Tving narrows gap with Netflix in 1st half as competition heats up

July 8, 2024

The homegrown streaming platform Tving is gaining ground on market leader Netflix in South Korea, data showed Friday.

Tving’s monthly active users (MAU) surged 27 percent to 7.39 million in the first half, while Netflix experienced a 16 percent decline to 10.96 million, according to Mobile Index, an application analysis service. The company does not include web-based user data.

This trend was even more pronounced in daily active users, with Tving’s numbers jumping 49 percent as Netflix’s fell 28 percent.

Posters of "Pyramid Game" and "EXchange 3" are shown in the image provided by Tving on July 5, 2024. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)
Posters of “Pyramid Game” and “EXchange 3″ are shown in the image provided by Tving on July 5, 2024. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Tving’s success is largely attributed to its popular original content, including “Death’s Game,” “LTNS,” “Pyramid Game” and “EXchange 3,” as well as exclusive broadcasts of hits such as “Marry My Husband,” “Queen of Tears” and “Lovely Runner.” The platform also benefited from streaming KBO baseball games.

In contrast, Netflix struggled to produce breakout hits during this period. While shows like “The Bequeathed” and “A Killer Paradox” performed well internationally by topping Netflix’s weekly chart for non-English TV series, they failed to match the impact of previous Korean Netflix originals.

Other streaming services in the market also faced challenges. Disney+ saw the biggest decline, with its MAUs dropping 25 percent to 2.52 million.

It failed to produce a hit on par with last year’s “Moving.” Despite high expectations and star power, the Korean original series “Uncle Samik,” featuring “Parasite” star Song Kang-ho, underperformed.

Coupang Play and Wavve also experienced user losses, with their MAUs declining by 8 percent and 3 percent to 6.63 million and 4.32 million, respectively.

Time spent on platforms reflected these trends, with Tving seeing a 47 percent rise in viewing hours while Netflix’s watch time went down by 36 percent.