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S. Korea’s Largest OTT Platform Launched to Take on Global Media Giants
Wavve to Start Commercial Service on Sept. 18
S. Korea’s Largest OTT Platform Launched to Take on Global Media Giants
  • By Choi Moon-hee
  • September 17, 2019, 11:38
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Minister of Science and ICT Choi Ki-young delivers a congratulatory address at the launching ceremony of South Korea’s largest OTT service provider Wavve held at the 1928 Art Center in Seoul on Sept. 16.

Korea's leading mobile carrier and three terrestrial broadcasters have launched the country’s largest over-the-top (OTT) service provider Wavve.

The new company is intended to take on global media giants, such as Netflix Inc. and The Walt Disney Co., and help Korean video content tap into the global market.

Wavve was created as the country’s antitrust watchdog approved in August the merger of mobile carrier SK Telecom Co.’s video streaming app Oksusu and Pooq, a joint video-on-demand (VOD) platform of three terrestrial broadcasters — KBS, MBC and SBS. The new OTT platform will begin commercial service on Sept. 18. A launching ceremony was held at the 1928 Art Center in Jung-gu, Seoul, on Sept. 16.

Wavve aims to attain 5 million paid subscribers and annual sales of 500 billion won (US$421.05 million) by 2023. It will invest in large-scale dramas to secure original content. To this end, it will invest 300 billion won (US$252.67 million) by 2023 to produce original content. Initially, its investment will be focused on the epic dramas to be produced by the three terrestrial broadcasters. It plans to maximize synergy by exclusively providing content to both terrestrial broadcasters and OTT service providers through the large-scale investment. It will also expand investment to various genres in addition to drama in the future.

Starting with global media giant Netflix, global companies such as The Walt Disney and Apple are entering the South Korean digital content market in earnest. Netflix has already secured 1.60 million paid subscribers in South Korea, while The Walt Disney and Apple will begin commercial service in the country in earnest in November.