Abstract - The Information Society 33(1)


Contextualizing the Failure of Mobile TV Service in Korea

Pyungho Kim

A Korean-version of broadcast-type mobile TV service called digital mobile/multimedia broadcasting (DMB) that started in 2005 is now considered a failure. Existing studies approach DMBís failure in commercial terms. This study discusses DMB in the socio-cultural context of new media environment into which it was inserted, struggled, and eventually declined. With the rapid spread of smartphones and social media, the media environment was reshaped towards interactive and decentralized communication practices that were radically different than of broadcasting-centric times. DMB with a centralized mass communication structure did not fit in well with this environment. This study shows that the success or failure of new media services may well depend on how they fit in within the larger media environment. More broadly, it shows that a contextual approach to analyzing new media technologies that employs the concept of fitness formation can be very useful.


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