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Local Content Drives Streaming Gains in South Korea


In the second quarter of this year, online video usage hit 169 billion minutes in South Korea, with YouTube dominating at 81 percent of that time and SVOD taking a 13 percent share, according to a new Media Partners Asia (MPA) report.

South Korea Online Video Consumer Insights & Analytics leverages MPA’s own AMPD Research Platform to track streaming data.

YouTube, which captures over 4 out of every 5 minutes streamed in South Korea, is faring well with K-Pop content locally, including music videos, performances and user-generated “fan-cam” footage. TikTok, meanwhile, takes just 2 percent of viewing minutes, and local AVOD services have just a 1 percent share.

MPA indicates that there were 10 million cumulative SVOD subs in South Korea at the end of Q2, with the market dominated by Netflix, Wavve and TVing, collectively taking an 80 percent share.

“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,” said Vivek Couto, executive director of MPA. “Online video content investment will top US$1 billion in CY 2021 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.”

Netflix is in the lead in the SVOD market with a 5 percent share of streaming minutes, driven by acquired Korean dramas, including titles from output deals with Studio Dragon and JTBC Studios. Waave, operated by SKT, KBS, SBS and MBC, is driving usage with free-to-air, original and Hollywood content. It took a 4 percent share of streaming viewing minutes. TVING (with a 2 percent share) saw gains from its Euro 2020 coverage and inclusion in Naver’s Plus Membership. Coupang Play, part of an e-commerce giant, is using Korean variety and dramas to engage members. Watcha Play’s lineup of medium and longtail Korean, Japanese and Hollywood content (including HBO shows) has commanded a loyal user base.

Netflix leads in terms of net promoter scores, ahead of YouTube. Both have commanding leads on WatchaPlay, TVING and Waave. Coupang Play, U+ Mobile TV and Seezn all had negative net promoter scores.

The SVOD market is set to become even more competitive with the arrival of Disney+ later this year.

About Mansha Daswani

Mansha Daswani is the editor and associate publisher of World Screen. She can be reached on


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