A new broadcasting market is rising. Personalized one-man broadcasting is catching on. Thus, Naver launched the Star Live Broadcast V App service in Aug. to offer a global live streaming service. The application featuring Korean stars has been downloaded in 210 countries. According to Naver, 60 percent of the downloads were outside of Korea.
The V App shows stars’ everyday lives as well as their moves at TV drama shooting sites and backstage. In Sept., Entertainment Agency Star Empire opened the Star Empire Channel and began live broadcasts of its stars such as Nine Musics, ZE:A, and VOS. “Now people can enjoy stories and videos of Star Empire’s artists through the channel,” said a spokesperson at Star Empire. Currently, entertainment agencies are selecting and shooting entertainers via the V APP after signing contracts with Naver.
Entertainment agencies own copyrights to such content offline, but rights to use them online belong to Naver. Entertainment agencies are having a positive view of the V App Service, since the service is a new and advanced PR tool for them.
An entertainment industry expert said that the V App will be able to help entertainers show their talent to more people compared to current press conferences and showcases. In particular, the V App will come in handy for new entertainers eager to publicize them to the general public, he added.
The broadcasting and media industry is regarding the V App as one of Naver’s strategies to develop a new cash cow on mobile platforms. It is said that the V App is taking aim at YouTube, which enjoys the largest share of the online video service market.
Late last year, Korean network TV stations stopped supplying content to YouTube Korea. Then, they signed deals with Naver for content supply. Korean cable TV channels followed suit. Finally, their content started airing via Naver’s TV Cast Service.
Naver’s lust for visual content did not stop there. The portal company began to offer various web dramas by way of TV Cast. Lately, Naver released a web-based entertainment show “New Monkey King” in partnership with CJ E&M.
It seems that Naver is following in the footsteps of Netflix, the world’s largest visual streaming service company, since Netflix is now producing its own TV shows after distributing TV shows produced by other companies. On the other hand, there are some concerns that Naver will be a big predator of content produced by network TV, entertainment agencies, and movie studios. For example, Naver secures rights to posters, trailers, and videos of movie stars’ press conferences in return for running film ads on its website.