The Korea Herald


Discounted bundles introduced amid 'streamflation'

By Lee Yoon-seo

Published : April 16, 2024 - 17:15

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Models introduce the newly launched subscription package, Models introduce the newly launched subscription package, "Tving + Starbucks." (KT)

South Korean streaming platforms are launching subscription packages tied with complementary services in response to mounting criticisms that the subscription fees for streaming services are getting too high, a phenomenon nicknamed "streamflation" here.

On Monday, local telecom service provider KT launched a subscription package named "Tving + Starbucks" which includes access to Tving and a monthly coupon for a tall Americano at Starbucks.

Three types of subscription packages are available: Tving Basic + Starbucks at 12,000 won ($8.67), Tving Standard + Starbucks at 16,000 won and Tving Premium + Starbucks at 19,500 won.

The bundled offer provides users with a total 2,000 won discount, compared with separately subscribing to Tving and purchasing a tall Americano at Starbucks.

According to KT, it is also scheduled to launch the "YouTube Premium + Starbucks" package.

LG Uplus currently operates a service called Udok (working translation), package deals that offer discounts for users who subscribe to multiple streaming services. The packages include a bundle deal that gives a 12 percent discount to those who subscribe to Disney+ and Tving.

Udok additionally provides packages that include discounts on items from specific retail brands, along with reduced subscription fees for streaming services. For example, Udok offers a bundle deal for a total 31 percent discount for users who buy an item from Baskin Robbins and subscribe to YouTube Premium.

Meanwhile, certain package deals have seen a sharp rise in monthly subscription fees.

On Friday, e-commerce company Coupang hiked the monthly subscription fee for Coupang Wow members to 7,890 won per month, a 58 percent jump over the previous 4,990 won. Wow membership includes ultra-fast package delivery, free delivery on its food delivery app service, Coupang Eats, and free access to Coupang Play, Coupang's video streaming service.

Coupang Play declined to comment on how the Wow subscription fee hike might affect the number of its subscribers.

"Starting with YouTube Premium, which raised its monthly subscription fee by some 40 percent from 10,450 won to 14,900 won in December, a number of streaming platform companies have since raised their prices for more profit as well," said an industry official from a telecom service provider on the condition of anonymity.

"Consumer criticism that subscription fees are rising for many services have resulted in an exodus of subscribers, and, as such, streaming platform operators are trying to introduce bundle packages," he added.

According to a survey conducted by the Korea Creative Content Agency in December, Korean video streaming users spend an average of 12,005 won per month but are willing to pay up to 15,995 won in video streaming service subscription fees.

Currently, the monthly standard plan for Netflix costs 13,500 won, while Disney+, Tving and Wavve cost 9,900 won, 9,500 won and 10,900 won, respectively.