YouTube launched a Korean-language version of its popular video-sharing site. The new service also includes content from local partners and will face tough competition from established local video sites like Pandora TV and portals such as Daum.
Korea has a high level of broadband internet penetration and streaming video has been popular for several years. It was one of the first countries in the world where over-the-air TV networks offered their full programming live and on-demand through their websites. The emergence of community and portal sites has also made user-generated video popular, although YouTube has not seen much success due to the strong local sites.
Last year YouTube set to expand its international reach with local language interfaces and domain names for several countries including Brazil, France, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland and Spain. It also launched local sites for the UK and Ireland.
Google, which owns YouTube, has also had mixed success in South Korea but last year began building a local office in Seoul. In May it renewed its Korean homepage with the addition of a toolbar and animated icons that provide shortcuts to site features. The update represents the furthest Google has moved from its classic minimalist design on any nation pages.