V Live. [Photo by Naver Corp.]
South Korean internet giant Naver Corp. has its hopes up to hit another LINE-like jackpot in Japan and Southeast Asia with live video streaming service.
The video streaming service dubbed V Live, which allows Korean celebrities to broadcast live videos on the internet and live chat with fans from around the globe is on a roll riding on K-pop superstars like BTS, WINNER and EXO.
The number of V Live downloads surpassed 61 million cases globally after its release in July 2015, Naver said on Sunday. Its fast growth is striking in Vietnam. The number of monthly active users - a measurement on the success rate of social networking services - doubled in 10 months to hit 6.5 million. New user flows are created fast through V HEARTBEAT, a music program co-launched by the Vietnamese government and the Korean web portal, in July. It is being positioned as the country’s flagship music show as Korean idol bands such as WINNER, SEVENTEEN and MONSTA X take to the stage together with some 50 Vietnamese stars every month.
A strong sustainability element of V Live is Channel Plus, a paid subscription service for communication between selected stars and fans, which is emerging as Naver`s new cash cow. Channel Plus users can enjoy a wide variety of video content including reality shows, concerts, fan meetings, and behind cam scenes. V Line has already 160,000 Channel Plus subscribers.
Naver is testing various artificial intelligence applications to the services, for example to automatically recognize and highlight users’ favorite members of idol bands on the screen, in hopes of further expanding the reach of the services. Payments on the V Live platform amounted to 30.8 billion won ($27.4 million) for the first 10 months of this year.
By Lee Dong-in and Minu Kim
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]