BTS always perform well on YouTube, whether they have something new to share or not. Fans of the South Korean septet are constantly watching (and rewatching and rewatching again) their favorite videos from the band, tuning in to live performances, catching old clips from TV shows and concerts and indulging in the endless trove of other forms of content the K-pop powerhouses share with their fans.
Last week, BTS’s views on YouTube exploded, and their library of videos racked up an incredible 549 million views, or more than half a billion plays. Most of that attention was thanks to the release of their new single “Butter,” which opened as the most-watched visual in the world, debuting at No. 1 on the company’s chart with 235 million clicks.
While they almost always rank among the top 10 biggest names on the platform, the group’s performance last week wasn’t just impressive, even for them, it was especially lucrative.
According to a recent article published by Business Insider, YouTubers can make anywhere from $500 to $2,500 for every 100,000 views on the site. That is an estimate generated by speaking to several creators on the platform, so while it’s impossible to say if BTS is working within that frame, it’s an educated guess.
Doing some quick math to break down BTS’s half-billion-plus views in a single week, it looks like the band may have earned anywhere from $2.745 million and $13.725 million on YouTube in just seven days. That’s more than the vast majority of content creators will make in a year, and taking those sums apart even further, the amount the act may have collected every hour is astonishing.
Using those numbers, it appears possible that BTS could have earned between $16,000 and more than $81,000 every single hour of last week. That sum doesn’t take into account streams on platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora and countless others, nor sales of the song and its remixes on sites like Amazon
One thing is clear: “Butter” isn’t just a global hit, it’s a huge moneymaker for the band, the songwriters and the group’s management company HYBE…and it’s just getting started.