Telecom giant will create a 100 billion won fund for the support of content creation
“KT will make it possible for any young Korean to reach into the world market solely with their ideas,” said KT Chairman Lee Suk-chae.
Lee made the remarks during a meeting with reporters on Sept. 17 in which he unveiled plans to develop the country’s content ecosystem so that any individuals and small and medium-sized enterprises can find business opportunities outside Korea if their content is competitive enough.
The plans call for developing its virtual goods businesses due to their growth potential based on wired/wireless networks and satellites in the beginning of this year. Since then, KT has put efforts into strengthening its cornerstone to connect to the world real time by launching content platforms such as Ustream and Genie and, finally, extended its business into television content.
FUND FOR THE SUPPORT OF CONTENT CREATION
KT will spend 100 billion won to support content producers in a variety of content categories, including video, animation, music, and games, to build a healthy content ecosystem.
KT will start raising the money for the fund within this year and manage it for the next three years and will release further details after establishing an investment review committee whose members will consist of its own employees as well as outside experts and investors including TV manufacturers, broadcasting companies, independent content creators, and entrepreneurs interested in the “Korean Wave” of cultural exports.
KT will set aside 20 billion won, or 2 percent of its annual revenues from its media businesses, including OllehTV and satellite cable TV, for the fund. Its investment will increase as revenues grow along with the investments of outside investors.
INFRASTRUCTURE TO SUPPORT CONTENT CREATION
KT will utilize the Olleh Media Studio, which was open in March last year for young content producers.
Olleh Media Studio offers facilities that small and medium-sized content producers can rent out at discounted rates and includes an integrated editing room, individual editing room, and recording rooms. All of the equipment is used for HD broadcasting, so high-quality video content can also be produced.
70 small and medium sized enterprises have produced nearly 700 separate contents at the Olleh Media Studio and its overall usage rate averaged 80 percent while the usage rate of its shooting studio is 100 percent. Its smart phone movie academy offers a variety of programs and funding for production costs.
KT will also improve its current management policies so that more people can use its facilities efficiently, providing more organized programs by increasing the number of staff from the current 500 to 1,000. In addition, new facilities will be built as its rental rate goes beyond 90 percent.
OPEN OPPORTUNITIES AND POLICIES
A channel will be opened for talented young IPTV content producers to introduce their ideas and contents to IPTV customers. Its Premium Zones will be available to small and medium-sized enterprises whose viewer rate is high.
This is considered the next version of KT’s Open IPTV policy released in 2010. Since that time KT has been supporting small and medium sized content providers with the know-how it acquired by managing 16 open channels and 20,000 open VODs. KT additionally expects to build a base to strengthen the growth of those open channels and VODs in terms of volume and service quality by integrating with the funds and support for industrial infrastructure regarding content production.
The Open IPTV policy will offer complete control over channel management and content exposure to any enterprise whose content is competitive enough, leading to a more profitable business model.