The Wanted had plenty of success, but to them, it was never enough. In early 2012, Billboard magazine featured both The Wanted and One Direction on their cover, but after that day, there was never much competition between the two groups.
“Not since the reigning days of Backstreet Boys, ‘N Sync and 98 Degrees have boy bands crashed pop culture with such fervor,” Steven J. Horowitz wrote in Billboard that month.
But that competition never really happened and The Wanted faded into the background. According to Billboard, they released new music and, even after weathering some problems, they never caught on in the U.S.
“We wanted to make sure the album really flowed,” The Wanted’s Tom Parker said when explaining to Billboard why their album wasn’t released when it was supposed to, and he gave hints about the band’s differences, “So it wasn’t random orchestral bits, random dubstep. So we really feel like it flows now.”
One Direction had backing from Simon Cowell (since they were a product of the British X Factor) and The Wanted were backed by Justin Bieber’s manager, Scooter Braun. Although they had success in the U.K., The Wanted can never say they truly competed with One Direction. According to Billboard, “The boy band battle of 2012 was over before it began.”
After albums and tours that never quite caught on, the band announced they would be splitting up (or, going on an “indefinite hiatus”) earlier this year. It appears that it just wasn’t The Wanted’s time and it looks like we can blame that on the success of One Direction.