It Seems That HYBE Opted For Chart Manipulation Marketing Without BTS Knowing

Suspicions of BTS’ ranking manipulation (Sajaegi) in the past have once again sparked heated discussions, leading to varying interpretations.

Under the judgment obtained by a newspaper regarding the 2017 Big Hit Music blackmail case, the judge sentenced A to one year in prison, while specifying that A’s marketing actions were “illegal marketing.” Recall that the case broke out in January 2017 when A extorted 57 million won by sending emails to agency officials, saying “I have physical evidence of BTS’s illegal marketing.” If you refuse to pay, I will release the corresponding information to the media. »

The court then highlighted the phrase “Sajaegi” in the verdict and explained the reason for the conviction by saying that “Big Hit Music engaged in marketing activities through improper means, giving rise to extortion.” »

Although the incident became public knowledge and suspicions of manipulation on the part of BTS and Big Hit Music emerged, the latter however denied the allegations, calling them a “common viral marketing strategy.” . The late announcement of the decision, however, revived suspicions of manipulation to the point that the controversy continued. Complaints were even filed with the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, asking it to investigate BTS’ allegations of manipulation.

Faced with public fury, Big Hit Music released a statement on May 2, declaring: “We would like to clarify that there is nothing true in the rumors of marketing manipulation, concept plagiarism, rumors concerning Dahnworld, as well as in other suspicions that defame and slander BTS.”

BTS concert Busan

BTS’s involvement in distressing cases led their fandom, ARMY, to express their disappointment with the company by sending protest trucks and condolence wreaths to HYBE’s office building in Yongsan, Seoul, accompanied by messages criticizing HYBE and supporting BTS. Not only will interpretations of the court’s decision continue to flow, but suspicions of music chart manipulation will likely intensify.

According to lawyer Jeon Jae-no, “While it is known that Big Hit Music was involved in chart manipulation and illegal marketing, there is no evidence in the verdict to suggest that the members of BTS were aware of or involved in such activities.” It is therefore possible that BTS members were not aware of or even participated in the sajaegi activities mentioned by the court, suggesting that these actions were carried out solely by the agency.

Fandom protests are also expected to continue for the time being. The ARMYs notably published a statement in a newspaper asking HYBE to justify itself and protect its artists.

It seems that HYBE has opted for chart manipulation marketing without the knowledge of BTS K-Sélection



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