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YouTube sees ‘tremendous’ growth potential in S. Korea

May 19, 2015
Gautam Anand, a content and operation director at YouTube, speaks at a press event celebrating its 10th anniversary this year at Google Korea's office in Seoul, Tuesday. (Yonhap)

Gautam Anand, a content and operation director at YouTube, speaks at a press event celebrating its 10th anniversary this year at Google Korea’s office in Seoul, Tuesday. (Yonhap)

By Bahk Eun-ji

YouTube, the global video-sharing giant, said Tuesday that it expects further growth in the Korean online video streaming market with the rapid growth of mobile users in Korea.

“Korea is one of the first countries we launched. Since then, we have seen over 110 percent growth year-on-year in watch time in Korea,” said Gautam Anand, a content and operation director at Youtube during a press event celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. YouTube started its Korean-language service in 2008.

Anand said he believes the Korean market for online video streaming will continue to grow, as 70 percent of watchtime occurred on mobile phones in Korea.

“So we have to make sure to continue to invest in technology in order to have the best video products,” Anand said.

YouTube has prepared to offer high-definition video service such as video recorded by 360-degree high-definition cameras, in the forthcoming fifth-generation (5G) era.

Korea had attracted the video platform operator’s attention when “Gangnam Style,” the mega-hit single by Korean rapper Psy, reached 1 billion views for the first time in December 2012. It has surpassed the 2.3 billion mark as of last month, and even now gets a million views every day.

Anand said he sees more possibilities in Korea than challenges, as various kinds of content can tap into overseas markets, with the platform allowing domestic partners to find global audiences.

“I would not call it a challenge. Korea is a market with tremendous potential, and it continues to be great opportunity for us,” Anand said.

Among the participants in the event were three YouTube Creators ― Na Dong-hyun, who operates a YouTube channel that provides a walk-through for popular games under the name “Great Library”; Park Su-hye, who operates cosmetics and make-up tutorials under the name “Ssin”; and Park Jun-ha, who operates a cooking channel under the name “Sof.”

Na’s channel has nearly 1 million subscribers, with videos having a combined 330 million views.

“YouTube is the best platform for those seeking idea-backed businesses. It has allowed me to develop my hobby into a career,” Na said.

YouTube, acquired by Google in 2006, is provided in 76 languages, with 300 hours of video being uploaded onto the platform every hour, a significant growth from the 24 hours posted in 2010.

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