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S. Koreans spend 40 hours a month watching YouTube on phones

By Yoon Min-sik

Published : March 4, 2024 - 13:27

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An average South Korean spends about 40 hours a month using YouTube on smartphones, a local report showed Monday, as the video-sharing platform's popularity on its mobile platform proved to be higher than in any other country across the globe.

Market analysis firm Wiseapp/Retail/Goods analyzed the apps used by South Koreans via Android and iOS mobile operating systems, which, combined account for roughly 98 percent of smartphones in the country. They found that the combined number of hours users spent on YouTube in January was 111.9 billion minutes, more than double the 51.9 billion minutes in January 2019.

The company estimated there to be about 46.63 million users of YouTube's mobile app, which converts to about 40 hours of monthly use for each YouTube user. It marks the first time monthly usage for each user surpassed the 40-hour mark, climbing drastically from 21 hours in January 2019.

South Koreans' love of the online video platform is bigger than of any other country in the world, according to Statista, a German-based online platform specializing in data gathering and visualization. The platform's Feb. 13 report showed that South Koreans spend an average of 44.89 hours a month on YouTube's mobile app in 2023, the most out of all the countries worldwide.

Data indicates that YouTube has become the most popular mobile app among South Koreans, even surpassing mobile messenger Kakao Talk. According to another analysis firm, Mobile Index, the number of monthly active users -- those who used the service at least once a month -- of YouTube marked 45.65 million in December of last year, passing KakaoTalk for the first time ever.

A recent study by the Korea Press Foundation showed that children between ages three and nine most commonly use smartphones to watch videos. Further, 70.3 percent of the 2,675 children said they use the mobile device to watch videos on platforms like YouTube or Netflix. The same survey, however, showed that the screen time for South Korean children between three and four was more than three times the recommended amount for the same age group by the World Health Organization.