YouTube seems to be growing its audience in South Korea as the country’s own streaming service, Melon, is seeing its share of the pie gradually decline.

Citing Korea Bizwire, Music Ally reports, “[A] recent survey of 3,500 people by the Korea Creative Content Agency (KOCCA) offers an interesting snapshot of shifting power in the music streaming world. Melon is still the most popular streaming service in South Korea, used by 32.8% of the respondents,”, but that share is in decline – down from 34.6% in 2021 which itself is down from 36.4% in 2020.

All of those subscribers seem to be migrating to different places – one of which is YouTube. The Western tech giant appears to be one of the main beneficiaries, having grown its share from 26% to 28.7% in the last year. But when you include YouTube Music into the equation, the combined share is a total of 38.5% – up from 35.5% last year. So YouTube had already overtaken Melon in 2021, but the difference in audience size continues to grow in YouTube’s favor.

With that said, Music Ally reports that another study, carried out by the Recording Industry Association of Korea, contradicts this. In the study, the body surveyed 1,500 streaming service users and asked which of the Digital Streaming Platforms was theirs and found that 52.7% chose Melon and 31.2% chose YouTube Music in a multiple choice question.

The study above conducted by RIAK specifically surveyed paying subscribers, but the study conducted by KOCCA directly focuses on the general population – including free streamers, reports Music Ally.

So, in summary, we can conclude that the general trend seems to point toward YouTube becoming more popular in South Korea. But when it comes to paid services, Melon seems to continue coming out on top. After all, there’s a big market for recorded music in South Korea – the seventh biggest in the world in 2021 according to the IFPI.

Distribute your music to South Korea FOR FREE with RouteNote. With 95% market coverage, we’ll distribute your music globally while you keep 85% of all revenue.