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Naver, YG Entertainment begin work on new global music service platform

South Korean internet giant Naver and YG Entertainment said Wednesday that they would begin preparations to jointly build a new global music service platform by pooling their technologies, resources and global influence.

The move came seven months after Naver, Korea’s largest portal website operator, invested 100 billion won ($88.52 million) into YG Entertainment, which is home to big-name K-pop artists like Psy and Big Bang, seeking to tap YG’s strength in content.

Under the partnership, Naver and YG’s affiliate YG Plus will first work on expanding their music database to include more diverse genres as well as K-pop tracks. Naver will execute such efforts through its local music streaming platform Naver Music, the company said.


At the same time, the Korean internet technology company will embark on procedures to build a so-called “meta database” -- data that describes other data -- for the music it owns.

In other words, Naver will compile a standardized database that can describe a particular music track, including the title, artist, genre and so on. Such standardized labels are critical to building stable and optimized music recommendation features for application to a music service platform.

“The labeling process will be carried out in not only Korean but other languages including English, as Naver is preparing a music platform service targeting global audiences,” said a Naver representative.

Naver and YG have yet to decide on details of the new service, but there are expectations that the platform could potentially rival Western music streaming powerhouses like Spotify and Apple Music that have a relatively weaker database for Asian music, including K-pop.

For this joint effort, YG Plus said it has formed a new music business division dedicated to supporting its new music service platform push with Naver. It is also actively recruiting local and global talents for the task.

“By merging Naver’s technology expertise and YG’s strengths in entertainment, we plan to build a strong foundation for creating a competitive global music platform,” said Naver’s V&Enter cell leader, Park Sun-young.

By Sohn Ji-young (
Korea Herald daum