K-Content News

ON POINT: Film critic's take on exponential rise of streaming services
  • November 03, 2021 | Cartoon

ON POINT: Film critic's take on exponential rise of streaming services

Updated: 2021-10-29 05:34:17 KST


Now it’s time for On Point, where we speak to experts to delve deeper into the biggest news stories in the spotlight right now. It’s Friday so that means we are talking entertainment and the focus this week is OTT. It stands for “over-the-top,” but perhaps not as you most commonly know or use it in everyday conversations. The “over-the-top” here refers to streaming content to customers directly over the web or through other smart devices, such as your TV, tablet or phone. For many people, it represents the future of entertainment - and a field that is rapidly evolving through services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney-Plus to name just a few.

Yes in fact, monthly active users of Netflix in South Korea are in the order of several million people and the number is increasing. So we wanted to dig deeper into why the format is proving increasingly more appealing to consumers than traditional alternatives - like going to the cinema, watching cable TV or buying a DVD set of their favorite series. For this we turn to Jason Bechervaise, a Seoul-based film critic and a familiar face to many of you who regularly tune into Arirang TV. Morning Jason Jason, getting straight to the crux of it - why are streaming platforms like Netflix exploding in popularity… not only in Korea, but around the world?

A growing number of people, especially the younger generation, increasingly default to streaming over cable TV or similar options. Do you think OTT streaming services will eventually wash away cable TV and if so, how quickly do you think it will happen?

There’s no denying the future of OTT is extremely bright. You only need look at the global success of ‘Squid Game’ on Netflix to prove that poin t. Even looking back just two to three years, the Netflix back then… is unrecognizable to what it is now - both in terms of the quality and breadth of its content. Given that its moving so rapidly, what do you imagine OTT services might be like in five year’s time?

Finally, another multimedia giant is preparing to wade into the South Korean market. Disney Plus will start its streaming service here on November 12th. The company says it will cost around eight to nine U.S. dollars a month to subscribe. Despite Disney offering content from across the Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and other famous brands, do you think it will be enough to turn Koreans’ heads away from Netflix or will it mainly attract that overflow if people who can afford the luxury of being able to subscribe to both?

Jason, always good to get you on and we're glad you could join us. That's Seoul-based film critic, Jason Bechervaise, on the rise of streaming services. Thanks Jason and have a great weekend.