Online habits differ in Korea, Japan

14 October 2011

SEOUL: Consumers in South Korea are more enthusiastic than their Japanese counterparts when it comes to watching TV content via the web, a multimarket study has found.

McKinsey, the consultancy, surveyed 5,000 people across Germany, Japan, South Korea, Spain, the UK and US to gauge evolving habits, and discovered "no convergence" is discernible in the main.

For example, a modest 15% of Germans and 19% of Britons played back television programmes online, a habit pursued by fully 45% of Koreans.

Moreover, Spanish respondents dedicated 13 minutes a day to this activity, falling to just two minutes in Japan, the lowest score on this metric.

A majority of South Koreans participating in this activity streamed material through TV-connected PCs, but only 13% of Americans did the same, with games consoles the number one option in the US.

Elsewhere, McKinsey broke out data for interviewees who played back broadcast programming via the web but watched it on a television set.

Just over a third of this group in the US, UK, Japan and South Korea liked the ability to access shows they had missed, standing at 19% in Germany and Spain.

Similarly, 35% of Koreans and 32% of Americans fitting this profile enjoyed watching programmes when they chose to. This was the case for a quarter of Spaniards, Japanese and British contributors, versus just 18% of Germans.

The ability to view content on a large screen posted 32% in the US and Korea, as well as 29% in Japan, figures that fell to 24% in Spain and 17% in the UK and Germany.

On average, 20% of these consumers wanted to control ads - again peaking in the US and South Korea, on 28% and 27% respectively - while 18% wished to log on to YouTube and 16% liked being able to pick from a sizeable library of material.

Social TV remains a more limited concern, as just 9% of relevant consumers desired to leave comments regarding shows on the web, entering double figures in Spain, the US and South Korea.

The one point where the nations assessed had the most in common, McKinsey reported, was in the types of content finding favour.

"Current TV, reruns and movies dominate everywhere. In other words, conventional material dominates," it said. "Except in Japan, where 32% of internet-based videos on PCs are user-generated - at least double the rate anywhere else."

Data sourced from McKinsey; additional content by Warc staff