The next big trend in South Korea’s portal industry may be mobile content platforms. With Naver, the nation’s top Internet portal operator, slated to launch its mobile content platform soon, the race is shaping up to be a three-way competition between Naver, Kakao and Daum Communications.
The Naver Post service is expected to provide a platform where user-created content can be shared on mobile handsets, according to industry sources on Tuesday. Currently, a closed beta test is being operated through the Android application.
“No company yet knows the key to success in the mobile platform service business. However, we should continue as it is clear that user demand is growing. Whether the service will be provided for free will be decided based on the beta test,” said Lee So-young, a spokesperson for Naver.
Kakao Page, the first of its kind, was unveiled in April by Kakao, the No. 1 mobile messenger in South Korea. The online distribution platform allows content creators to sell their music, videos and other digital content to Kakao Talk’s 100 million users.
Its performance, however, did not seem to live up to expectations. One content developer said, “I earned some 15,000 won ($13) in sales for two days through Kakao Page. Still, my sales ranked 20th on the list.”
“The disappointing performance seems largely from users’ unfamiliarity with a culture of paid content. However, we will continue to stick to the pay-per-use system as we initially sought to create an ecosystem where content developers get the right prices. Kakao Page will be revamped around September with better services and a simpler payment system,” said Kakao spokesperson Lee Ki-yeon.
Daum Communications, the operator of South Korea’s second-most visited portal, also joined the race by unveiling its mobile content service Story Ball on Monday.
“Story Ball will not be open-market where any individual can upload his own content. Instead, only selected creators will provide content in cooperation with Story Ball planners to offer quality content,” said Choi Moon-hee, a Story TF Team manager at Daum Communications.
By Shin Ji-hye (email@example.com