their views on broader issues in society.
In 2021, K-Pop will come back bigger than ever. #TwitterBlueroom, alongside other only-on-Twitter online content, will give fans to follow their favorites closely, until concerts and events come back in full force. And with comebacks tours already starting, there’s a full year of music and your favorite idols ahead. Come join the #KpopTwitter conversation today to see and talk about your favorite K-Pop idols and stay updated with other K-Pop fans around the world!