The Korea Herald reports today that Google is "fast catching up with Korean rivals" in online advertising sales. The article noted that "According to the sources who have access to internal data, Google raked in some 100 billion won ($93.8 million) in revenue from its online display adverts in Korea last year, a significant improvement from the 40 billion won posted a year earlier." Reportedly, Google's performance "raised alarms" in the local portal market, long dominated by Naver and Daum.
As the article notes, it may be more than sheer coincidence that Google's improved performance came as Psy's "Gangnam Style" received huge attention on YouTube. However, Google's performance is part of a much larger phenomenon, the shift to mobile access of the internet in which video content is a major driver of data traffic.
The Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning conducted an analysis of wireless data traffic during a selected 24-hour period in the fourth quarter of 2013 (according to this Korean-language report by Yonhap News). It showed that video accounted for 45.1 percent of all traffic, by far the largest single category. Web portal access accounted for 19.3 percent of traffic, followed by use of social networking services (SNS) with 13.1 percent of the total.