Big Korean firms jumping into Internet broadcasting

Seoul, Feb 21 (Asia Pulse) - Big businesses are vying to set up or expandInternet broadcasting to jump on the cyber bandwagon and get a head start on thenext-generation media. Hyundai Corp.
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Seoul, Feb 21 (Asia Pulse) - Big businesses are vying to set up or expand Internet broadcasting to jump on the cyber bandwagon and get a head start on the next-generation media.

Hyundai Corp. is contacting a local Web broadcasting station to form an alliance with the aim of opening the nation's biggest and most powerful cyber station. According to Hyundai's plan, the proposed Web station will cover all entertainment fields such as movies, sports, music, games and even health. Hyundai launched sport marketing and motion picture business teams early this year, while buying the movie theater Cine Plus from its affiliate at the end of last year.

Samsung Corp., a pioneer of Web music broadcasting (www.doobob.com) among big firms, will add to its site other entertainment sectors such as animation, games and movies. The site provides information on 50,000 songs, the largest number in the nation, to its 60,000 members and plans to start broadcasting an English version from March to advance into foreign markets. Also hot are niche markets for Web broadcasting by big businesses.

Shilla Hotel, a Samsung affiliate, will establish a Web broadcasting station for cooking within this month at the earliest. SK is expanding its Web site (www.okcashbag.com) to add an aerobics section for housewives. LG Information and Communications will try to enter the Internet broadcasting field by supplying equipment to Wow TV, a local site providing real-time stock information. In addition, Hanhwa Corp. will try to take a chunk of the Internet broadcasting sector with strenuous investment to be made on a business group scale.

Communications giant Hansol is expected to join the rush into the new world of cyber entertainment. Large conglomerates are jumping on the new media wagon to integrate current e-commerce into Web broadcasting for a synergy effect. With the entry of big businesses, harsh competition in the sector is expected to grow fiercer than ever, industry sources said.

There are over 300 Web broadcasting stations run by venture businesses, information and communications companies and conventional news media. "Amid lingering uncertainty over whether everybody can be satisfied at the end of the rush, the market has already seen a supply glut, predicting severe competition," the sources added.

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