The Korea Herald


98% of teens, 20-somethings use streaming subscription services: report

By Yoon Min-sik

Published : Dec. 31, 2023 - 16:01

    • Link copied

Director Lee Eung-bong and the cast of Netflix drama Director Lee Eung-bong and the cast of Netflix drama "Sweet Home Season 2" participate in a press conference in Seongdong-gu, Seoul on Nov. 30. (Yonhap)

Almost every South Korean in their teens or 20s is using some form of over-the-top media service, a report by the Korea Communications Commission showed Thursday.

About 97.8 percent of all 20-somethings and 97.6 percent of teenagers aged 13 and above were using subscription-based streaming services, the highest out of all age groups. Overall, 77 percent of the general population were using OTT services, up five percent from the year before.

The state-run organization conducted a survey on 7,055 South Koreans aged 13 and above between June and August.

The most popular streaming service provider was YouTube, with 71 percent of respondents saying they use it, followed by Netflix at 35.7 percent, Tving at 9.2 percent, and Coupang Play at 6.3 percent.

An increasing number of people were paying to use streaming video platforms compared to last year, up from 40.2 percent to 43.9 percent.

Entertainment programs such as TV variety shows were the most popular, with 60.9 percent saying they watch them via streaming services. The second-most popular were dramas at 54.4 percent, followed by news (27 percent), sports (20.8 percent) and shows about current affairs and informative programs (18 percent).

About 86.3 percent said they watching subscription-based streaming services mostly via smartphones, while 22.1 percent said they use set-top boxes for IPTV.

About 91.4 percent of the population said they use smartphones at least five times a day. In comparison, the percentage of people who used set-top boxes with such frequency was 71.4 percent, down from 75.5 percent the year before and possibly indicating that smartphones are replacing TV as an essential tool for entertainment.

As such, 94.8 percent of the population was found to have smartphones.

While older Koreans were less likely to have smartphones, the rate of smartphone ownership among the older generation rose compared to last year. About 66.5 percent of those aged 70 and above said they have smartphones, up 7.3 percent from the year before.

Sixty-somethings have already joined their tech-savvy younger counterparts as smartphone users, with 96.2 percent of them having the devices.

The percentage of people who said a smartphone is a must-have item was 70 percent, ranging from 95.5 percent for teens to 19.6 percent for the 70 and above group.