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Twitch suspends replay service in S. Korea only

Posted November. 11, 2022 07:53,   

Updated November. 11, 2022 07:53


The world’s largest video-streaming platform, Twitch, has been met with angry users in the South Korean market since it announced that VOD (video-on-demand) content would no longer be available in the country only. Reportedly, the decision was made in opposition to the country’s National Assembly working on a bill to mandate the payment for the usage of internet networks. Likewise, the U.S.-based platform in September made an abrupt announcement to provide South Korean users with the content of a lower grade than 1080p (UHD).

Twitch posted a notice on Thursday that the VOD service will be suspended in the South Korean region, making it impossible for local audiences to watch the replay or edited versions uploaded by creators. Technically saying, only live-streaming shows will remain available. The VOD service will be terminated in South Korea on Dec. 13.

Twitch explained that the measure taken aims to satisfy the evolving regulatory requirements. However, it did not provide any further details of which regulation is related to its decision to suspend the service. Some tech experts interpreted that it decided to suspend the VOD service following the degraded video quality policy in South Korea to oppose the ongoing discussions about the passage of a bill to mandate a network usage fee. However, others pointed out that it has already paid the network usage cost to local internet service providers such as telecoms carriers, assuming a different backdrop to the decision.

The Korea Communications Commission has looked into complaints or damage reported by local Twitch users due to the provision of lowered video quality. Online creators and users complained about the platform’s unilateral decision while pointing an accusatory finger at the National Assembly and telecoms carriers. They argued they had been negatively affected by the telecoms carriers’ move to charge global content providers a network usage fee by legislating the policy.