Is Seventeen about to surpass BTS as the biggest Kpop act ever?

Is Seventeen about to surpass BTS as the biggest Kpop act ever?

With some of the BTS being inactive due to the military service enlistment, and the other ones releasing solo projects and touring, the new releases of BTS as a group have come to a halt that will last for at least 2 more years, until late 2025.

BTS in a photo taken prior to the hiatus announcement

With fans starving for new releases, music and content, they have had to turn their attention to other groups to get the entertainment that BTS is no longer providing, and Seventeen, another monster group, with all the gained attention, seems to be benefiting from their hiatus so much that they are now giving the Kpop kings a run for their money.

Seventeen’s 13 members in a recent music release

Seventeen have been very popular for quite some time now, and have had considerable success from the very beginning, but their chart positions and sales are currently at an all-time high, with no signs of slowing down. Their latest EP, titled ‘FML’, managed to sell 3.99 million copies on it’s first 24 hours, surpassing ‘Map of The Soul: 7’, the BTS EP that previously held the record with 3.6 million copies sold.

Seventeen’s album sales did not stop after the release week, and with more than 6.2 million copies sold in total, ‘FML’ eventually became the highest selling album by a Kpop group in history, surpassing ‘Map of The Soul: 7’, which held the record with 5.1 million sales and is now the second-best selling album in the category.

Seventeen’s ‘FML’ EP cover (left), BTS’ ‘Map of the Soul: 7’ EP cover (right)

This feat was no surprise, after that opening week, it was expected that Seventeen’s album would skyrocket to the top of the list, however, it’s actually surprising since the group was not pulling those numbers with prior releases. Previous Seventeen albums and EPs have managed to sell 2 million copies in total, so the almost 4 million opening week, and the 6 million total sales were quite a shock for most Kpop fans that suggest that they might be on their way to surpass BTS as the best selling, most popular group to ever emerge from the genre.

SEVENTEEN (세븐틴) 'F*ck My Life' Official MV

The best-selling album is not the only record that Seventeen has snatched from BTS, as they also hold the most commercially successful year of any Kpop group. As of August 11th of 2023, Seventeen had managed to sell more than 10 million copies of their albums in South Korea, an amazing feature considering that BTS used to hold the record with around 7.8 million copies sold in 2020, and Seventeen still have roughly 5 more months to expand their lead.

Seventeen’s Mingyu (left) and BTS’ Jungkook (right) hanging out

This are just some of the statistics that prove that the Kpop industry is about to enter the reign of another group, after more than 6 years with BTS being on top. However, Seventeen still have a long way to go to surpass the relevancy and the touring force that BTS still have, after all, they were the original synonym of Kpop, they lead the Korean music into stardom and their legacy will be remembered for years to come.

Happily, there is no rivalry between the members of the groups, and they have even interacted multiple times and remain friendly towards one another. There are other groups challenging BTS for their title besides Seventeen, such as Stray Kids and NCT, though Seventeen appears to be the closest one.