SK Broadband to strengthen original content

Wednesday, Jan 27, 2016

SK Broadband, the Internet-based service subsidiary of SK Telecom, will launch a mobile media platform named "oksusu" this week.

The company said Tuesday it would boost its presence in the media platform industry by producing original content and lowering fees for the service.

"The new integrated mobile platform will provide creative and positive customer experiences through unique content and innovative personalized services," SK Broadband's media business division head Youn Seog-am told a press conference in Seoul.

Oksusu, which will be available on Jan. 28, has integrated the company's mobile television broadcasting service "B tv Mobile" and the video-on-demand (VOD) platform service "Hoppin." 

The service has been unveiled as SK Telecom, the nation's largest mobile carrier, pushes aggressively to become an integrated platform operator.

It is working to acquire and merge CJ HelloVision, the nation's top cable television operator and the leading budget mobile service provider, hoping to become Korea's largest paid television service company.

"From the customers' perspective, the waywe transmit content does not matter anymore," Youn said. "How to make customers feel comfortable using the services has become more important now."

The oksusu service provides 33 sports-related video content channels, the most among services here. This includes 18 real-time broadcast and VOD categories.

SK Broadband said it would produce exclusive mobile video content in cooperation with JTBC. It also plans to invest more in collaborations with entertainment management companies to produce more original video content.

Media platform operators such as Netflix and Naver have launched self-produced exclusive content to retain royal subscribers and solidify their services.

Through partnerships with multi-channel network (MCN) operators such as CJ E&M's DIA TV and Treasure Hunter, oksusu will provide content created by individual or small production companies, aiming to boost its competitiveness as a mobile media platform through diverse original content.

SK Broadband also said the oksusu service would provide 360 virtual reality (VR) content starting in March. 360VR content offers a three-dimensional visual experience even without special glasses.

"We plan to make positive contribution to the growth of the domestic content industry through ongoing investment in network infrastructure for mobile-centric content such as MCN and 360VR," Youn said.

The company said the oksusu service will charge a 3,000 won of basic fee per month, which is relatively low compared to KT's Olleh TV Mobile service. Subscribers to SK Telecom and SK Broadband's Internet and mobile services are exempt.

SK Telecom subscribers can also receive discounts for paid content using their membership points. Non-SK Telecom subscribers can still use the oksusu service by downloading the app.

Meanwhile, the new service still does not provide real-time terrestrial broadcasts because the dispute between platform operators and broadcasters remains unsolved. This means that using the service as an integrated media platform can be limited.

"We will continue negotiations to be able to provide terrestrial broadcasts, "Youn said. "In the meanwhile, we will focus on providing alternative content by cooperating with other content producers."