Ever since global society became internet based, our way of finding information has also changed. These days, people are keen to learn more about entertainment and lifestyle trends, yet have too little time to do things like read a book or watch a movie. Most of the time, they hardly find the time to sit down and thoroughly go through entire content. Therefore people who are interested in entertainment and lifestyle features but have no time to invest in their enjoyment, have instead found their way to the ‘Skip Culture’.
|▲ People have been looking over platform like Youtube to learn brief content of books, movies and so forth.|
‘Skip Culture’ is a recent trend ignited by people who are unwilling to spend their time reading a whole book or watching a movie. Individuals who enjoy these activities create summaries of the content, either a book or a movie, and upload them to social networks. Some well-known Youtubers like Comicstorian and Amo Good built their fame creating videos that summarize games, movies or even comic books. They successfully attracted millions of subscribers to their own channels as they are quick, and easy to absorb. They also provide precise and interesting narrations. It saves people a lot of time from going through the entire content themselves as they simply listen to a few minute talk by a producer.
Some creators use a very humorous tone to their languages when narrating the story. For example, Amo Good, a famous movie summarizing Youtuber who has over 1.6 million followers, can sum up a 120-minute movie into a 3 to 5-minute video, using plenty of teasing words and modern gags. At the same time while people are trying to learn about the movie, the entertaining elements will not lose their place even if the viewers are not in the theater themselves. People can simply enjoy this content without actually having to spend the time going through it themselves.
|▲ Lee Ga-hee, a Booktuber who summarizes book into three to five minutes of video.|
Korea has been influenced by the same trend and brought a few newcomers to the industry of ‘Skip Culture’. One of the popular ‘Booktubers’ (a combination of book and Youtube), Lee Ga-hee (31) better known as ‘Readingjiaxi’ (Korean name: Chaeck-Ilg-Ji-ra, literally translated into bibliography) created her own mobile application known as ‘hham’ which summarizes books in 3-minutes videos. In addition, this creator selects books from diverse areas and summarizes the content adding subtitles and images. What’s more is that she also introduces some hidden & new book series’ without revealing the title and sometimes actually reads the content on social media like Facebook or Instagram live. Moreover, there is a creator on YouTube called ‘GOMONG TUBE’ who has more than 150 million subscribers. The typical characteristic of this channel is that this creator does not analyze nor add too many personal reviews, but instead holds the show by summarizing the story using light humor about the content. Additionally, GOMONG TUBE introduces not only Korean content, but also rather diverse content such as dramas in foreign countries and animated dramas in Japan. In other words today, you only have to spend 3 minutes to finish good books or movies. This idea totally captivated the minds of many readers who are possibly preoccupied by work or family.
This new culture has also been brought to the attention of companies as an effective means of marketing. These creators make revenue from advertisements in partnership with publishers, such as ‘Book Concert’. For example, Lee created a video introducing the book ‘Digital Nomad’ published by the Raon Book Company and upload it on the internet bookstore ‘CONECTS BOOKS’. Moreover, if you search recommendations from Lee (creator of Chaeck-Ilg-Ji-ra) in that internet bookstore, you can find 117 of them. Furthermore, sometimes creators upload a link with the video on social media, so that viewers can find the content, which is also another way to market a product. It may seem quite tricky for viewers to find out whether the recommendations are real or just adverts, but lot of creators put efforts into making their content trustworthy by rejecting offers from company if their strategy is only to focus on marketing and not the quality of the content. In fact, Lee once stated that she refused an offer from a certain company because their content did not meet with her philosophy.
The new cultural change has been portrayed on social media by its characteristics as a Skip Culture. It’s clear that diverse content that follows this trend has been satisfying the modern person’s demand for reliable information in a short time period in our already overloaded informative society. However, as the cultural traits illustrated above, we still need to keep in mind that it might become just one more means of marketing masquerading as worthy summaries with lots of information. What can ensure this is ‘real culture’ is if creators are willing to reject offers from private companies if the content does not match with their values and consumers are able to choose valuable information from among all the content floating on the internet.
심형석, Edward Ng, Jane Shak firstname.lastname@example.org