The music streaming service with the most users in Korea is Melon with around 7.1 million users. Spotify, which was mentioned as a rival to Melon when it launched its in-house service in February 2020, ranked 7th with two million users.
YouTube Music ranked second with the highest growth rate in recent years. In a survey conducted at the end of 2021, YouTube Music had 3.22 million users, a 114% increase. In addition, Genie Music was confirmed to have 3.57 million users (3rd), Flo to 1.62 million users (4th), and Naver Vibe to 870,000 users (5th). ).
Changes are taking place in the domestic Korean music streaming market, which has retained a solid three-way system based on Melon, Genie Music and Flo. YouTube is the world’s largest video platform. YouTube has significantly increased its market share with a significant increase in the number of users of its own music streaming service, YouTube Music.
Melon has a 29.8% share of the South Korean music streaming market. This means that almost every third Korean music lover listens to streaming music on this service. Overseas services such as Spotify and Apple Music are also looking to increase their share of the Korean market. Melon, the No. 1 music streaming service in Korea, has been supporting “Melon Heaven” in the tough music streaming market for several years. However, its resilience was very different from when it maintained its unrivaled market share. In two years, the market share fell by almost 9%. Melon’s history goes back to Loen Entertainment, which was once known as IU’s company. In 2016, Kakao’s acquisition of Loen, which at the time operated the nation’s No. 1 music streaming service Melon, for 1.87 trillion won is still considered one of the largest major deals in the IT industry.
YouTube Music, which had a market share of just 1% two years ago, has grown rapidly and is now up to about 12%. Currently, services such as Genie Music and Flo are competing to increase user loyalty by focusing on personalized services that focus on analyzing each user’s tastes. They use artificial intelligence to link it to a big data music recommendation service. After a detailed analysis of the user’s musical tastes with elements such as genre, atmosphere, and emotions, the musical trend is expressed in a perfect music recommendation algorithm for users.
Behind these simple numbers hides the fierce competition and bitter struggle that music streaming services actually wage among themselves in the struggle for the Korean user. After all, the South Korean market is not only dynamic, it is very promising.