Koreans embrace social TV

20 December 2011

SEOUL: Korean consumers are rapidly adapting to new online technologies such as social and mobile TV, in a trend that is reshaping the nation's media landscape.

According to a new report from Motorola Mobility, which looked into the video consumption habits of online consumers across 16 markets, the Asian nation shows consistently high engagement levels with new media platforms.

Use of social TV, defined as online applications allowing TV viewers to interact with the content or chat with other viewers, had increased from 31% of Korean respondents in 2010 to 76% this year.

Over the same period, the proportion of Koreans that had viewed TV content on a smartphone also rose seven times over.

Moreover, South Korea was the only nation in the region in which a majority (71%) preferred to use their mobile phone, rather than a laptop, to watch TV.

Other mobile platforms are rapidly gaining traction, with 14% of Koreans saying they had watched TV on tablet PCs such as the iPad in 2011. Last year, just 1% said the same.

Over three in four (77%) of residents said they would be interested in remotely activating domestic appliances via their mobile devices. Across the Asia-Pacific region, this total was beaten only by China, on 87%.

Korea also ranked second in the region in terms of being open to cloud computing. Some 76% of respondents said they would be open to using services of this kind.

Encouragingly for advertisers, 79% of Koreans said they would be interested in purchasing goods and services related to the social TV programmes they watched.

Korea is one of the world's most wired nations, with fiber-optic web connections, rather than slower copper wire alternatives, standard in many homes.

Data from ITC also suggests that the nation has the highest mobile internet penetration in the world, with 91% of adults using the services.

Data sourced from Motorola Mobility; additional content by Warc staff