Google YouTube is found to be the most popular app among all Korean Internet users. In particular, among teenagers, YouTube usage time eclipses the combined time of Kakao Talk, Naver and FaceBook use.
A big spike in Google YouTube’s dominance of the Korean Internet market is heightening Korean Internet business companies’ sense of crisis. It is pointed out that Korea's status as an internet powerhosue may fall due to the expansion of YouTube’s influence while Korean internet business companies are suffering from various regulations on and reverse discriminations against them.
On May 15, app popularity analysis company WiseApp released the results of analysis of the usage of Android smartphone owners in Korea in April. The results said that they used 25.8 billion minutes for YouTube in April, making YouTube the most used app among Korean users of Android phones. The YouTube use exceeded 18.9 billion minutes of that of Kakao Talk which came in second by seven billion minutes and was more than double 12.6 billion minutes of Naver use which ranked third. By age, teenagers, those in their 20s, 30s, and 40s spend the most time to watch YouTube. In the 50s, however, KakaoTalk picked up first place by beating YouTube by a nose.
In particular, teenagers used YouTube longer than the combined use of other main apps including Kakao Talk, Naver, and Facebook. The use of YouTube by teenaged users totaled 7.6 billion minutes, which is 1.4 billion minutes longer than a combined 6.2 billion minutes spent on the apps which placed second to sixth. Their use of the second placed Kakao Talk was no more than 2.4 billion minutes.
In addition, the monthly activity users (MAUs) of YouTube App last month was 29.24 million who spent 882 minutes on watching YouTube and watched it 126 times a month per person per month and. This means that they watched YouTube for seven minutes once they started the app.
In particular, the analysis says that YouTube use time has been steadily growing over the past two years, and YouTube has been the longest used app in Korea since August 2017. In fact, in March of 2016, YouTube use was 7.9 billion minutes, much lower than 18.9 billion minutes of Kakao Talk and 10.9 billion minutes of Naver.
Among them, the Korean internet business industry is concerned that the Korean internet business market can be quickly dominated by YouTube. YouTube is igniting a sense of crisis that the status of Korea as a few Internet powers in the world that have not been dominated by US Internet companies may be undermined. Especially, Naver and Kakao which nearly share the Korean Internet business market are put on high alert. The two Korean internet business companies are feeling considerable pressure from the fact that teenagers and those in their 20s, the main consumers of internet services, are leaning to video contents-oriented YouTube. Therefore, they have been strengthening their video contents, but have not achieved any meaningful results.
Under these circumstances, the Korean political world is toughening regulations on Korean internet portals and reverse discrimination to strengthen regulations on Korean internet business companies is becoming more active. So, voices have been raised that a Korean internet business ecosystem which has grown spontaneously may be destroyed due to these facts.
"YouTube took control of the Korean Internet business market sooner than expected," said Cha Jae-pil, director of policies at the Korea Internet Companies Association. "Controversy over the Internet Real-Name System among others began to force Korean users to leave Korean video platforms for YouTube. An increase in various regulations has been expediting their exodus to YouTube.”
"As the internet business world has changed with a focus on video contents, increasingly more and more people have been visiting YouTube to enjoy video contents,” Cha added. “Absurd regulations and reverse discrimination against Korean internet business companies should be eradicated to put the Korean internet business market back on the right track.”