Nearly half of all South Koreans enjoyed music content through streaming instead of downloading last year, a survey showed Monday, apparently helped by reasonable prices offered by local services.
According to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, 41 percent of South Koreans subscribed to music streaming services, hovering far above other countries.
Sweden followed with 40 percent, trailed by Mexico and Brazil with 39 percent and 26 percent, respectively.
The United States posted 20 percent, while figures for Japan stood at 7 percent.
"South Korea boasts a favorable mobile Internet environment. Mobile carriers also sparked the growth of streaming services on the back of strong marketing strategies," an industry watcher said.
"Many South Koreans tend to select music based on chart ranking. Accordingly, the demand to enjoy new trendy music through streaming is higher than going through the hassle of downloading," the industry watcher added.
South Korea's music streaming industry is currently dominated by Melon, a business arm of Kakao Corp., which accounts for 50 percent of the market. KT Corp.'s Genie and NHN Entertainment's Bugs accounts for 20 percent and 15 percent of the market, each.
The IFPI, meanwhile, said the industry is facing challenges due to "stream ripping," which refers to recording music through streaming for illegal distribution. (Yonhap)