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Now, focus on web dramas!
  • Park Ji Hwan, cub-reporter
  • 승인 2018.10.25 22:37
  • 호수 255
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What do you know about web dramas?

Where do you usually watch dramas? And how long are the dramas you watch? These days, dramas are available in many places besides on your TV, and can be enjoyed over shorter periods of time than one hour.‘Web dramas” have emerged as a result of the development of mobile phones and the Internet. Unlike traditional broadcasting dramas, a 'Web Drama' is based on short episodes. It has a length of about 5 to 20 minutes per episode. It is shared and spread through vast social networks in a world where the use of mobile devices and the Internet has become mainstream. As online access via smartphone becomes more common a suitable form of drama is appearing for various mobile media such as YOUUE, Facebook, and Vapp.

Why are web dramas so popular?

First, easy accessibility for viewers.

A vast amount of social networks worldwide are accessed through mobile devices. These social networks allow mobile and Internet users to easily share web dramas and access them in a variety of media. Producers are also focusing on promotion and marketing, taking advantage of their accessibility. Also, they organize and promote content for teenagers and people in their 20s that make up most of mobile users.

TV dramas promote themselves, actors, and broadcasters through the Internet and mobile networks. However, if consumers miss specific times when they are aired or do not use TV, it will be of no use. Therefore, we can see that TV dramas are relatively less accessible. Web dramas, however, have a structure that viewers can watch anytime, anywhere within a short period of time, as long as they see the promotion in the media. As such, web dramas are enjoying great popularity since they are more convenient and accessible than TV dramas.

Second, the material is relatable

The biggest reason people are crazy about web dramas is because of the theme (material) that makes up episodes. Most popular web dramas are based on romantic relationships, friendships, and school life (middle school, high school, and college) that anyone can experience in everyday life. Unlike popular TV dramas, which are popular through famous actors, web dramas are more familiar and empathetic because they find and film new actors. Viewers find it interesting to see their daily stories produced even though episodes are not made up of new and mysterious stories. A realistic and detailed web drama contains a neat narrative within a short period of five to 20 minutes. While presenting different contents in each episode, it takes a natural plot to connect all episodes.

For example, the recent hit web drama 'Eighteen' tells the story of 18-year-old high school students growing up with various problems in friendship, school, love, and identity. The drama has caused the so-called "Eighteen syndrome" with more than one million viewers and the demand for fashion and cosmetics based on the characters has increased dramatically. This drama is loved by many generations, teenagers in high school, and also those in their 20s. The cast members are so successful because of appropriate materials considering the audience, active promotional activities through social networks, and stories that highlight each character's individuality in each episode.

In addition to stories of school days, there is also a web drama called "Love Play List," which has continued through the season, drawing enormous sympathy from people in their 20s and 30s. "Yeon Ply" has been airing since last year and is now available in Vietnam, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Thailand, leading to a massive success of about 3.5 billion views. This content is based on material about boyfriends, girlfriends, department CCs, and clubs. Through small everyday love stories and problems that anyone could share in university life, viewers felt explosive sympathy and positive responses. "Love Play List," which has continued for three seasons, is a good example of the advent of the era of web dramas.

Web dramas on numerous channels are pouring in content. For example, these days, feminism is an issue in everyday material. Countless content is created such as "A society forced to love", which deals with the views and material of people who force and do not love each other, and "Just a bite" that combines the composition of food broadcasting and drama broadcasting with friends who talk about their love.

The success of web dramas goes beyond the success of TV dramas to the success of various fields. New actors in web dramas can gain popularity among the major consumer groups of teenagers and 20s, making their way into airwave broadcasting and shooting commercials, laying the groundwork for their growth as actors. Fashion items and makeup items worn by actors in web dramas are often out of stock. Some students admire the characters and upload videos acting like the characters. Also, OST music, which was popular in broadcasting dramas, is used for web dramas, and the OST of web dramas is now ranked high on the charts. Previously, indie singers mainly participated in Web drama OST recording, but now famous singers are also joining the web drama OST.

Web dramas provide a higher level of empathy than broadcast dramas through materials and characters that allow us to see ourselves without judgment. So the empathy seems to be linked with interest.

Jang Ga Young, an English literature major at Changwon University's College of Humanities, had this to say about the success of web dramas; "They provide a higher level of empathy than broadcast dramas through materials and characters that allow us to see ourselves without judgment. So the empathy seems to be linked with interest. I also think that a big reason for the success and the consumption of web dramas is that I can enjoy watching an episode even if I only have ten minutes to relax.”

Television dramas are now broadcast material that are produced for the elderly. The most important consumer group in society is teenagers. Because of this consumer group, the rapid and continuous use and development of mobile devices, and the ease of access to consumers around the world via social networks, web dramas are now one of the most quickly growing markets. There is an endless list of web dramas that I am looking forward to watching.

Web drama "Eighteen"
Lipstick used by characters in the web drama "Eighteen"
Web drama "Love Play List"
OST in the web drama "Love Play List"

Park Ji Hwan, cub-reporter  mm9780@naver.com

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