SEOUL, Jan. 14 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korean politicians are increasingly turning to YouTube to appeal to their constituents.
Politicians reportedly check the number of YouTube followers of their competitors every day, holding study sessions with aides on YouTube broadcasting.
‘Oreunsori’, the main opposition Liberty Korea Party (LKP)’s official YouTube channel, kicked off the YouTube race.
The channel now has 43,000 followers, with an average of 3,000 to 4,000 views for the content it produces. It offers a vast library of videos thanks to its early start in 2012.
‘Ryeolloo News’ and ‘Knowledge Recharge Station’ are only a couple of the most popular series offered by the channel led by South Korea’s conservative party.
‘Oreunsori’ recently started a new series involving small businesses to talk about the real challenges faced by business owners after the South Korean government raised the minimum wage.
“With the progressives dominating podcasts and Twitter, we began to use YouTube as an alternative way to raise the conservative voice,” said Ahn Il-ho, director of broadcasting at the LKP.
The ruling Democratic Party (DP) responded with its own YouTube channel, ‘Seum’, last November. ‘Seum’ now has 26,000 followers.
As YouTube is becoming a major trend in South Korean politics, President Moon Jae-in reportedly asked progressive leaders to “come up with good ideas to use YouTube effectively.”
‘Seum’ also offers a variety of programs inviting numerous politicians to satirize current events, and hold debates on major issues.
“We are working on both the content and the cast to engage more closely with the public,” said Rep. Kwon Chil-seung, chairman of promotion and communication for the DP.
“We are encouraging party members to make an appearance in our videos.”
The minor opposition Bareunmirae Party (BP) also opened up a YouTube channel last week with its pilot series inviting two female representatives to talk about major political issues.
The DP currently at a disadvantage, as other YouTube channels run by individual politicians are garnering more popularity.
‘Lee Un-ju TV’, a YouTube channel hosted by Rep. Lee Un-ju of the BP, has the most number of 76,000 followers, followed by the ‘Park Yong-jin TV’ run by a member of the DP.
‘Power of Liberty’ hosted by the LKP Rep. Jun Hee-kyung has 53,000 followers, followed by DP Rep. Sohn Hye-won (28,000 followers) and the BP’s ‘Ha Tae-kyung TV’ (9,000 followers).
Rep. Lee Un-ju and Rep. Jun Hee-kyung became YouTube stars thanks to their relentless criticism of the Moon Jae-in administration.
The DP has announced that it will even consider YouTube activities as point of consideration when issuing nominations for government posts, as a way to encourage members to start YouTube activities.
Former assemblymen have also joined the race, including Rhyu Si-min, chairman of the Roh Moo-hyun Foundation, and Hong Joon-pyo, former presidential candidate of the LKP.
Hong’s ‘TV Hongca Cola’ passed the 230,000 follower milestone recently, making it South Korea’s most popular YouTube channel for conservatives.
“TV Hongca Cola attracts more than 600,000 views each day, surpassing even the three major broadcasting companies in South Korea,” said Hong.
Rhyu Si-min, a latecomer to YouTube, already has 610,000 followers thanks to his popular show, ‘Rhyu Si-min’s Alileo’. Progressives are optimistic that Rhyu will be able to turn the tides against conservatives on YouTube.
H. M. Kang (firstname.lastname@example.org)