Korea's POSDATA Launching IPTV Business in the USThursday, April 17th, 2008
POSDATA (CEO Yoo Byung-chang) is preparing to launch IPTV services in the US in September. During the initial phase of the business, POSDATA plans to begin with bi-directional content services, mainly targeting Asians residing in the US who are familiar with Korean television dramas and movies as a result of hallyu (the Korean wave), such as Chinese, Japanese, Filipinos, and Vietnamese, as well as Koreans. In the future, the company will expand the target area to throughout the US and offer the services to the mainstream.
The Los Angeles and California area, where POSDATA is planning to initially provide services, has a high concentration of Korean and Asian immigrants. There is naturally high demand there for Korean content as well as Korea’s public broadcast programs. The focus during the initial phase will, accordingly, be on services that provide such content as television dramas, entertainment programs, and movies. Plans have been drawn up to expand the business later on to include value-added services, such as television shopping malls, Internet telephony (Voice over Internet Protocol), online education, Noraebang (karaoke box), and games, thereby diversifying the revenue streams. In addition, POSDATA plans to combine its IPTV business with Mobile WiMAX, for which the company has key technologies, in order to realize mobile IPTV and boost market competitiveness. The company is also planning to develop and provide relevant solutions on the market, increasing synergy effects among different business areas.
To efficiently carry out the business, POSDATA plans to establish a local corporation as a joint venture. POSDATA will be the largest shareholder, and IPTV-related solution companies – Celrun and ACANETTV – will participate. Content providers are planning to participate to ensure the steady delivery of content, including television dramas and movies, and plans have been drawn up to attract companies that have a marketing network in the Korean-American community. Initial capital will be 10 billion won. This amount may be increased depending on developments in the business, and the headquarters is planned to be established in Los Angeles.
According to a tally by the US immigration authorities last year, there are roughly 2.2 million Koreans in 700,000 households in the US. It is therefore assessed that the market is large enough. Korean cable broadcasting in the US is not provided in On Demand format, which allows viewers to choose Korean public broadcasts that are in highest demand. The video lending business, likewise, has experienced limitations, such as low audio and screen quality, causing the business to deteriorate rapidly starting in 2006. As such, there are strong needs for new services, and this bodes well for IPTV services.