SEOUL, KOREA – On September 17, KT’s CEO Suk Chae Lee announced at Olleh Square in Kwanghwamoon new future business strategies that may transform the entire IT industry in Korea. “KT aspires to make the world in which young individuals in Korea can enter the global market simply with ideas alone,” said the CEO. The new business plan mainly focuses on providing the opportunities to enter the world media market for individuals and small businesses with bright ideas by giving all the necessary support with KT’s technology and resource. KT has already launched contents platforms, such as U-Stream and Genie, and with such technology and resource, KT hopes to bring young individuals and small businesses with original thoughts, but without adequate resource to utilize, together, so they can work with KT to enhance the media & content industry in Korea and expand globally as a team. To induce those with precocious minds, the company has come up with five future strategies as following:
1. A Fund Over 100 billion Korean Won for Monetary Production Support
KT attempts to organize a fund over 100 billion Won (around USD 91 million) for media & contents production, such as movies, animations, music, and games. KT is hoping to arrange this fund by the end of this year 2012 and manage it for the next 3 years. The details of the fund will be analyzed and examined by an investment committee, which will be comprised of KT, the investors and external professional experts. The investors are expected to be not only broadcasting business operator, TV production companies, and contents business companies, but also domestic and international investors who have interest in Korean media and pop-culture.
2. Production Infrastructure
Monetary support for individuals and small businesses is good, but may not be sufficient without creating an environment for them to succeed, and that is what KT is trying to do with allowing them to have easier access to necessary production infrastructure. KT opened “Olleh Media Studio” last year in March, and although the usage rate of such facility has already reached an average of 80%, KT wants to promote the facility so that more people can have the access to it, without burdening them financially. People can lease studios, editing or recording studios, and any other necessary equipment that can help produce even HD or 3D movies for the cost of 70 – 80% of the market rate. Furthermore, producers can also get financial support by attending the educational programs offered by KT. KT also plans to build additional facility if the usage rate moves up to 90%.
3. Gateway to Succeed and Open Policy
KT is opening a new gateway to succeed for young individuals and small businesses by providing opportunities for them to introduce their production in KT’s IPTV and setting up a newly established “premium zone” that can be allocated to the small businesses with good ratings. KT also aspires to strengthen the Open IPTV, which was introduced in early 2010, by using some of the fund money to have more open channels and open VOD’s. KT currently operates 16 open channels and more than 20,000 open VOD’s that may not be effective and competitive to demonstrate young producers’ contents and skills compared to regular channels, but this kind of open policy, to give young producers the freedom they need to showcase their ability, can surely help regular viewers to be more connected to new and original ideas. Furthermore, without having to deal with restrictive regulations under which the regular channels may be, the contents may be produced in more of natural and liberated setting, resulting in more original contents than ever before.
4. Producers Community and Global Expansion Support
In May, 2010, KT created a website for application creators with more than 30,000 current members. The creators can easily communicate with professional experts, and KT wishes to apply such concept in the field of media & contents by constructing a new website for contents producers. By operating this website, KT can create a web community by which the producers and professional experts can exchange ideas more freely and easily. Furthermore, if some of the contents seem competitive with a lot of potential to become popular, KT can help producers entering the global market through U-Stream or Soompi, the North America’s biggest Korean pop culture website. More than 7,500,000 people are visiting Soompi every month and it is offering English, Spanish, and French services, proving the website’s global brand power.
5. Revolutionary Transaction Conditions and Channel Selection Committee
Frankly speaking, the current transactions between KT and Production Planners (PP) or Contents Producers (CP) may potentially hinder the creativity of the young minds. Usually such transactions between a big company and individuals/ small businesses can have somewhat of unfair deals, resulting in more of one sided negotiation and ending up with the terms and conditions that the big corporation wants. Now, KT wishes to change such unfair transaction conditions by setting up a channel selection committee, which is composed of the experts in the related field, that can induce fair deals between KT and small businesses based on the needs of small businesses. Whether it will work or not is still in question, but at least the fact that KT is putting efforts to make changes and help young minds should definitely be noticed.