BTS will make their highly anticipated return this Friday with new single “Butter,” and based on early metrics, it’s headed for a huge debut on the Billboard Hot 100.
The Korean pop septet released the official teaser for “Butter” on Tuesday. The black and white, 23-second video shows the seven band members standing in a line, dressed in suits, mugging at the camera and showing off some fresh haircuts. They bob their heads in unison to a throbbing, bass-heavy dance groove. The teaser then cuts to a stack of pancakes drenched in syrup with a pat of butter on top. Viewers are treated to one new lyric before the teaser ends: “Get it, let it roll.”
It’s admittedly not much, but it was enough for the BTS ARMY to propel the preview to epic heights in a remarkably short time. In roughly 45 minutes, the “Butter” teaser reached 1 million likes on YouTube,reports. The last music video teaser to reach 1 million likes that quickly was—shocker—BTS’s “Life Goes On,” which came out last November. At the time of this writing, the “Butter” teaser has accumulated over 1.6 million likes and 1.2 million views, after being stuck at 480,000 for a long time.
It’s usually not worth putting much stock into early metrics for music video teasers. But BTS is not a usual group, and “Butter” will likely not be a usual song release. The pop superstars are riding a nearly unprecedented hot streak right now, scoring three consecutive No. 1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 last year with “Dynamite,” a remixed version of Jawsh 685 and Jason Derulo’s “Savage Love (Laxed – Siren Beat)” and the aforementioned “Life Goes On.” Music videos are a crucial component of every BTS single. And with the exception of Japanese single “Film Out,” the group has gone nearly six months without new music—an agonizingly long time by BTS standards—so fans are champing at the bit for a new song.
It helps that “Butter” sounds like it’s going to be a delectable, disco-inflected pop anthem that’s engineered to blast from convertible speakers and get streamed ad infinitum on Spotify, Apple Music and every other digital music service. The nu-disco pivot paid off in spades for BTS on “Dynamite,” and there’s no reason “Butter” can’t perform similarly and make a play for the coveted “Song of the Summer” title. Like “Dynamite,” “Butter” will also be performed in English, majorly boosting its radio prospects and potentially attracting new listeners who otherwise wouldn’t pay attention to the group. Factor in a social mediafrom that will likely intensify in the next few days, and you’ve got the makings of another smash hit.
We still haven’t addressed the most obvious sign that “Butter” will have a stratospheric debut: All BTS singles sell extraordinarily well. “Dynamite” exploded (pun intended) to the top of the Billboard Digital Song Sales Chart in its first week with a whopping 265,000 downloads, and it stayed at No. 1 for nine consecutive weeks. Its music video earned 101.1 million first-day views, the biggest 24-hour YouTube debut of all time, and it earned the biggest Spotify debut of 2020 with 7.778 million streams. “Life Goes On” likewise topped the Digital Song Sales Chart for its first three weeks and earned a whopping 71.6 million first-day music video views, despite being a decidedly less commercial-sounding single than its predecessor.
The race for No. 1 on next week’s Hot 100 will come down to BTS or Olivia Rodrigo, whose debut album, Sour, also comes out this Friday and will surely be a sales and streaming supernova. But with all respect to Rodrigo, this round will probably go to BTS, who command a first-week sales frenzy like no other act. (Don’t worry, though: Rodrigo isfor her second No. 1 debut this week with “Good 4 U.”) Barring any extenuating circumstances, “Butter” should enjoy a (second pun incoming) smooth ride to the top of the Hot 100 next week, returning the pop kings to their throne.