Sunday August 13, 2006 19:59
Is there Korean Youtube? Yes.
YouTube opened a Korean-language version site Wednesday, joining the already jam-packed video-sharing Web service market in Korea.
The Korean YouTube site faces a daunting mission in competing against locally grown services from Daum, Pandora TV and Afreeca. Tricky censorship regulations and skeptical sentiment toward foreign Internet firms will also become a hurdle to success for the U.S.-based site in Korea.
It is a belated arrival for YouTube in Korea, considering it is already operating localized services in 18 other nations. Google, which owns YouTube, has been cautious about expanding in Korea knowing that many other globally popular Web services of YouTube’s caliber have failed to win over the Korean market.
Since the early days of the Internet boom in the late 1990s, Korean Internet users have shown a strong favor for locally grown sites. For example, Google and Yahoo respectively have less than 5 percent of the search-engine market share, while Korean search engines Naver, Daum, and Nate continue to prosper. Social-networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace have even weaker presences here though the latter hopes to open a Korean site in the first half of the year.
Recognizing the cultural and language barriers, YouTube’s Arsiwala said that the Korean version will have locally-made content from seven local Internet, broadcasting and entertainment firms, including CJ Internet, TU Media and JYP Entertainment.
Localization, however, looks far from complete. On Wednesday afternoon, its front page of site carried more English- and Japanese-language videos than Korean ones.
Censorship is another critical issue that YouTube must solve. The Korean government enforces relatively strict guidelines for sexual, violent, or politically controversial contents on Web sites. So major local portals such as Naver and Daum employ several hundreds of monitors in Korea and in China who check all video and text content and filter inappropriate material 24 hours a day.
As following chart shows a traffic korean video sites for one year. Pandora.tv rapidly increased unique visitors rather than others. Many users suddenly have used video sharing sites since January, 2006.
This is an effect of portal video service such as Naver Play and Daum TVPot. All video sites contracted portal site and offered their content into them. Users recognized personal video service from portal video service.
The DioDeo.com is an another site to offer audio and video files together. It means a mix of au”dio” and vi”deo”. It has been offered video community since 2000. May it’s first personal video service in Korea.
Because of success of video service, major portals are interested in video contents, so they started upload services such as Daum Videolog.
Further reading about this market on ZDNet Korea:
- Commercial Online Video Service, Breakthrough Needed
- Video Streaming Portals confronts Major Portals