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New Year’s resolution? Become a YouTube star

Sales suggest Koreans hope to become viral sensations in 2019

Dec 27,2018
A model poses in a broadcasting studio with lights, cameras and computers. Video and audio equipment sales surged 6,214 percent year on year between Dec. 1 and 20 at e-commerce website TMON. [TICKET MONSTER]
It’s New Year’s resolution season, and people have started shopping for the equipment they need to reinvent themselves in 2019. Things have taken an unexpected turn this year - as well as the usual selection of yoga mats and language books, a growing number of Koreans are picking up video cameras in a bid to become the next big YouTube star.

E-commerce website Ticket Monster, or TMON, reported on Wednesday a huge surge in demand for video-making tools, such as cameras and storage devices, in the month of December.

Between Dec. 1 and 20, sales of audio and video equipment from microphones to lighting rocketed 6,214 percent year on year. Memory cards and readers also sold twice as much as a year earlier.

As videos typically take up much more storage room compared to other file formats, hard drives that can be inserted inside computers to expand storage capacity were another best seller this month. Laptop hard drives sold 580 percent more on year. The demand increase in the sector was particularly high among large-capacity products that can save between five to 10 terabytes. This is large enough to hold up to 5,000 hours of movies. They sold 3,649 percent more than last year.

According to TMON, the sales surge was led by customers in their 20s and 30s who are familiar with and show a high interest in online broadcasting.

The sudden surge is unusual at this time of year when people typically increase spending on goods they hope will help them in the new year. The list typically includes foreign language text books or products related to weight loss or exercise.

TMON believes the trend comes from the fact that streaming is in the spotlight at the moment as a potentially lucrative side job. The activity, once considered more of a pastime, has garnered attention from many in recent years with some of the biggest stars known to earn more than 1 billion won ($888,200) a year.

The desire to learn was also evident among customers in their 40s and 50s. Unlike younger people looking for a bright future on YouTube, shoppers in their 40s and 50s had a tendency to look for textbooks that can help them prepare for government license tests.

Sales for such products rocketed 629 percent among customers in their 40s and 1,733 percent for those in their 50s. The most popular textbooks regarded licenses in construction, civil engineering and real estate.

“These days, companies receive voluntary resignations from employees in their 40s, not to mention we still see women who quit jobs earlier due to child care,” said TMON. “This is all contributing to a higher interest in preparing for a new future or life after retirement.”


BY SONG KYOUNG-SON [song.kyoungson@joongang.co.kr]


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