Livestreaming is gaining increased popularity all around the world. Given that South Korea is among the countries with one of the highest internet penetration rates (98% of population as of Q3 2021, second only to Denmark and the UAE according to Hootsuite), livestreaming is significantly shaping businesses in the region.
The usage of OTT (over-the-top) platforms has significantly increased after the outbreak of Covid-19. As data revealed, South Korea’s OTT market was valued at 634.5 billion won in 2019, and the total revenue from OTT platforms’ movie services reached 71.8 billion won in the same period. Overall, online video service providers prevailed over traditional Pay-TV broadcasters in South Korea.
According to an Ipsos report, South Korean OTT platforms saw a 44.4% increase in Internet traffic in February 2020 compared to the previous month. Moreover, video streaming app downloads are expected to reach an average of 8 per smartphone in 2021, up by 80% compared to 2019.
Among global platforms, YouTube reached almost 29 million visitors in the peak months of the pandemic – almost twice as high as Naver Band (15.85 million), and nearly three times higher than Instagram (11.05 million) – and users spent an average of 37.9 hours per month on the platform according to App Annie. Young & tech-savvy South Koreans are highly interested in watching video content and are ready to spend time & money on it.
Top-3 video and livestreaming trends
1. Mobile in the spotlight. As more and more users watch videos on their mobile devices, both OTTs and traditional FTA or Pay-TV providers are gradually migrating to mobile, with some of them providing content packages already bundled with tablets and required livestreaming and video apps. This, in its turn, dictates a shift in provided content.For instance, Kakao, a local streaming television, personal internet broadcasting and video player service, introduced Kakao TV to provide mobile-optimized streaming services, so that users can watch videos while sending messages on Kakao Talk without having to close any apps. Naver, the largest South Korean online portal, also developed similar services through V Live and Naver TV, aiming to provide more vertical video content through its solutions. Mobile-first services and content will continue to be key to attract new audiences and increase the number of views.
2. Engaged audience. Live chats during livestreams providing various customizable reactions like sticker packs and colored messages, as well as voting, polling and host interaction tools are a great way to enhance customers’ engagement on TV and OTT platforms and eventually attract more users.Such interactive tools are already widely used in other industries like e-sports (for example, by Twitch and AfreecaTV) and e-commerce (by Naver Live and Grip), and have proven invaluable in developing customers’ trust and loyalty. Moreover, companies may similarly use various paid engagement elements and donations to successfully monetize free content.
3. Monetization rethought. A lot of OTT platforms are gradually shifting from Subscription Video On Demand (SVOD) monetization to Advertising-based Video On Demand (AVOD). As Statista shows, over 90% of OTT video service users in South Korea preferred AVOD services, while only 8.5% used SVOD in 2020. The main reason for this change is that most South Koreans prefer watching free videos with ads rather than paying for ad-free content. Another useful tool for monetization of free content is the integration of video sharing services and e-commerce – for example, Tving, one of the most popular South Korean OTTs, offers its viewers to buy goods related to popular content on its platform. Combined with paid engagement, such tools may become an additional source of online revenue for traditional TV broadcasters.
While popular globally, livestreaming continues its rise in South Korea. It creates various opportunities for businesses to remain competitive in the highly volatile environment. More and more companies adjust their business models to incorporate convenient, engaging and entertaining video experiences for their audiences.
JMIND’s white-label product, Infinite, is designed to create innovative livestreaming and video sharing solutions. It is specifically mobile-focused and provides various engagement and monetization options suitable for any content. Moreover, it can be easily integrated with other customer touchpoints like e-commerce platforms, as well as third-party services like CRMs. Don’t miss your opportunity to go video in 2022!