Just like other idols [aidol in Korean], BTS:
- comprises singers and rappers, and all members dance;
- went through the typical scouting system, training process, promotion schedules, and diet plans during their pre/debut years and has gained more individual agency during the latter phase of their careers;
- is supported by the in-house production team and is under the all-around management system of their entertainment company;
- performs affective labors, including fan service and related events, such as fansigns and fanmeets;
- produces concept albums with narratives about “worldview” (segyegwan) that are crafted by in-house writers;
- has a fandom that conducts and participates in typical K-pop fandom practices, such as fan chants, fan events at concerts, fanfictions, fanarts, fancams, and fanmade merchandise;
- is wary of revealing their romantic relationships to their fans;
- is a multimedia entertainer, who engage in the business fields of music, dance, art, acting, fashion, cosmetics, and more;
- has fans who regard themselves as promoters of the group and actively participate in voting, streaming, and promoting through donations.
BTS does not fit into the definition of K-pop:
- if we point out that the term K-pop is generalized by the West as “manufactured, voiceless, and agency-free machines”;
- because unlike other Korean idol groups that eschew using politics as marketing strategies, BTS actively uses political themes in their production and promotes them as part of their identity.