TikTok and Naver’s Clip [Image source: TikTok, Naver Clip]
South Korean platform giant Naver Corp. has jumped onto the short-form content bandwagon, which has been gaining attention in the social media scene and generating fierce competition among non-Korean companies including YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok.
Maeil Business Newspaper learnt on Sunday that Naver has doubled its annual business goal for its short-form content service “Clip.”
Clip achieved its initial goal of 1 million daily active users and an average of 10 million views per day ahead of schedule. Following this success, Naver has set a new goal of achieving 2 million daily active users and an average of 20 million views by the end of 2023.
If the new goal is realized, Naver will surpass TikTok’s daily average users in the local short-form content market.
Naver revamped its mobile application on November 2, placing Clip on the front page. Naver recruited official creators in June, ahead of and in line with the Clip service redesign, in which it received 13,000 applications.
Naver’s differentiation strategy lies in its integration with various in-house services such as shopping, search, and blogs. Leveraging its expertise in operating user-generated content, such as blogs and cafes, Naver aims to quickly attract short-form content creators by applying a revenue model.
Naver is also hoping to integrate short-form content with its other services, which is a differentiating factor from YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok.
For example, users can choose to shop while watching short-form videos and extend the experience to check more information on blogs and reserve restaurants or travel services. The short-form content can also be integrated with Naver Webtoon, sports, and news.
Naver’s focus is now on synergizing Naver’s core asset blog and Clip. A total of 33 million blogs have been opened on Naver over the past 20 years, with 2.8 billion posts published, and analyzing the data accumulated on blogs and the strong fandom could lead to a new short-form content service that is differentiated from those offered by other big tech giants.
Meanwhile, big tech platforms have strengthened short-form services in Korea and are seeing positive results.
According to data from big data analysis solution provider Mobile Index, YouTube had 25.42 million daily average users as of November 8, followed by Instagram with 10.91 million and TikTok 1.61 million.
Industry insiders noted that YouTube’s high figure is largely due to its short-form content service. YouTube allowed creators to generate revenue through its short-form content service, “Shorts,” starting in February 2023, which acted as the catalyst for Korean influencers to focus on the format.
YouTube in July unveiled a partner program that eased Shorts revenue generation conditions in six countries, including Korea.
According to Collab Asia, a digital media company, 88.2 percent of YouTube viewership comes from Shorts, and seven out of ten YouTube channel inflows is via the format.
The popularity of short-form content began with Gen-Z, or those born in the mid-1990s to the early 2000s. The short-form content industry gained attention with these users who prefer videos that are less than 10 minutes long, but the user age of short-form content is now broadening.
“Previously, there was relatively little opportunity for people over 30 to encounter short-form content but recently, it’s evident that the age group is expanding thanks to YouTube Shorts,” said a short-form content user. “Naver’s entry into short-form content is significant in terms of expanding the consumer base and the company’s connection with Naver Commerce.”
Short-form content is also changing people’s video consumption habits.
A notable example is the popularization of vertical videos, and short-form content began to gain immense popularity from 2016, when TikTok was founded.
Meta launched its short-form service Reels through Instagram in 2020, and the world’s largest video platform, YouTube, introduced Shorts in 2021.
Short-form content is an attractive market for platforms, especially due to the long video consumption time.
Despite the decrease in the time viewers spend watching YouTube videos since the release of Shorts in February 2023, the channel-specific viewing time has increased by 2.3 times. This indicates that viewers are increasingly watching more than 10 videos of 60 seconds each compared to watching one 10-minute YouTube video.
By Hwang Soon-min and Lee Eun-joo
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]