Sunday, February 10, 2008

[The Chosun Ilbo, January 25 2008] Koreans Underwhelmed by YouTube's Local Offering

YouTube's new Korean platform got off to a bad start on its first day on Thursday. YouTube is the world's largest video sharing website, with about 70 million video clips and 10 hours of new clips being uploaded every second.

Korean netizens were less than enthusiastic about the debut of YouTube Korea on Thursday, finding the service far short of their expectations. Since Korea is an IT powerhouse with widespread high-speed Internet, Koreans have long enjoyed video sharing websites and thus have highly-developed tastes.

The biggest problem Korean users had with the service is the language barrier. Since YouTube is a global site with content from around the world, the dominant language on the site is English. Most Koreans in their teens and 20s, who are the primary users of the Internet, have a hard time communicating in English. Others say that the video quality is poorer than that of domestic sites.

On its first day YouTube Korea was filled with videos with English titles and had few clips uploaded through the Korean service. Even popular clips only managed 4,000-5,000 viewings, compared to tens of thousands for hit clips on domestic sites. It remains to be seen whether YouTube Korea can eventually live up to the high expectations of Korean netizens, or end up just making noise.

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