Saturday, June 27, 2009

Mobile TV Penetration in Korea Reaches 22 million

The Korea Times reports that the number of Koreans subscribing to mobile TV services, both free and paid, has reached 22 million, or about 45 percent of the country's population.  TU Media, a unit of SK Telecom and the country's sole provider of pay satellite DMB services, reports that it now has 2 million customers, up from 1.3 million at this time last year.   The country's three mobile carriers, SK Telecom, KT and LG report that they have sole 20 million handsets equipped to receive free terrestrial DMB (digital multimedia broadcasting) telecasts.  Thusfar, South Korea's experience with DMB has proven several things in the marketplace:

  • People will watch television on mobile devices.  The long commutes faced by many Koreans who live in urban areas no doubt contributes to this viewing.
  • Although some people will subscribe to mobile television, in large numbers they prefer free, advertiser-supported services.
  • Korea's terrestrial DMB operators are still not bringing in enough advertising revenue to support the service on a sustained basis
With such large numbers of viewers, it seems that mobile television is here to stay in the Korean market.  As we move into the era of mobile internet, television will also be part of that mix (e.g. CNN, BBC or Youtube video).

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