• blintn

Counter Attack: Korean Domestic OTT platforms VS Global Players

Korean and foreign over the top (OTT) service providers are competing to secure Korean-language content for more than a year, however the fierce competition is yet to come. Starting from later this year, South Korea's homegrown video streaming providers are ramping up original content production to better compete with industry global leader like Netflix Inc..

(Photo source: Business Korea)

Wavve, a jointly launched OTT platform by SK Telecom and three Korean terrestrial broadcasters, and soon CJ E&M and JTBC launched its own local OTT platform, ‘Tving’ . Most recently, followed by KT, starting to double down on its original contents to enter the global market. Disney's OTT service named “Disney Plus'' has officially announced its plans to make inroads into Korea in early 2021. This means that Korean and foreign OTT players will compete neck and neck in Korea in the following months.

According to a company official, Wavve released the sci-fi series "SF8" and a spin-off of the variety show "Level Up Project" with more productions lined up to grab viewers. Its operator, Content Wavve Corp. has promised to spend 300 billion won (US$251 million) for content production by 2023, with 60 billion won to be spent this year.

"User activity depends on content," a Wavve official said. "We are investing so that ultimately there is more content only available on Wavve."

Meanwhile, Tving strengthened its original content production capability via a joint venture with broadcaster JTBC slated later this year.

(Photo Source: MBC's SF8 Poster)

Kakao and Naver, the country's two leading messenger and portal providers, have been reinforcing their platforms to maximize their prodigious intellectual property (IP) accumulated over the years. Industry watchers are expecting to see if the two will be able to bring back some market share that is dominated by local telecom companies and global content giant Netflix. Currently, the local OTT market is "controlled" by the three major telecom companies ― SK Telecom, KT and LG Uplus ― having a close to 90 percent share.

In particular, Kakao enhanced its OTT platform KakaoTV to stream original content developed by its affiliate Kakao M. And it will offer short videos that are around 20 minutes in length for 20 series made up of 300 videos made this year.

(Photo Source: Kakao TV)

"Currently, the local OTT platforms lack original content, with most original material being watched on YouTube and TikTok, and mostly developed by one-person creators lacking professionalism," a Kakao M official said. "We are focused on developing premium original videos that are 20 minutes per episode."

With Kakao Page alone possess over 7,000 accumulated pieces of content, more movies and dramas will be made in order to make itself combative.