Music, TV shows and movies are contents consumers are most willing to pay for. Nevertheless, when it comes to video and music streaming in general, YouTube is enjoying wide popularity in South Korea. Around 89 percent of respondents in a survey among South Koreans aged 19 to 59 years old stated that they have used YouTube before. According to Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, 47 percent of South Koreans aged 45 and above used YouTube as a news source. YouTube is often cited as the main streaming platform for both music and video contents.
According to YouTube users, music was their most preferred content on the platform. According to a survey conducted in December 2019, around 38.1 percent of respondents using music streaming services used them daily. The most popular music streaming service appeared to be Melon. Since 2009, Melon is a part of Kakao M, a South Korean entertainment company previously known as LOEN Entertainment.
While South Korean video streaming services were dominating the market for quite a while, international streaming giants like Netflix are increasingly popular, since they both offer contents tailored to South Koreans as well as a broad range of international content. With international streaming services threatening their market position, two of the biggest OTT platform providers Oksusu and Pooq merged to the new service called Wavve in 2019, along with several terrestrial broadcasting services as well as SK telecom. The service is constantly growing and recently announced their partnership with NBC Universal.
With the rise of 5G in South Korea, streaming services have become an important selling point to win over customers. Carriers in South Korea are still working on improving both their network and as well as services they can offer to their customers. One service to look out for in the future are 5G game streaming services, such as Ubitus or xCloud.