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Music & Entertainment

Samsung Galaxy boosts YouTube Music’s market share in Korea

Galaxy buyers have been enjoying YouTube Premium for free since 2019

By Jul 21, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

YouTube is quickly growing in South Korea's music market. BTS posted teaser film for music video of new songs - \
YouTube is quickly growing in South Korea's music market. BTS posted teaser film for music video of new songs - "Butter" and "Permission to Dance" - on its official YouTube ahead of the release. 

YouTube is quickly growing in South Korea’s music market, the world’s sixth-largest. The number of YouTube Music’s monthly active users (MAU) totaled 3.75 million in June, taking third place, according to a South Korean application analysis firm Mobile Index. Kakao Corp.’s music streaming service Melon kept the unrivaled No. 1 spot with MAU of 8.78 million, followed by a local music content provider Genie Music with 5.06 million.

YouTube, however, ranks de facto first, given users who listen to music though videos, the music industry analyzes. According to a domestic market research firm Opensurvey’s 2020 Content Trend Report, YouTube was the most popular app for music as 25.1% of its survey participants picked up the global video platform. Melon was No. 2 with 23.7%. But YouTube’s preference rose to 35.9% as 10.8% used YouTube Music, far outpacing Melon.

FREE YOUTUBE PREMIUM

That came as YouTube joined hands with Samsung Electronics Co. The video platform has been offering YouTube Premium, an ad-free subscription service, to Galaxy smartphone buyers for free since 2019. In South Korea, YouTube Premium with a subscription fee of 9,500 won ($8.3) per month allows users to enjoy videos uninterrupted by ads and use the YouTube Music app for free.

YouTube has offered YouTube Premium to Galaxy buyers for free since 2019. (Getty Images Bank)
YouTube has offered YouTube Premium to Galaxy buyers for free since 2019. (Getty Images Bank)

After the move, YouTube Music users in the country surged. The number of the users jumped elevenfold in about two and half years to 3.75 million last month from about 320,000 in January 2019, according to Mobile Index’s analysis on Android smartphone users only.

The partnership was a bid to attract tens of millions of Galaxy buyers in the globe as potential customers, utilizing ‘the lock-in effect’, which settle users on a single platform. Data accumulated over the past three months serves as a base for YouTube’s personalized music recommendation service. It provides a service that finds users’ preference with just one click, while preventing them from moving to other platforms.

PLAYLISTS

YouTube lured users with its playlist made by YouTubers. Some lists attracted millions of users. A list of good songs to listen to when coding, for example, allured more than 14 million viewers. Other music platforms compile their owns, which cannot compete with YouTube in terms of the number of such lists.

“The music industry began to be reorganized in May last year when music platforms abolished real-time rankings,” said a Korea Creative Content Agency official. “People who listened to music everyone liked to through charts started enjoying music for themselves. That changed ways of music distribution.”

Write to Hyun-woo Oh at ohw@hankyung.com

Jongwoo Cheon edited this article.

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