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Chart Beat Podcast: Will ‘MIC Drop’ Become BTS’ Breakthrough Radio Hit?

KJYO Oklahoma City program director JJ Ryan returns to chat about the K-pop kings' new song.

Welcome to the Billboard Chart Beat Podcast, where each week co-hosts Gary Trust and Trevor Anderson, from the Billboard charts department, discuss why what’s on the charts … is on the charts, while also looking at current chart action in a historical context for even greater insights.

With BTS making history on the Billboard Hot 100 this week – scoring the first top 40 Hot 100 hit ever for a K-pop act, as “MIC Drop,” featuring Desiigner (and remixed by Steve Aoki), debuts at No. 28 (on the chart dated Dec. 16) – it’s time for another quick, emergency, BTS-only podcast!


In October, BTS first hit the Hot 100 with “DNA,” which reached No. 67 largely on the strength of sales and streaming and only a sampling of radio airplay, although iHeartMedia’s KJYO (KJ103) Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, programmed by JJ Ryan, was a notable champion of the song. Now, “MIC Drop,” being promoted to radio by Big Hit/Sony Red, is adding that missing link of more significant radio airplay: KJYO leads all U.S. stations with 53 plays for the song in the week ending Dec. 3, according to Nielsen Music, and the track could become the first entry for a K-pop group on Billboard‘s Pop Songs airplay chart.

“We talked about, during the last podcast, that it’s probably going to take a song with more English in it to fit that mass-appeal audience who doesn’t know who BTS is or doesn’t know anything about K-pop,” says KJYO program director Ryan, who first appeared as our guest in September. “MIC Drop” “definitely seems to be doing that.

“For us, weeks two and three are almost more important than week one. We know BTS fans bought the song. So now, how does it sell? How does it Shazam? How does it stream? What is the reaction like going forward? By exposing it as much as we are right now, it will hopefully allow us to get a better gauge of that than if we were only playing it 20 to 30 times a week.”

Enjoy the entire latest, special all-BTS Chart Beat Podcast and check back for more upcoming episodes with artists, label executives, radio programmers and personalities, songwriters, producers and more. And, to receive every episode automatically in your inbox, subscribe to (and rate) the Billboard Chart Beat Podcast on iTunes!

(Up next: Gary and Trevor chat with Dre London, Post Malone’s manager, about the rapper’s rise and eight-week reign on the Hot 100 with “Rockstar.”)