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What are the most popular ways for Koreans in their 30s to consume media?

South Koreans in their 30s, part of the millennial first generation to grow up with digital technology as we know it, have always been leaders and new adopters of change. Now, fully settled into their adulthood and taking charge of the consumer market, marks an essential time to understand the ways in which they interact with digital media in order to reach them effectively.

Following the tide in declining television viewership, millennials in their 30s are only watching television on average of 1 hour and 19 minutes a day, in contrast to their comparatively avid internet usage of 4 hours and 45 minutes, which expectedly peaks in the hours after work and well into the evening.

Whilst the primary device used for this activity is mobile phones, the margin of usage is slim at 54% to 46%, where the computers they fondly grew up using remain a strong part of their lives, in comparison to their Gen Z peers just 10 years younger, who only use their PCs 39% of the time.

During this time online, the most popular activity identified by both men and women was watching video media online; the majority of this done on Youtube, followed by Instagram, with additional gaming focused platforms Twitch and AfreecaTV being somewhat popular amongst men as well.

With short-form content indisputably on the rise over the past few years, Youtube Shorts is the most dominant platform amongst those in their 30s, however Instagram Reels comes in as a close second contender for women, at 72% and 67% usage respectively. Whilst men were more open than women to watching Tiktok, more people said that they didn't watch any short-form content at all, than the amount of those who were using the platform.

As individuals well settled into their adult lives, online activities are more well-diversified than younger age groups, reflecting their own identities and personal interests which have been fully developed. Individuals spend more time on portal sites searching for information, as well as engaging in other preferred activities such as gaming for men, and online shopping, as well as social media scrolling for women.

Instagram was the most popular social media platform amongst men and women, with a particular skew towards women (83% identifying that they use it), meanwhile men had a particular interest in facebook and twitter. 10% of men used Tiktok, and shockingly, 0% of women identified the app as a social media platform they mainly use. While on social media, the primary uses for apps were to view interesting content, and communicate with acquaintances.

When it comes to finding information online, localised portal site Naver dominates the game, with 97% of men and 100% of women identifying it as their main search engine. Interestingly, 53% of men also used Google as a path for information, compared to 29% of women, who preferred to go to Youtube as an alternative - with 38% usage rate.

Similarly to those in their 20s - as pointed out in our previous articles, when communicating with one another, local platform Kakaotalk is by far the most used platform amongst those in their 30s, with a greater than 90% usage rate. The next most common platform, Instagram, trails behind with less than half of respondents identifying that they used it - those that did, citing their reasons as it being convenient as the main sns messenger, and a desire to communicate with people who have similar interests.

Ultimately, the media market of those in their 30s in South Korea can be categorised as one that has increasingly diversified as individuals have settled into adulthood. Whilst millennial individuals maintain a sense of flexibility to keep up with trends, a greater realised sense of self has allowed them to also focus on what personally matters most, something that Waterbe is uniquely positioned to access through depth of localised knowledge.

To get more information about the South Korean market and digital marketing strategies, find us at Waterbe Corp.


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