Physical format dead in S. Korea - High-Def Digest Forums
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Old 11-15-2008, 02:15 PM
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Default Physical format dead in S. Korea

I remember reading a thread about a Samsung executive declaring BD dead in 5-6 years. I now know why. The physical format is already dead in South Korea, where broadband coverage is more than 90% and copyright is lax.

Here is the cautionary tale from S. Korea:

Written by Janko Roettgers
Posted Wednesday, September 3, 2008 at 2:49 PM PT

The Death of the Korean DVD Industry: A Sign of Things to Come in the U.S.?

Sony Pictures is leaving South Korea because of sluggish sales and rampant piracy, The Korea Times is reporting this week. Sony isnít the first studio to abandon the Korean market; according to the Times, Paramount, Universal, Buena Vista and 20th Century Fox have all ceased operations there, meaning there is no longer a major Hollywood studio operating in South Korea.

Korean DVD sales have been in a free fall in recent years. The newspaper quotes estimates for 2008 of some $285 million vs. $673 million in 2002. At the same time, blazing fast broadband is ubiquitous. The countryís average broadband penetration rate by household hit 90.1 percent last year; in Seoul, the rate was 107.8 percent. Koreaís broadband revolution is often touted as a sign of things to come for the rest of the world, but is the same true for the death of its DVD market?

Thereís no question that film-swapping broadband users are behind at least some of the industryís woes in Korea. In a recent survey, almost 50 percent of Koreaís Internet users have admitted to downloading movies from the Internet, and the typical user is downloading about a movie a week. Copyright isnít even an issue with the folks that havenít been getting their Hollywood blockbusters online. Instead, they simply deemed downloading as too complicated.

The slump of DVD sales numbers has also taken its toll on DVD rental stores. The Korea Times is reporting that there were 10,000 of these Blockbuster-type stores back in 2001, but the number was down to 3,500 at the end of last year. Finally, box office sales have been slightly down in 2007 as well, but some attribute this to the changing box office landscape rather than to piracy.

How much of this trend will translate to the U.S.? At this point, itís hard to speculate, but there are some lessons to be learned in South Korea that should worry Hollywood, the most important one being that in the face of ubiquitous broadband, DVDs wonít be replaced by other physical formats or even VOD services, but by the cloud.

Interestingly enough, P2P networks arenít at the center of the Korean downloading craze. Users are flocking to web-based storage solutions instead. The market for these so-called ďwebhardĒ services was originally popularized by LG, but now there are dozens of vendors, with some offering up to 1 Terabyte of storage space for free. The services are monetized through priority access points that guarantee higher speeds. There are supposed to be filters in place, but itís obvious they donít work.

Korean film studios now want their piece of the pie by becoming part of the cloud. According to KBS World Radio, theyíre starting a webhard-based movie download service by the end of the year.

Source: go to "newteevee.com",without typing in world wide web. I could not post the link because I was not allowed to.
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Old 11-15-2008, 02:36 PM
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Sounds like theft is rampart. And then you wonder why the studios are interested in copy protection.
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Old 11-15-2008, 02:57 PM
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Original article:

http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news...123_30420.html

Quote:
The recent buzz in theaters is "Batman: The Dark Knight," but Kim Seong-gyu, a self-proclaimed movie buff, isnít bothering to get a ticket. Kim saw the movie twice before it opened in Korean cinemas last month.

"I downloaded it on an Internet peer-to-peer site," said Kim, a 31-year-old office worker.

"I think the picture quality could have been better but you canít complain too much if you arenít paying for it," he said.
So in a nutshell: the movie theater business is dead, the disc business is dead... and the paid download business is dead before it was even alive (why pay for something you can get for free?).

Everybody happy?
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Old 11-15-2008, 05:12 PM
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South Korea, the hotbed of original content.....
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Old 11-15-2008, 05:15 PM
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Everyone knows that where South Korea goes, so does North America.
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Old 11-15-2008, 07:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Favelle View Post
South Korea, the hotbed of original content.....
There's quite a few movies made by that country that are remade in the US. Not to mention a few niche movies people love to own. Old boy for example. Taegukki. Now, it's not the hotbed for hollywoods content for sure.
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Old 11-15-2008, 07:59 PM
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Quote:
The recent buzz in theaters is "Batman: The Dark Knight," but Kim Seong-gyu, a self-proclaimed movie buff, isnít bothering to get a ticket. Kim saw the movie twice before it opened in Korean cinemas last month.
Sorry, if your going to give international markets the short end of the stick and delay releasing the film for months then don't be too surprised when they get impatient and download it from a torrent. Staggered international theatrical release dates only encourages piracy and gray imports.
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Old 11-15-2008, 10:17 PM
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I would also like to put my thoughts out. South Korea is a lot like Japan, small and highly centralized around the cities. Is it any wonder Broadband penetration is so widespread then?
Also I would add some other insight as well. Consider "The Host" was a HIT in South Korean theaters, topping the previous box office record created by "My Sassy Girl". I wouldn't be surprised if another film tops "The Host" as well so I'd agree with Citizen Erased a bit here.
edit: I forgot to add that the Broadband industry has been killing the music industry sadly. With this article I'm terrified I won't just get the movies I want in HD from there but the concerts and artists music in Lossless. As it stands, BoA only has a SACD from Japan. -_-
I definitely hope we see "My Sassy Girl" come out one of these days with Lossless on BR.
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Old 11-15-2008, 10:31 PM
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Damn, with only 1 post from the op, many of us here still have to douche
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Old 11-16-2008, 11:13 AM
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Everyone in Korea has a 10mbit line minimum.
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