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SBS Partners with NHN Entertainment to Launch Korea’s YouTube
Partnership between Heterogeneous Industries
SBS Partners with NHN Entertainment to Launch Korea’s YouTube
  • By Michael Herh
  • July 21, 2017, 03:00
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KimSang-heon, CEO of NHN (left) shakes hands with Hong Seong-chul, CEO of SBS Contents Hub after signing a strategic partnership for online broadcasting contents business on July 20.
KimSang-heon, CEO of NHN (left) shakes hands with Hong Seong-chul, CEO of SBS Contents Hub after signing a strategic partnership for online broadcasting contents business on July 20.

 

SBS, a terrestrial broadcaster, will work with NHN Entertainment as well as various information and communication technology (ICT) companies to found a video platform company and grow it into a Korean version of YouTube. This will mark the first time that a terrestrial broadcaster will a video platform and start distributing contents directly.

Recently, there has been a combination of heterogeneous companies in the broadcasting communication industry. With an increase in the consumption of contents centered on Artificial intelligence (AI) big data, it is said that a sense of crisis that individual companies such as contents and platforms companies will hardly grow is leading to back-to-back cooperation.

According to industry sources on July 20, SBS is planning to establish a partnership with NHN Entertainment with the aim of launching a mobile-based video platform in the first half of next year. Users search for desired videos through search service and consume the videos shown in search results. It is a video platform similar to Google's YouTube.

The platform will be tentatively called "Kube," a combination of Korean and YouTube.

Currently, SBS is attracting investors in the Kube service. It is reported that SBS will invest about 15 billion won. The first company to show interest in the project was NHN Entertainment. It is said that NHN Entertainment will invest 10 billion won in the project. It is also known that SBS is expanding investment consultations to apply search technology to video platforms and to make content freely available. The targets include portal companies mobile carriers as well as Naver and Cacao.

"It is true that we are meeting various ICT companies for a video platform," an SBS official said. “Investment companies have not yet been confirmed."

"We are considering various alliance for new contents services, but there are no details yet," NHN Entertainment said.

In the broadcasting and telecommunication industry, partnership between companies in heterogeneous industrial sectors like SBS and NHN Entertainment is continuously forged.

On July 17, SK Telecom announced its cooperation with entertainment contents producer SM Entertainment Co. through the cross-investment method through their subsidiaries. SK Telecom, which owns AI platform and SM Entertainment with Korean cultural contents agree to increase synergies between contents and technology by banding together.

The combination of Naver and Mirae Asset Daewoo is also noteworthy. The two companies agreed to jointly pursue domestic and overseas digital finance business. Mirae Asset, a leading financial company, is able to broaden its global market by making good use of Naver's global network and AI technology, and Naver is able to process various financial data of Mirae Asset and provide them as new contents of AI.