A cross-media study of Koreans' media choice process and consumption patterns in the new media environment

Jin-Young Kim

Abstract

This study used the uses and gratifications, channel repertoire, and media substitution hypotheses to examine individuals' media choice process and seven media consumption patterns in the new media environment. A proportionate stratified sampling methodology (based on the gender, age, and regional proportion distribution) was utilized and 500 personal interviews were conducted across South Korea. The adjusted response rate for the study was 48.11 percent. Multiple regression analyses found that affinity of each medium was the most influential predictor in media choice followed by perceived usefulness. Needs, perceived accessibility, educational level, and age were not influential predictors of media choice. Findings were consistent with past uses and gratifications research in that gratifications sought and obtained correlated to media exposure. The impact of Internet use on traditional media use revealed mixed support of the media substitution hypothesis. Internet use had a replacement effect on television use, a supplemental effect on motion pictures and books, and no effect on the use of newspapers, magazines, and radio. The more time spent on the Internet, the larger the individual's media repertoire. Subjects relied, on average, on 2.26, 2.25, and 2.01 media to satisfy their general, information, and entertainment needs respectively. General media repertoire density was positively related to the salience of needs, media attitude (media usefulness, affinity, and accessibility) and leisure time. As the importance of information and entertainment needs increased, the density of information and entertainment repertoire also increased. Also those who had higher media affinity and perceived usefulness regularly used a larger number of media. Younger subjects and those with higher levels of education, income, and available leisure time included more media in their general, information, and entertainment repertoires. Television was judged the most helpful medium in satisfying information and entertainment needs followed by the newspaper and the Internet. The least chosen media for both information and entertainment needs were radio and magazines. Consistent with the high Internet penetration, the Internet was one of the most frequently chosen media in Korea included by 44.6 percent of subjects in their information and entertainment repertoires. Males were heavier users of the newspaper and the Internet, while females were more likely to use magazines and books. Older subjects were much heavier users of traditional print and broadcast media while younger generations were heavier users of the Internet, movies, magazines, and books. Those with high income, education, and leisure time were much more likely to use media than those with low income, education, and leisure time except television watching.