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YouTube sees Korean mobile traffic surge

The evolution of mobile technology and fast distribution of smartphones in Korea sparked ever-growing demand for video content on YouTube, Gautam Anand, director of its Asia Pacific content partnerships, said Tuesday.

Created in Feb. 2005, the video-sharing website has been among the most visited online spaces by Korean users in recent years along with social networking services Facebook and microblogging site Twitter.

More than 20 percent of its traffic here last year was generated from mobile devices, logging the steepest growth in the world. As of January, YouTube mobile traffic in the country soared ninefold compared with a year ago.
Gautam Anand. (YouTube LLC)
Gautam Anand. (YouTube LLC)


The range of content consumed by local subscribers is also shifting from entertainment to broader areas, Anand said.

“YouTube has contributed to the global spread of the ‘Korean wave’ over the past three years,” he said at a conference to celebrate the California-based firm’s third anniversary in Seoul. “We’ve also successfully formed partnerships with various content providers. Now you’re seeing many governments are setting up channels.”

Major talent agencies and record labels such as SM Entertainment, JYP Entertainment and YG Entertainment have been active in internationally promoting their artists on the website. It greatly helped girl group Girls’ Generation hit the No.1 spot in the Japanese market last year, an SM official said.

In 2008, the Presidential Council on Nation Branding created a channel on YouTube to promote Korean culture. Cheong Wa Dae has been uploading President Lee Myung-bak’s weekly address on YouTube since 2009.

“It’s about political empowerment in dialogue but also about education and learning,” he said. “YouTube’s backbone has a lot of content beyond entertainment, which covers education, culture and personal empowerment.”

According to website-monitoring.com, YouTube’s global daily views crossed the 2 billion mark in May. Around 70 percent of its traffic comes from outside of the U.S., and the average visitor spends 15 minutes a day on the site.

As the number of smartphone and tablet owners grows exponentially in line with its audience base, YouTube plans to further diversify content and step up live-streaming capacity, Anand said, for which it has been testing a new, full-fledged platform since September.

“We want to provide our users with an infinite choice in content,” he said. “What we hope is that we’ll be able to bring more premium programming for our Korean users to consume. In the second part of the year, you’ll see a lot more streaming.”

With affiliate Google Inc., it will strive to keep up with new multimedia trends such as social networking and 3-D technology, Anand added.

“We are building a social layer with Google,” he said. “And Google TV is really a software platform. With the Chrome browser, we hope we will lead the trend and create the best user experiences.”

Google acquired YouTube in 2006 for $1.65 million. The global web giant launched an Android-based smart TV platform in October and is gearing up to break into the global market.

As for 3-D technology, YouTube is working with Korea’s LG Electronics to bring full 3-D images and videos onto mobile devices, the two firms announced last week. LG’s Optimus 3-D smartphone with Android operating system will enable users to not only capture and view videos in 3-D without glasses, but also instantly upload and share videos via YouTube.

“The Optimus 3-D is the new flagship of LG and our answer to two problems in the current 3-D experience ― limited mobility and special lenses,” said Park Jong-seok, president and chief executive of LG’s mobile communications unit. “Our partnership with YouTube will ensure that our customers can create and easily access a wide range of 3-D content.”

By Shin Hyon-hee (heeshin@heraldcorp.com)

<한글 기사> 

유튜브 트래픽 20% 모바일이 차지

스마트폰의 확산으로 모바일을 통해 유튜브를 시청하는 이들이 크게 늘어난 것으로 나타났다.

유튜브는 22일 한국ㆍ한국어 서비스 런칭 3주년을 맞아 개최한 간담회에서 지난 해 유튜브의 국내 트래픽 중 20% 이상이 모바일에서 발생했다고 전했다.

이는 전 세계에서 가장 높은 수치로, 지난 1월 현재 모바일 트래픽 비중은 지난 해 같은 기간 대비 9배 이상 상승했다.

유뷰트는 최근 LG전자와 3차원(D) 모바일 영상을 제공하기 위해 파트너십을 체결, 모바일에서의 사용은 더 늘어날 것으로 전망된다.

유튜브는 현재 전 세계 1만5천명이 넘는 개인 사용자 파트너를 보유하고 있으며 국내에서도 2008년 서비스 시작 이후 꾸준히 개인 사용자 파트너가 증가하고 있다.

거텀 아난드(Gautam Anand) 유튜브 아시아 태평양 지역 콘텐츠 파트너십 총괄은 "한국의 걸그룹 소녀시대는 일본 시장 진출 이전부터 유튜브를 통해 두터운 팬층을 형성했다"면서 "한국 파트너들은 유튜브를 활용해 콘텐츠를 전 세계에 수출하는 모범 사례"라고 말했다.

(연합뉴스)

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