BTS Permission to Dance Challenge Launching on YouTube Shorts

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YouTube has turned to K-pop megastars BTS — and their global ARMY fanbase — to juice up the platform’s Shorts video-clips feature.

BTS and YouTube officially announced the Permission to Dance Challenge, inviting people around the world to record and share their own 15-second versions of the group’s music video for their recently released hit. The challenge starts Friday, July 23, and runs through Saturday, Aug. 14, exclusively on YouTube Shorts. BTS previously teased the challenge in a YouTube Shorts video on July 9.

What’s the prize? As part of the challenge, BTS will spotlight some of their favorite YouTube Shorts entries in a compilation video — which, for some fans, may be priceless. Participants are encouraged to use hashtags #PermissiontoDance and #Shorts for their videos to be considered (YouTube said Shorts will not be used without the creator’s permission).

Beginning this Friday, anyone can create a 15-second YouTube Short from the service’s mobile app, replicating the core dance moves from the BTS “Permission to Dance” music video. The dance moves for the challenge include the international sign language gestures for “peace,” “dance” and “joy” that the septet use in the music video.

“Just as ‘Permission to Dance’ sends the message that you don’t have to ask anyone for permission to dance, we hope that we can bring people all over the world together to dance along with us, free of any limits or constraint,” said Shin Young Jae, general manager of Big Hit Music. “We are very excited to watch this challenge come to life on YouTube Shorts and can’t wait to see what you all create.”

YouTube’s partnership with BTS on the challenge comes after it announced that Shorts — a TikTok-style short-form video feature — was expanding worldwide to more than 100 countries. That’s up from 26 countries previously, including the U.S. and India (where it was initially rolled out last fall).

BTS is among the top five most-viewed music artists on YouTube (not to mention other platforms). Over the past 12 months, the group’s videos have earned over 10 billion views on the platform. BTS has more than 1 billion views for three different music videos: “DNA,” “Boy With Luv” and “Dynamite.”

In May, the Korean supergroup broke their own record for most YouTube views in the first 24 hours of release with their music video for “Butter” with 113 million views. “Butter” also owns the record for biggest music video premiere on YouTube of all time, with a peak of 3.9 million concurrent viewers. In addition, BTS’s appearance in Hyundai Motor Co.’s Earth Day-themed ad last year recently ranked as No. 1 on YouTube’s global advertising leaderboard.

“BTS are global icons,” Lyor Cohen, YouTube’s global head of music, said in a statement. “Breaking record after record on YouTube, BTS’s immense contribution to the world of music has made them an undeniable force. We are humbled to be partnering with them on the ‘Permission to Dance’ challenge on YouTube Shorts, helping to spread happiness and build lasting connections amongst their fans on YouTube across the globe. We are stoked to see the BTS ARMY dance!”

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