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] Due to its significance, several scholars paid attention to snack culture, and in particular in tandem with webtoons. Snack culture—the habit of consuming information and cultural resources like webtoons quickly rather than engaging at a deeper level—is becoming representative of the Korean cultural scene in the 21st century as discussed in Dal Yong Jin's book on Transmedia Storytelling.[3]

Snack culture
Revised RomanizationSeunaeng keolchyeo
McCune–ReischauerSŭnaeng k'ŏlch'yŏ


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,[4] between 30 seconds and 15 minutes, and is characterized by a light and compact format.[5] In contrast, binge-watching, which became a popular term at about the same time, involves consuming media for hours at a time.[6]


Snack culture developed organically alongside the use of smartphones. According to statistics published in 2015 by the Ministry of Science, Information and Communication Technology and Future Planning, the number of smartphone users in South Korea exceeds 40 million.[7] A 2015 survey by the Korea Communications Commission showed that 76.9 percent of South Koreans use smartphones, particularly when commuting.[7]

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.[7] To meet the increasing demand by smartphone users, content that is suitable and can be quickly accessed is under constant development.[7] Advertisers joined the trend with ads that mimic web drama and music video formats,[8] so that users don't reject the advertisement.[9]

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.[8] 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.[10] 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.[8] The nature of snack culture with its compression and simplification can undermine the essence of a greater and more-meaningful culture.[8]

Content providersEdit

Naver produces webtoons and web dramas. Kakao connects to mobile-specific snack culture.[8][better source needed] Pikicast[11][12][better source needed] and moncast.[13] are popular snack culture apps.[11][better source needed] Card news[14] is a mobile-only news service which allows users to view only the stories they wish, edited to be interesting.[15]


  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. ^ Jin, Dal Yong (2020). "Snack culture's dream of big screen culture". In Jin, Dal Yong (ed.). Transmedia Storytelling in East Asia (1st ed.). Routledge. pp. 57–74. doi:10.4324/9780367246549-5. ISBN 9780367246549. S2CID 216203593.
  4. ^ "Today's Media is consumed like Snacks. Snack Culture". Transition in New Media (in Korean). 2016-05-28. Retrieved 2017-12-18.
  5. ^ [월간마케팅]스낵컬쳐 마케팅(Snack Culture Marketing). OPUS YONSEI MARKETING REVIEW. 2015-12-22. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
  6. ^ "Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year 2013". OxfordWords blog. Oxford Dictionaries. November 19, 2013. Archived from the original on November 20, 2013. Retrieved December 15, 2013.
  7. ^ a b c d "In Snack Culture, Possibilities of New Contents Grow - 한양저널". Retrieved 2017-12-16.
  8. ^ a b c d e 자투리 시간 전쟁...'스낵컬쳐'가 뜬다 (in Korean). Retrieved 2017-12-18.
  9. ^ 고유선 (2015-11-29). 소비심리 자극 '스낵컬쳐'…"광고보다 효자". 연합뉴스 (in Korean). Retrieved 2017-12-18.
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ a b 바쁜 현대인에 딱…‘피키캐스트’ 전성시대 (in Korean). Retrieved 2017-11-27.
  12. ^ 세상을 즐겁게 피키캐스트. Retrieved 2017-11-27.
  13. ^ [스낵컬처] 4달 만에 1억뷰 ‘스낵비디오’ 인기 TOP5 - 게임톡 (in Korean). Retrieved 2017-12-11.
  14. ^ "카드로 보는 뉴스 : 네이버 뉴스". (in Korean). Retrieved 2017-12-11.
  15. ^ ‘카드뉴스’ 모바일 독자 빨아들인다. (in Korean). Retrieved 2017-12-18.