Only 900,000 South Korean homes were equipped with a DVD Video player and/or recorder by the end of 2003, giving just 5.4% penetration of television households. By comparison, DVD hardware penetration had reached double-digits in several other territories in Asia-Pacific in 2003: Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and Taiwan, according to Screen Digest.
The South Korean video software market was one of the few in the world still to be dominated by VHS in 2003. Consumer spending on videocassettes totalled almost $170 bln won ($143 mln) in 2003, representing nearly 62% of total spending on video software. VCD has never really taken off and interest in DVD has been disappointing. Companies initially found marketing to DVDs core demographic (young adults) difficult, due to South Korea?s complex social structure. As a result, DVD was promoted in more progressive music and electronics stores, rather than in conventional video shops (tiny, family-owned mom and pop rental stores), which had little experience of the format.