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S. Korea to develop AI translator in support for OTT industry

All News 14:00 January 29, 2021

SEOUL, Jan. 29 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's ICT ministry said Friday it will develop an artificial intelligence-powered translator for local video streaming services as part of its broader support plan for the fast-growing over-the-top (OTT) media industry.

The Ministry of Science and ICT said it is pursuing the development of the AI-based translation technology as the country's OTT market experiences rapid growth and local OTT services begin eyeing overseas expansion with their Korean-language content.

South Korea's OTT usage rate stood at 52 percent in 2019, compared with 42.7 percent the previous year, according to government data.

This undated image, provided by Content Wavve Corp., shows its video streaming service Wavve. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

This undated image, provided by Content Wavve Corp., shows its video streaming service Wavve. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Competition has become fierce, with local contenders Wavve, Tving, Watcha and Coupang Play eyeing a larger share of the local market against U.S. streaming giant Netflix Inc.

The ICT ministry said it will strengthen support for local OTTs to capture more viewers, such as assisting coordination with device makers to target overseas markets.

The ministry also plans to provide tax credits to encourage original content production and pursue a legal revision for OTTs to adopt a self-rating system for their content to speed up their release.

To support small and midsized digital media companies and one-person media, the government has promised to set up a 26 billion-won (US$23.3 million) digital media fund.

South Korea's efforts to support homegrown video streaming services come as Netflix holds a tight grip on the local market.

Average monthly unique visitors to Netflix in South Korea reached 6.37 million last year, followed by Wavve at 3.44 million and Tving at 2.41 million, according to media research firm Nielsen Koreanclick.

Homegrown OTTs will likely face more competition from global giants, with Walt Disney Co.'s flagship video streaming service Disney+ set to enter the country sometime this year.


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