YouTube in South Korea - Cool New Gadgets and Gizmos Blog
Youtube imageYouTube, the world's most popular online video-sharing website, launched a localised service in South Korea Wednesday to capitalise on the country's fast-growing user-created content market.

Sakina Ariswala, head of YouTube's international operation, said it has secured content from local companies for its Korean operation to supplement the vast collection of the US-based operation.

"South Korea is a very interesting market," Ariswala told Yonhap news agency, citing its well-established IT infrastructure.

The company's main focus is first to build global communities and then consider how to make a profit, she said. YouTube now provides localised services in 19 countries.

Users can upload, view, and share video clips through YouTube, which was bought by the world's top Internet search engine Google in 2006.

YouTube became well known in South Korea 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.

But it faces tough competition with home-grown user-created content sites, which have dominated the local market.

Yonhap quoted Lee Won-Jin, CEO of Google Korea, as saying the launch of YouTube here would help spread the country's popular culture and video content worldwide.

Google launched a Korean-language search site in 2000 but has been striving to boost its presence against competition from local firms in one of the world's most wired societies. Some 70% of Korean homes have high-speed Internet access but most prefer local search engines.

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