BTS summer hit ‘Butter’ melts YouTube, Spotify records


As K-pop continues its smoothly choreographed dance to world domination, BTS’ latest juggernaut hit, “Butter,” has already shattered records since its release Friday.

The South Korean boy band’s second English-language single hit 3.9 million “peak concurrents” (maximum number of simultaneous users) in its first 24 hours, according to the YouTube music team, the platform’s official blog.

That topped the previous record: 3 million for BTS’ first English-language single, “Dynamite.” The new video also topped “Dynamite’s” record of 101.1 million views in 24 hours with 108.2 million.

“Butter” garnered nearly 209 million YouTube views in just over four days. Yes, that’s a lot, but it has a ways to go before eclipsing “Dynamite,” which has more than 1 billion views since its August 2020 release.

But that’s not all! Though “Butter” didn’t match “Dynamite’s” No. 1 debut on Spotify’s Global Top 50 chart (don’t shoot the messenger, ARMY; blame that darn talented Olivia Rodrigo and “Good 4 U”), it set Spotify’s first-day streaming record with almost 21 million “unfiltered” global streams (and over 11 million filtered).

That huge disparity between filtered and unfiltered has to do with the way Spotify determines whether streams are legitimate, and has miffed BTS stans.

Spotify states in its user agreement that “artificially increasing play counts” is prohibited. Its counting system has stymied fans’ efforts to churn out even richer numbers for “Butter,” as the service doesn’t allow the use of AI bots and caps the number of repeat plays by individual users in 24 hours.

As Twitter user @btsworldwider explained, “Streams being filtered bc Spotify removes streams they considered ‘spams’ bc people keep streaming incorrectly (Looping same song).” The Spotify Charts site specifies rankings “are generated using a formula that protects against any artificial inflation of chart positions.”

And “Butter” boosting is a coordinated effort. Twitter user @BorahaeFunds_DA, a BTS fan group, tweeted line graphs tracking “Butter’s” performance on Spotify, saying, “We continue to fall just short for Day 3 for Butter – We are on pace with [dynamite emoji].”

BTS stans are upset enough with Spotify’s counting policies that they have managed to get the hashtag #InvestigateSpotify trending on Twitter. In the meantime, they can bask in the many records BTS’ new release has set.

By the way, on Tuesday’s Spotify chart, “Butter” holds at No. 2, and Rodrigo, who released her debut album last week, occupies 10 of the Top 16 positions. We’re just saying.

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