​KT and Millie's Library join hands to develop audio content platform-based business model

By Park Sae-jin Posted : October 20, 2021, 11:16 Updated : October 20, 2021, 11:17

[Gettyimages Bank]

SEOUL -- South Korea's top telecom company KT and its online music service wing Genie Music joined hands with Millie's Library, an online e-book subscription platform, to develop an audio content business model in a country where readers are not yet familiar with "listening" to books. Millie's Library with some 30,000 e-book content and some 1,000 audiobooks is the country's most popular online e-book subscription service with about 210,000 monthly active users.

South Korea estimated at about 30 billion won ($25.4 million) is growing rapidly thanks to the distribution of smartphones and affordable wireless headphones which can expand access to audiobooks aboard cramped buses and subway trains. A coronavirus pandemic has boosted the popularity of audiobooks. Readers can work and idle-listen to audiobooks at the same time while remotely working at home.

To develop new audio-based content and other converged content, Genie invested 46.4 billion won to acquire a controlling 38.6 percent stake in Millie's Library in September 2021. The two companies would adopt artificial intelligence technologies to offer personalized audio content services through platforms owned by Genie and Millie's Library.

KT, Genie and Millie's Library will develop AI-based audio content platform businesses, create audio content, and jointly promote services. KT will provide a new platform while Genie distributes content through its channel. Millie's Library will acquire intellectual property rights. "Our goal is the acceleration and expansion of AI audio content businesses," KT's AI, digital transformation and convergence business division head Song Jae-ho said in a statement on October 20.

Genie has expanded the scope of business beyond smartphones, PCs and audio devices. The music service company was selected as an audio system provider for GV60, a compact electric sport utility vehicle released by Hyundai auto group's luxury brand Genesis.
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