Report: South Korea streamed 169bn min of content in Q2

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South Koreans streamed 169 billion minutes of online video in Q2 2021, according to the first of a series of quarterly reports from Media Partners Asia (MPA) measuring the Korean streaming economy.

The report, titled South Korea Online Video Consumer Insights & Analytics, leverages MPA’s proprietary AMPD Research Platform to measure and analyse streaming media consumption across key VoD services on mobile devices.

The report indicates that the SVoD online video reached 10 million cumulative SVoD subscribers at the end of the Q2 2021 period with Netflix, Wavve and TVing commanding an aggregate 80 per cent share. More competition and category expansion is on its way with the launch of Disney+ in Q4 2021.

Commenting on the inaugural report’s findings, MPA Executive Director Vivek Couto said: “YouTube and Netflix have a strong lead in AVoD and SVoD segments respectively, while local SVoDs led by Wavve, TVING and Coupang Play are gaining consumption. Online video content investment will top $1 billion in CY 2020 with the majority directed towards driving customer acquisition and retention. Netflix remains the largest investor and more than half of Netflix’s streamed minutes in Q2 2021 was driven by Korean content, which it also monetizes beyond Korea to grow its business globally.”

Global streaming majors Netflix and YouTube emerged leaders in a measure of customer satisfaction among paying VoD users using Net Promoter Scores. Watcha Play, TVING and Wavve were awarded positive scores.

The report also found that YouTube is an unequivocal leader in online video, capturing over 4 out of every 5 minutes streamed in South Korea. K-Pop is a major force, with official music videos and performances leading traffic, along with user-generated ‘fan-cam’ footage which are widely shared. TikTok, which is eating into YouTube’s share in much of Southeast Asia, has yet to take off in South Korea, with Gen Z opting for local live streaming platform AfreecaTV.

SVoD platforms form the second-largest segment, contributing 13 per cent of total streaming minutes in Q2 2021. Key players include:

– Netflix is the SVoD leader in Korea, with 5 per cent share of total streaming minutes. Acquired Korean dramas, including titles from Netflix’s output deals with Studio Dragon and JTBC Studios, have been a hit across age and gender demographics in Korea.

– Wavve, owned by SKT and the three major terrestrial broadcasters (KBS, SBS & MBC), leverages FTA, original and Hollywood content, driving 4 per cent of total video streaming. Select SBS dramas and Wavve originals were breakout hits in Q2, driving significant consumption.

– TVING, with 2 per cent share of total video streaming, enjoyed an uptick in consumption from its exclusive streaming broadcast of Euro 2020 matches and inclusion in Naver’s Plus Membership.

– E-commerce major Coupang-owned Coupang Play’s Korean variety and dramas have started to build strong user engagement within 6 months of launch. Subscription to the platform is bundled with Coupang’s e-commerce delivery membership.

– Watcha Play, leveraging medium and longtail Korean, Japanese and Hollywood content, commands a smaller but loyal user base. Hollywood movies and series, including key HBO shows, are a key draw on the platform.

– AVoD, livestreaming and game streaming platforms drove 5 per cent of consumption, led by Twitch and AfreecaTV, both popular among young, male audiences for game and eSports streaming.


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