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Korea: Pay-TV losing subs

April 17, 2018

The number of subscribers to pay-TV in Korea keeps falling, especially among the younger generation and one-person households. According to research by the Korea Information Society Development Institute, the service termination rate reached 6.86 per cent last year, up from 6.54 per cent the year before. The rate had fallen from 5.97 per cent in 2012 to 3.13 per cent in 2015 before picking up again.

A breakdown by types of households showed that 9.17 per cent of the people ending their subscriptions were 35 or younger, while 9.3 per cent were people living alone.

Cancellations were more common among households with income of 1 million won ($931.54) or under at 11.23 per cent, while the figure falls to 3.18 per cent for those that make 5 million won or more.

The report pointed out that the rate of people who subscribe again after a pause was also falling. Data showed that 67.48 per cent of pay-TV watchers who cancelled their subscription in 2012 renewed the service the following year. For the 2016-2017 period, the rate was lower at 44.94 per cent.

The number of subscribers who switch to other services also fell from 68.01 per cent in 2015 to 34.67 per cent in 2017.

“Growth in the pay-TV market is slowing,” the report said. “Competition for subscribers is getting more and more intense. Service providers need to respond appropriately by finding out the differences in media usage by households, according to the changing characteristics of the market and consumers and the types of subscription,” it said.

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