South Korean Internet portals, such as Naver Corporation and Kakao Corporation, are seeking to break YouTube’s dominance of the domestic video sharing market.
According to industry sources on July 25, Naver and Kakao are planning to strengthen their video sharing services in the second half of this year. The two companies will incorporate YouTube’s strong points, including continuous play and user participation, in their new services.
Due to YouTube’s dominance, the video sharing services of Naver and Kakao have been sluggish. According to a report titled “2017 OTT user behavior analysis” released by the Korea Information Society Development Institute (KISDI), the utilization rate of YouTube stood at 33.7 percent last year, up 2.7 percentage points from the previous year. The figure has been on a steady rise. On the other hand, the utilization rate of Naver dropped 2 percentage points to 6.6 percent over the same period, while that of Kakao was only 1.8 percent.
To shatter the current market structure, domestic Internet portal websites will take various measures in the second half of the year. Recently, Naver has greatly reinforced its video content services via blogs.
The company has disclosed a professional creation tool that allows users to edit video content with ease. It has also introduced a continuous video player function based on individual video content search and recommendation technology.
Moreover, Naver will strengthen its video infrastructure by the end of August and add a video content search function as well as a “movie editor” function that can help users easily separate voices, edit captioning and extract still images, by the end of October.
Kakao TV has introduced “Biz Station,” a profit management platform that allows content creators to directly apply ads to their videos and live broadcasts, set up sponsorship, and collectively manage their import and account details. When Kakao TV users add a video channel as a plus friend in KakaoTalk, they can also see the live broadcast of the channel and updated video directly on KakaoTalk. Creators can secure viewers through plus friends of KakaoTalk.
In addition, Naver and Kakao are making an effort to secure diverse content. Naver is seeking to secure “how to” video content, a move that reflects the trend of video services playing the role of search engines. To this end, Naver TV has joined hands with France’s food startup “Chef Club” and Japan’s C Channel to provide cooking and beauty “how to” video content.
Kakao has been offering a video on demand (VOD) service for films through Kakao Page starting from the beginning of this year. Users can now stream a free 10-minute preview or purchase content by splitting them up into 5 to 10 minute segments. Reflecting the popularity of “snack culture,” or consumption of content in a short period of time, Kakao is pursuing a strategy to expand its users with mobile content.
An official from the internet industry said, “Given the current situation that YouTube has an absolute market share, Naver and Kakao are planning to absorb their existing users as video content users through their key platforms. The mobile video service market will be getting more competitive.”