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As compared to 1 percent expansion in the last quarter of 2018, the South Korean economy shortened by 0.3 percent in the first three months of 2019. New advanced market data showed that the expected 0.3 percent growth is missing from the market.

As per the previous stats by eMarketer, it is for the first time in the last five quarters; the Korean economy faced that much percent reduction.

Moreover, this downfall is sharpest since the fourth quarter of 2008. The main reason for this was the sharp contraction of utilities and manufacturing. Besides, it was for the third occasion in the last four quarters, that the construction reduced sharply.

Well, if you talk about production, utilities reduced by 7.3 percent right after the 3.6 percent growth in the previous quarter. Manufacturing saw a 2.4 percent reduction as compared to the expansion of 0.9 percent during the last quarter.

After growing by 1.0 percent in the previous quarter, construction dropped by 0.4 in the first quarter of 2019. In contrast to this, services increased by 0.9 percent, which is 0.3 percent more than the 0.6 percent growth in Quarter 4 of 2018.

If you estimate GDP yearly, it expanded by 1.8 percent every year. So, as compared to previous quarters, the growth of South Korea reduced sharply from a 3.1 percent growth during the last quarter to 2.5 percent, which is way below the market expectations. According to the stats, it was the weakest growth since the third quarter of 2009.

Digital landscape

The citizens of South Korea are passionate users of digital technology. So, as a result, they lead most countries of the world in the aspects of high-speed and wireless internet.

Besides, South Korea has online penetration of more than 90 percent including the users of all age with high usage of data. In 2019, South Korea has one of the biggest blogging community in the world.

South Korea also has a high penetration of mobile phone users who use social media platforms daily. According to an eMarketer forecast of common usage around the world, said that the estimate penetration in South Korea is more than the total population of any other in Asia-Pacific countries.

You can expect that several South Koreans watch their favorite TV shows on their mobile devices. Now, let’s proceed with some key facts about Digital Marketing in South Korea.

Top 10 key facts regarding digital marketing in Korea

  1. As compared to other big countries such as Japan (66 percent), China (56 percent), The US (80 percent) and The UK (69 percent), at 82 percent, South Korea has the highest mobile internet penetration in the entire world.
  2. To watch their favorite TV shows and movies, most South Koreans use digital devices and Television. So, as a result, the use of Print and Media has reduced. Besides, TV has somehow managed itself to keep resilient over the years.
  3. Areas, where South Korea lags other major economies, is total ad spending per person. Moreover, you can expect the growth rate to be much slower between 2019-2022.
  4. The largest share of the total ad spends in 2018 came from Digital ads (41.3 percent). Rest of the dividend is then followed by TV (25.9), Magazine (3.5 percent), Newspaper (11.7 percent), Radio (1.8 percent), and out of the home (15.8 percent). Right now, the latest trends favor digital ads as they have the growth rate of more than 11 percent which is way higher than TV (1.3 percent), Newspaper (-1.0 percent), Magazine (-0.1 percent), Radio (-0.4 percent), Out-of-Home (2.0 percent).
  5. As I told you earlier that South Koreans spend most of their time on mobiles. So, it is evident that Mobile and has the maximum share out of the total digital ad pay.
  6. As time passes, display ads continue to gain high percentage share of total digital ad spend against search and classified ads.
  7. More than 2/3 of the South Korea population are mobile buyers. As of in 2019, 68.5 percent or 31.5 Million of South Koreans are Mobile Buyers. Moreover, it is expected to reach 72.1 percent or 33.5 Million of the total population in 2022.
  8. In South Korea, other international Digital platforms such as Facebook have fewer users as compared to local Kakao Talk app. It is one of the most popular messaging apps in South Korea. Out of the total internet population, 2/3 uses this app daily.
  9. In terms of e-commerce sales revenue, South Korea is in the list of top 5 countries. As per the stats by eMarketer, China tops the list with the total income of USD 1526 Billion whereas South Korea stands firmly at third position with USD 75 Billion.
  10. The growth rate of e-commerce in South Korea is on par with other G7 countries. In terms of growth rate, South Korea is on the third number in the list with 11.1 percent. Here again, China tops the list with 30.3 percent growth rate.

Fast facts about Korea

Population- 51 Million

Urban Population- 81.7 percent

GDP- USD 1.655 trillion

GDP Per Capita- USD 41,415

Unemployment: 4.4 percent

Life expectancy: 82.02 years

Poverty ratio: 15 percent (2018)

Language: Korean

Capital city: Seoul

Ruling party: Democratic Party of Korea

Currency: Won

Economic Performance of South Korea in the First Quarter of 2019


About author
Sanya Sharma is a content marketer and professional blogger. You can reach the author at