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New hobbies #TogetherAtHome with YouTube

Captured images of (clockwise from top right) YouTubers Yoga Boy, Leeyeon and Sewing TV during an online press event Thursday (YouTube Korea)
Captured images of (clockwise from top right) YouTubers Yoga Boy, Leeyeon and Sewing TV during an online press event Thursday (YouTube Korea)

Jin Ho-young and Yoon Jung-lin, the creators of YouTube channel “Sewing TV” said the number of subscribers to their channel has surged after they posted a video on making fabric masks with reusable filters at home in February.

“Our channel is fairly new and small. After the mask-making video became popular among both Korean and foreign viewers, we saw the daily number of new subscribers jump almost a hundredfold,” Jin, the channel’s editor said during an online press conference organized by YouTube Korea on Thursday.

Several weeks into social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19, contents on hobbies that can be easily followed at home are enjoying popularity as well.

Last week, YouTube Korea launched a special playlist with videos tagged #TogetherAtHome (roughly translated), to introduce such contents.

Han Ji-hoon, the creator of yoga YouTube channel “Yoga Boy,” also said he saw subscribers increase following the COVID-19 outbreak.

“While some say they found my channel after their yoga studios temporarily shut down due to the virus fear, others tell me they’re starting yoga with my videos to stay healthy in such critical period,” Han said.

Han launched a 30-day challenge through which he trains real-time with his viewers every morning for some 30 minutes through livestream sessions. Although Han lives in Michigan in the US, he starts the sessions at 6 a.m. KST for his Korean viewers.

Lee Yeon-su of drawing channel “LEEYEON” is conducting more livestream sessions these days. More people are watching her livestreams conducted late at night.

“I think it’s because people have less pressure about waking up early. Many work at home or don’t have to go to school these days,” Lee said.

“Because I talk about my personal thoughts and share stories from my daily life as I draw, people tell me they feel like they’re watching a close friend doodle next to them,” said Lee, a designer.

Lee said she started YouTube to give hopes for people who are shy about starting drawing.

“I wanted to show people that they can draw with just a pen and paper. An expensive material is one of the factors making people hesitate in starting art, but it’s not that complicated. These days, you can even draw with tablets, which may be much easier for people to start drawing on,” Lee said.

Han also says he aims to make yoga videos that can be followed by everyone. “There are videos to follow before going to bed, videos on mediations called ‘yoga nidra’ and four 30-minute videos for those who are new to yoga,” Han said.

“I think sharing new experiences is the most important factor of YouTube. When situations get better, I hope to meet in person with my viewers and practice yoga offline.”

By Choi Ji-won (