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S. Korean streaming service market grows 32.7 pct in 2019: report

All News 11:35 April 06, 2020

SEOUL, April 6 (Yonhap) -- The South Korean online movie streaming service market expanded 32.7 percent last year from a year earlier on the back of rising demand for binge-watchable mobile platforms, a report showed Monday.

According to the annual report published by the Korean Film Council (KOFIC), the total revenue of the over-the-top (OTT) platforms' film services reached 71.8 billion won (US$58.1 million) in 2019, up from 54.1 billion won a year ago.

It accounted for 77.2 percent of the country's video-on-demand market for movies that involves internet-based film archives, totaling 93 billion won last year, up 27.2 percent on-year.

The report said global OTT businesses, including U.S. giant Netflix, have made their presence clear in South Korea by providing well-known content, including Oscar-nominated films "The Irishman" and "Marriage Story."

Netflix had an estimated 2 million subscribers in South Korea last year, compared with 400,000 tallied in February 2018, it noted.

"Netflix announced partnerships with Korean productions including CJ ENM and Studio Dragon in a bid to secure competitive content," the KOFIC report said. "Big-name U.S. OTT services including Disney+ and Apple TV are considering starting their services in Korea."

In response, South Korean entertainment firms and broadcasters have moved swiftly to keep up with the rapidly changing global market trend and take on Netflix.

In September last year, three terrestrial broadcasters -- KBS, MBC and SBS -- announced plans to open a new OTT platform named Wavve.

And CJ ENM, which runs channels that include tvN and OCN, and the cable channel JTBC agreed to set up a joint venture providing a streaming media service.

According to separate data by the Korea Communications Service, South Korea's entire OTT market was valued at 634.5 billion won in 2019, compared with 306.9 billion won in 2016.

This undated image from Yonhap News TV shows an over-the-top (OTT) platform on a tablet. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

brk@yna.co.kr
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