KOREA: YouTube to launch Korean-language site
Video sharing website launch part of Google's international plans
The Korea Times
Friday, June 22, 2007
By Kim Tae-gyu
Online video site YouTube, which boasts numerous amateur-made video clips called user created content (UCC), will launch a Korean-language site later this year.
Google, the world's biggest search engine, which took over YouTube last year, said Friday that the company plans to embark on the site in subsequent months.
"We strive to kick off a YouTube site in Korean in the latter half of this year to attract tech-savvy people who are keen on UCC," said a spokesperson at Google Korea.
"Toward that end, we are in talks with multiple players. Our goal is to secure as many video clips as possible," she said, while refusing to specify the potential partners.
The envisioned measure will mark Google's second-phase efforts to spread local versions of YouTube, which has about 150 partners from different fields such as TV networks and sports teams.
Early this week, Google announced a new international expansion plan of YouTube by initiating global sites in nine nations and seven languages.
Local versions of YouTube are currently available in Britain, Italy, France, Spain, Poland, Ireland, Japan, Brazil and the Netherlands and the second-phase rollout is expected later this year.
Experts said the Korean edition of YouTube will provide a source of concern for domestic video-sharing sites including business leader Pandora TV or runner-up Daum Communications.
"YouTube has a shot at making inroads as video clips are different from search services -- they are not so vulnerable to cultural differences," said Kang Rok-hee, an analyst at Daishin Securities.
"Although Google has failed to take a firm root here, YouTube is projected to attract a substantial customer pool down the road. The competition will be stiff," Kang said.
Indeed, Google has chalked up disappointing results in the local search market after the U.S.-headquartered outfit started a Korean-language service in 2000.
Regarding the setbacks of the global business bellwether Google in Korea, observers had pointed their fingers at the fact that the firm failed to be woven into the fabric of the Korean culture.
Date Posted: 6/22/2007