SEOUL, Jun. 29 (Korea Bizwire) — The number of paid subscribers to online entertainment companies in South Korea has been found to be extremely low, a new industry report has revealed.
Only 1.4 percent of South Korean internet users pay to enjoy online content from media outlets, the lowest rate among all online content services, while music streaming services boasted the highest paid subscription rate of 7.9 percent, according to a report on South Korean media released on Thursday by the Korea Information Society Development Institute (KISDI).
The figures for online games and broadcasting services stood at 4.1 percent and 3.8 percent, respectively, while a mere 1.4 percent of the users of video and movie streaming services were paying for a subscription.
On average, users of music streaming and download services such as Bugs and Melon spent 4,789 won every month, while those who subscribed to movie and video services spent 4,290 won.
While gamers spent a monthly average of 3,480 won, TV lovers spent 3,172 won, making them the most price-sensitive group of entertainment consumers.
South Koreans’ lukewarm attitude towards paid digital content goes beyond the realm of desktop computers, and is also typical of content provided via smart TVs and smartphones.
Of the 4,233 households surveyed by the KISDI last year, over 95 percent spent less than 5,000 won for video-on-demand services.
Among 8,013 surveyed smartphone users, only 5.1 percent said they paid for a mobile application in the past year, with over 90 percent of those paid mobile app users having downloaded an annual average of 2.1 apps.
In South Korea, the monthly subscription fee for Netflix is 9,500 won, while songs can be digitally downloaded for less than 500 won and movies on average for 400 won via VOD service platforms.
However, the lack of copyright awareness is seeing the country trail behind the likes of the U.S., where streaming giant Netflix has recently surpassed cable TV subscribers, boasting over 50 million users, according to a report from Statista and the Leichtman Research Group.
Hyunsu Yim (Hyunsu@koreabizwire.com)