South Korea

At 98%, total multichannel TV penetration is the highest in Asia. Digital cable TV subscribers reached 5 million households in June 2010 and full digitisation of TV services is expected to take place in 2012.

Korea’s economy grew steadily in Q1 and Q2 of 2010, and this was reflected in the advertising market, showing positive growth. Significant market variables are at play in 2010, including a shift to private media representatives, the launch of additional general entertainment and news channels and legislation allowing virtual and product placement advertising. In 2010, overall ad revenue is expected to grow by 8% and TV ad revenue forecasts are also projected to rise to US$2.5 billion, from last year. Online revenue is a significant growth factor, increasing 25% year on year in both Q1 and Q2 in 2010.

Multichannel television subscriptions grew 6.9% in 2009, according to the Korea Communications Commission. The share of subscription TV advertising revenue grew from 25.8% in 2008 to 27.3% in 2009. In terms of cable TV advertising, which makes up over 95% of the total multichannel ad market, 2010 revenue is forecast at about US$730 million, up about 16% on the previous year. CJ, Korea’s leading MSP, recently acquired the channel assets of the OnMedia group, making it the single largest multiple programme provider  in Korea and second only to Tbroad in terms of cable TV household coverage.  Action on this scale is expected to bring a shift in subscription TV advertising and earnings for key genres.

The share of viewing in subscription TV homes (cable TV and DTH only) suggests that subscription TV retains more viewers than terrestrial TV in all categories except kids 4 to 14, but even here, terrestrial is ahead only by a slight margin.

South Korea Actual %
Population 50,004,441
Total Homes 19,609,585
Household Size 2.6
TV Homes 19,617,307 100%
Multichannel Homes 19,600,000 99.9%
Internet Users 40,329,660 80.7%