​Kakao ventures into global OTT market with new video content platform

By Park Sae-jin Posted : September 1, 2020, 14:33 Updated : September 1, 2020, 14:33

[Courtesy of Kakao TV]

SEOUL -- Kakao M, the entertainment wing of South Korea's web service company Kakao, has ventured into the global over-the-top service market with video content that is about 20 minutes long to differentiate its service from American video-sharing social media YouTube and Netflix, the world's largest video subscription service.

"YouTube and Netflix are strong players that have reached the top of the market with unique strengths. Kakao TV has no plan to confront them 'head-on' in the market formed by such strong players," Shin Jong-su, head of the digital content division at Kakao M, told an online press conference on September 1.

Kakao TV was released as a feature of Kakao Talk, South Korea's favorite messenger app with about 50 million users. Kakao TV seeks to pioneer the new service market based on unfulfilled market demands, Shin said, adding that current over-the-top (OTT) services are not exactly tailored to meet the taste of millennial and Z generations.

Kakao TV will greet users with seven original contents including two drama series and four entertainment shows. One of the drama series is "Big See," based on a popular web cartoon series published by South Korean web cartoon publisher Lezhin Comics. Big See created by author Kim Botong depicts an autobiographical story about a young man living the life of a cancer patient.

Shin said Kakao TV's video content is mobile-oriented formats to be shown through mobile display screens. Kakao M will invest about 300 billion won ($355 million) over the next three years to create 240 content titles, including 25 this year.

South Korea's video content market is dominated by YouTube and Netflix. YouTube captures viewers with a variety of content created by users. YouTube's video content is easily accessible using smartphones and PCs. Netflix offers an OTT video content subscription service with more than three million subscribers in South Korea.
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