Photo credit: HYBE

BTS and The Weeknd named some of the best selling artists in 2020

According to IFPI’s Global Music Report, the pop stars have contributed to the music industry’s drastic revenue increase in 2020.

Xynthea Ong

Expert pinterest scroller and bubble tea lover.

Published: 30 March 2021, 11:55 AM

BTS is taking the music industry by storm. 

Seeing how they have sold millions of copies of their albums and reached billions of streams across various streaming sites, it comes as no surprise that they are top global recording artist in 2020, according to IFPI’s annual Global Music Report


BTS managed to surpass Taylor Swift, who was at the top of the charts the previous year. PHOTO CREDIT: IFPI


BTS dominated the global charts and secured two spots for 2020’s top 10 best-selling records. Map Of The Soul: 7 took the crown with an outstanding record of 4.8 million sales and downloads, becoming the first South Korean group to achieve this feat. Meanwhile, their latest album, BE, came in fourth with 2.69 million copies sold. 

BTS’s single Dynamite also managed to land a place among the best-selling singles of 2020, coming in tenth place. The Weeknd came in first with Blinding Lights, which sold 2.7 billion copies. 

BTS, alongside The Weeknd, also released some of the best-selling music of 2020, boosting the revenue of the music industry up to US$21.6 billion (S$29 billion) – the highest figure since 2002. Streaming sites such as Spotify and Apple Music took up 62.1 per cent, approximately US$13.4 billion (S$18 billion), of that revenue. 

However, the industry’s live music revenue took a hit due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to adapt, musicians made use of livestreams and virtual concerts to reach out to fans. 

Travis Scott performed a show inside the video game Fortnite in April, garnering 12.3 million fans and a 136 per cent increase in his streaming numbers. 

Some musicians even took their online concerts to the next step. To replicate a physical concert setting, Dua Lipa sent fans glitter balls and strobe lights before her Studio 2054 livestream.

Naturally, many musicians including BTS have followed suit.


HYBE first announced the “Map of the Soul ON:E” concert in August. PHOTO CREDITS: HYBE


BTS’ performance in an empty stadium was livestreamed to nearly 1 million viewers, earning US$43 million (S$57.9 million).

Chief Executive Frances Moore, said: “As the world contends with the COVID-19 pandemic, we are reminded of the enduring power of music to console, heal and lift our spirits.

“With many impacted by the pandemic, and concerned with growing social injustices, record companies have worked hard to make a meaningful, lasting contribution to the world we want to live in.”

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