South Korea is highly industrialized and has historically been a leader in digital communications—factors clearly shaping media behavior in 2019.
Smartphones are almost ubiquitous among South Korea’s internet users, according to GlobalWebIndex. In H1 2019, 96.9% of respondents ages 16 to 64 owned one—though it should be noted that the vast majority of the sample polled by GlobalWebIndex this year lived in cities (see note below).
PC penetration was also high, with 82.3% of respondents owning a desktop or laptop in H1 2019. By contrast, tablet ownership was more limited than in many other advanced economies, at 33.8%.
Feature phones are gradually disappearing in the online population: A mere 3.9% of internet users ages 16 to 64 said they owned one. Penetration of these legacy phones was highest in households at the lower end of the income scale, and among respondents ages 45 to 54.
Daily time spent with more advanced digital devices is less than might be expected, however. Internet users polled spent an average of 2 hours, 53 minutes (2:53) using PCs and tablets, and 2:34 on a mobile phone.
Live TV remains hugely popular in South Korea; 92.3% of internet users said they had watched broadcast TV in the prior month. Broadcast TV accounted for 2:05 per day, on average.