Korean Live Video Streaming Service V Live to go Global

Naver is a South Korean online platform which launched in 1999 becoming the first web portal in Korea to develop and use its own search engine.  Naver is basically the “Google of Korea”.  In 2019 Naver will focus on their live video streaming service V Live.  Thanks to the popularity of K Pop and the explosion of BTS, there is a very high demand for realistic and immersive viewing experiences.  Especially in the era of 5G networks.  V Live will focus on going global and becoming a global entertainment platform by years end.

The Rise of K-Pop

BTS on SNL

K-Pop started in South Korea during the early 1990s.  The sound was a mixture of Asian and Western music.  It brought parts of R&B, Rap, Pop, and Hip-Hop.  What separated them was their focus on awesome music videos.  The K-Pop music videos produced were very well produced and the talents were well trained in dance and choreography.   In 2019 K-Pop is worth billions of dollars with bands gaining mass followings all around the world.  What many might not know is that the Korean government has a department dedicated just for K-Pop.  They offer support because the K-Pop industry is so valuable for Korea’s economy and culture.  K-Pop officially hit the mainstream with Psy and Gangnam style in 2012 but since then records have continued to break with K-Pop groups like BIG BANG, BLACKPINK,  and BTS.

V Live Going Global

BTS on V Live

 

Naver is Korea’s biggest web portal operator and they will help V Live go global in 2019.  They will first target Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, and Japan to start because there is a massive K-Pop following in each country.  Since V Live launched four years ago they have grown to over 30 million visitors a month with over 80% being non-Koreans.

V Live is not just a live video streaming platform, it is a kind of community where people from all around the world can talk about their favorite K-Pop stars.  They can even engage with the artist themselves who regularly engage with their fans.  Their newly launched “Fanship” platform will feature live interactive streaming and big data technology.  Fanship is a combination of Fan and membership.  It is a place where fans can pay to connect with their favorite celebrities and influencers.  Therefore V Live will create new value in the global entertainment market.

Fanship on V Live

 

Expanding into Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, and Japan is a no brainer.  Not only are they crazy about K-Pop but they all have high smartphone penetration rates.

The Popularity of BTS

BTS has exploded in the West.  They already pretty much took over Asia.  Now in 2019, they are looking to conquer the US and UK market.  Their single Boy with LUV featuring American pop star Halsey brought all sales records and youtube views.  They even appeared on Saturday Night Live and became the first Korean musical group to perform on the show.  Now BTS will move to the UK and V Live will live-broadcast BTS’s performance on June 2nd at Wembley Stadium in London.  The tickets sold out in just 90 minutes!  This is amazing because Wembley Stadium can hold 90,000 people.  This was the first time an Asian musical artist or group sold out Wembley Stadium.  Ticket prices ranged from $70 to $250.  However, scalpers were already reselling tickets on StubHub for more than $4,000.

BTS was formed by Big Hit Entertainment in 2013.  They are now the most successful K-Pop group of all time.  What separates BTS from the rest besides their music and dancing is their impact on social media.  They have the largest following on Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, etc.   They also engaged with fans and talked about taboo subjects such as cultural politics.  BTS has been a strong supporter of LGBTQ rights.

V Live + 5G + VR

VR for V Live

 

5G will offer new possibilities for content creation and streaming services.  V Live will offer the most realistic and immersive viewing experiences as if users are actually in performance venues with their favorite stars.  They will do this with VR by releasing a VR application by the end of 2019.  V Live hopes to build a K-pop VR content for mass adoption.

The VR infrastructure in Seoul is growing.  These days it is easy to come across a VR arcade or cafe.  Therefore Seoul might be ready for a full 5G VR experience.  Imagine a place where K-pop fans can see their idols up close through high-quality 3D/360 videos.  For this to go mainstream, VR needs to become more personal.  Once VR becomes a mass consumer phenomenon, it will make it possible for K-Pop entertainment companies to sell their content directly to the consumers.

What you can do on V Live

Channels on V Live

 

V Live currently has over 500,000 subscribers on Youtube.  You can download the V Live app on the computer and smartphone.  Once on V Live, you can watch videos uploaded by K Pop groups.  These videos include reality shows, interviews, and behind the scenes videos.  They even have a premium section where die-hard fans can pay for VIP content.  V Live offers a store where K-pop fans can purchase emoji stickers of their favorite K Pop idols.  They have a coming soon section of upcoming videos.  All the user has to do is just click on the notification bell and they will get notified when the video is up.  They also have a level up system where the more you share and engage the higher you will level up.  The best feature of V Live could be their option to filter the language to communicate with fans in their preferred language.  Those interested in trying V Live yourself you can download the app here.