South Korea's major TV networks have decided to block Internet users in the country from watching their content on YouTube and migrate to other online video platforms reportedly to increase their share of advertising profits.
The decision has incensed many Koreans, especially because the networks will continue to offer their content on YouTube to international users.
Beginning the first week of December, several popular broadcast and cable networks, including MBC, SBS, tvN and JTBC, began preventing users with Korean IP addresses from seeing their videos on YouTube. Several media outlets reported that the motive behind the move was money: YouTube gives the networks a relatively small share of ad profits (around 55 percent, while some have claimed 40 percent), while Korean portal sites such as Naver and Daum Kakao have reached a deal with the networks to give them around 90 percent. Back in June, seven Korean broadcasters, after forming an alliance, negotiated with YouTube in an attempt to boost their share of the money, but failed to reach a consensus.
Koreans have flooded various social media sites with criticism about networks’ decision, calling it irrational, short-sighted and discriminatory against their own audiences. Many complained that local video platforms don't run as smoothly as YouTube and force users to install extra software that could make their computers vulnerable to future hacking attacks (Read Global Voices previous coverage, “Korean users’ feud with Active X“).
유튜브로 국내외 영상 즐기는 이용자로서, 이번 국내 방송사들의 국내 유튜브 서비스 중단은 짜증만 난다. 해외에는 허용하고.. 차별하냐? 네이버로 옮긴다니.. 거기 동영상 서비스 무겁고 화질 짜증나는데. 액티브 떡칠에 광고 떡칠.. 최악의 헛짓이다.
— 펄퍼러스 Purpureus (@aestas21) November 24, 2014
As a [Korean] user who enjoys watching videos on YouTube, Korean TV networks’ decision to halt YouTube service only in Korea, while allowing foreign users to watch their content, is truly annoying. It is a form of reverse discrimination against Korean viewers. They will be using Naver from now on, but Naver's video service runs slow and its video definition irritates me. Moreover, that one is plastered with Active X and so many commercials. It is the worst decision that the networks have ever made.
유튜브 왜 서비스 중단하는지 검색해보니까 광고수익이 각 방송사에 적게 배분되니까 그런 거구만? 야이 미친… 해외 시청자들 의식해서 우리나라에서만 서비스 중단하는 나쁜 것들아ㅠㅠㅠ
— 슬러쉬 (@SoSlushy) December 1, 2014
After searching for an answer as to why those networks have stopped YouTube service [for Koreans], I found out that TV networks get relatively low ad profits on YouTube. These crazy people, yet still caring about international audiences have decided to end service only in Korea.
유튜브나 구글이 세상의 정의일리 만무하지만, 방송사의 유튜브 서비스 중단은 거의 확실하게 퇴행이 아닐까. 차라리 자체 유료서비스를 위해서라면 모를까. 경우에 따라서는 과거 아카이브까지 업로드하며 의욕을 보이더니..
— mimyo (@mimyo_) November 28, 2014
I am not saying that YouTube or Google is the answer to all problems, but the networks’ decision to end YouTube service is a true regression. If they came up with their own video platform to play their content, I would have understood. Furthermore, this decision is totally not in line with their previous actions; sometimes they voluntarily uploaded their archival videos and actively used YouTube. [editor's note: stations often upload almost full-length episodes of their popular TV series]
@_room321 우회하니 넘 느려요..ㅠㅜ 외국 서비스 써보려고 우회해본 적은 있지만 국내 컨텐츠 보려고 우회해야 한다니 어처구니가 없어욬ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ
— Rotring (@Rotring_) December 1, 2014
I used a proxy and went around the block [to watch content on YouTube in Korea], but it is just so painfully slow. In the past, I have used proxy, but that time was to watch foreign content, not local Korean content. This situation is totally ridiculous.