Snack culture

Snack culture (Korean스낵컬쳐) is the South Korean trend of consuming entertainment or other media in brief periods, typically of 15 minutes or less. It is a practice which emerged due to the popularization of smartphones and the desire of content-providers to reach an increasingly busy and mobile population. The Korean Times wrote in 2014 that "'snack culture' is becoming representative of the Korean cultural scene."[1] It has been called "a hot topic" in the media-content industry in 2014.[2]


Modern people pursuing snack culture.

The term snack culture comes from consuming media in a short time, like a snack that can be enjoyed anytime and anywhere. Snack culture is consumed in brief periods,[3] between 30 seconds and 15 minutes, and is characterized by a light and compact format.[4] In contrast, binge-watching, which became a popular term at about the same time, involves consuming media for hours at a time.[5]


Snack culture developed organically alongside the use of smartphones. According to statistics published[year needed] by the Ministry of Science, Information and Communication Technology and Future Planning, the number of smartphone users in South Korea exceeds 40 million.[6] A survey[year needed] by the Korea Communications Commission showed that 76.9 percent of South Koreans use smartphones, particularly when commuting.[6]

Mobile-device users typically consume online cultural content for an average period of 10 minutes.[1] Mainly on the move, they become accustomed to the short segments.[1] Snack culture such as webtoons, web dramas or web fiction books have continued to increase in popularity.[6] To meet the increasing demand by smartphone users, content that is suitable and can be quickly accessed is under constant development.[6] Advertisers joined the trend with ads that mimic web drama and music video formats,[7] so that users don't reject the advertisement.[8]

Characterization and criticismsEdit

By using mobile device, snack culture has Good accessibility. There is a tendency among snack-culture consumers to search for simplified content which is easier to consume.[7] Snack culture is mainly focused on simple interest-oriented content. The short and simple content means that users do not have to invest a great deal of time or attention.[9] They can enjoy it for a brief time or abandon it midway through.

An increasing proportion of media content is becoming snack culture according to public consumption patterns. Some[who?] fear that it threatens the place of a deeper and more-engaging culture with a depth of thought.[7] The nature of snack culture with its compression and simplification can undermine the essence of a greater and more-meaningful culture.[7]

Content providersEdit

Naver produces webtoons and web dramas. Kakao connects to mobile-specific snack culture.[7][better source needed] Pikicast[10][11][better source needed] and moncast.[12] are popular snack culture apps.[10][better source needed] Card news[13] is a mobile-only news service which allows users to view only the stories they wish, edited to be interesting.[14]


  1. ^ a b c "'Snack culture'". koreatimes. 2014-02-02. Retrieved 2017-11-07.
  2. ^ "The content consumption trend 'Snack Culture' is in next year". 대한민국 IT포털의 중심! 이티뉴스. Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  3. ^ "Today's Media is consumed like Snacks. Snack Culture". Transition in New Media (in Korean). 2016-05-28. Retrieved 2017-12-18.
  4. ^ "[월간마케팅]스낵컬쳐 마케팅(Snack Culture Marketing)". OPUS YONSEI MARKETING REVIEW. 2015-12-22. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
  5. ^ "Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year 2013". OxfordWords blog. Oxford Dictionaries. November 19, 2013. Retrieved December 15, 2013.
  6. ^ a b c d "In Snack Culture, Possibilities of New Contents Grow - 한양저널" (in Korean). Retrieved 2017-12-16.
  7. ^ a b c d e "자투리 시간 전쟁...'스낵컬쳐'가 뜬다" (in Korean). Retrieved 2017-12-18.
  8. ^ 고유선 (2015-11-29). "소비심리 자극 '스낵컬쳐'…"광고보다 효자"". 연합뉴스 (in Korean). Retrieved 2017-12-18.
  9. ^ 세계일보 (2015-01-22). "스낵컬쳐(Snack Culture) 창업 아이템 뜬다". 스낵컬쳐(Snack Culture) 창업 아이템 뜬다 - 세상을 보는 눈, 글로벌 미디어 - 세계닷컴 -. Retrieved 2017-12-18.
  10. ^ a b "바쁜 현대인에 딱…'피키캐스트' 전성시대" (in Korean). Retrieved 2017-11-27.
  11. ^ "세상을 즐겁게 피키캐스트". Retrieved 2017-11-27.
  12. ^ "[스낵컬처] 4달 만에 1억뷰 '스낵비디오' 인기 TOP5 - 게임톡" (in Korean). Retrieved 2017-12-11.
  13. ^ "카드로 보는 뉴스 : 네이버 뉴스". (in Korean). Retrieved 2017-12-11.
  14. ^ "'카드뉴스' 모바일 독자 빨아들인다". (in Korean). Retrieved 2017-12-18.