Tuesday, February 26, 2008

[Korea.net News, Science / Tech, January 23 2008] YouTube begins localized service in Korea

YouTube, the world’s largest Internet site for sharing video clips and other user-created content (UCC), said Wednesday that it has launched its Korean service with localized features targeting active web browsers in Korea.


Through YouTube at www.youtube.co.kr, Korean users will be able to view not just content uploaded by their hometown neighbors but the vast library of the U.S.-based UCC site, she added.

The local service launch was announced in a press conference held in downtown Seoul.

YouTube became familiar to many Koreans after a video clip of a self-taught amateur Korean guitarist playing Pachelbel’s "Canon in D" received more than 36 million clicks worldwide last year.

Lee Won-jin, CEO of Google Korea, also participated in the press conference. He said the launch of YouTube in Korea is meaningful "since it will help bring the Korean wave to a higher level by spreading the country’s popular culture and video content not just in Asia but also in the world."

Despite the launch of its localized service, some skeptics worry that YouTube might not be successful with its brand power only, unless it provides killer applications at a time when the local market is already dominated by homegrown UCC sites.

YouTube has been preparing to start its Korean service for the past year, initially with the aim of launching its local operations in the second half of last year. But it was delayed because the company reportedly wanted to avoid the presidential election in December, believing the election would steal media attention away from its start-up.

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