Thu, October 19, 2017 | 12:53
 
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Posted : 2017-09-06 19:04
Updated : 2017-09-07 13:23

YouTube outruns mobile video services

By Yoon Sung-won

Korean mobile video streaming services have remained overpowered by foreign platforms such as YouTube here despite the rapid growth and high potential of the market, industry sources said Monday.

According to data from mobile market tracker WiseApp, YouTube had a 73 percent share of the Korean market as of May this year in terms of the time that users have spent watching video content. Among Korean services, Afreeca TV settled at 5 percent and Naver TV had 3 percent. Pooq, which is the sole provider of live terrestrial channels, had only 2 percent.

SK Broadband's oksusu had 2 percent while KT's Olleh TV had only 1 percent despite the providers' strong influence in the telecom market.

The market tracker said it surveyed 22,092 people here who use Google Android-based smartphones in May this year.

WiseApp also revealed that an aggregate 27.8 billion minutes of video content was consumed in the month, up 73 percent from the same period of last year. On average, a mobile user spent 15.7 hours watching video content annually, up from 8.8 hours year-on-year. This showed that the market for mobile video streaming services has seen sharp growth recently.

Other data by DMC also showed that YouTube had more than a 40 percent share of the mobile video content platform market in Korea as of April, compared to Naver with 15.4 percent and Kakao with 4.6 percent.

"It is a task for domestic service providers to compete with the massive quantity of video content provided by giants such as YouTube," an industry source said. "But it is also true that many Korean service providers consider the current competitive environment as unfair."

Korea's service providers have argued that the gap between foreign services and domestic ones will remain wide unless the government takes proper measures to tackle what they say is a "discrimination" issue. Currently, Korea's jurisdiction is limited over content uploaded on foreign services such as YouTube because its servers are in overseas countries.

"Though Google, which provides YouTube, has agreed to a voluntary content review since 2015, it is still difficult for the government to apply the same law that affects Korean service providers even when improper or illegal content is uploaded on YouTube," the source said.

The controversy of discrimination against Korean video streaming and broadcasting services reignited after the new Korea Communications Commission Chief Lee Hyo-seong hinted Aug. 20 that the government will tighten regulations on internet broadcasting.

"Besides YouTube, foreign services such as Twitch and Tumblr are increasingly gaining ground in the domestic market. But they have not even joined the voluntary content review system," another source from content service industry said. "The government should make the regulation on video streaming and internet broadcasting services be fairly applied to all providers in the domestic market to build a fair competitive environment in this sector for all businesses."





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