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SKT dreams of pan-Asian Netflix

Nov 26,2019
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SK Telecom CEO Park Jung-ho delivers a speech on the idea of building an integrated media platform for Asian content producers at the Korea-Asean Culture Innovation Forum held at Bexco in Busan on Monday. [YONHAP]
The chief executive of SK Telecom (SKT), Korea’s largest mobile carrier, has suggested the establishment of an integrated platform for content producers in Asia in an effort to consolidate efforts and create a global entertainment powerhouse.

Called Asia Contents Studio, the initiative would foster joint investment, networking and cooperation on production technology, Park Jung-ho, CEO of the telecom unit, said on Monday.

“Korea is the third-largest exporter of [broadcasting] content after the United Kingdom and the United States,” the CEO said at a forum held during the Asean-Republic of Korea Commemorative Summit.

“When Asian producers work together, they can create synergies, which I would call the ‘Asian Movement,’” Park said, noting the wide acceptance of Korean culture, or Hallyu, around the world.

The company’s Wavve media service will play a central role in the development of the hub, according to Park at the Korea-Asean Culture Innovation Forum, which was held during the summit.

Asia has about 250 over-the-top media service producers, but the fragmented system does not allow for the much needed economies of scale, he said.

“The CEO vowed to turn Wavve into an integrated media platform for the entire Asia market,” an SKT spokesperson said.

Park said that 5G, the fast, low-latency network first rolled out in Korea, will play an integral role in advancing the creation and distribution of content, especially gaming.

“Augmented- and virtual-reality-based games are growing, being built upon 5G infrastructure,” he said.

Other media heavyweights offered their visions at the forum.

Reed Hastings, co-founder and CEO of Netflix, said that the streaming service continues expanding investment and developing projects in Korea, following a series of contract announcements.

The provider announced on Monday a licensing deal with JTBC for broadcasting rights over three years.

Netflix announced last week that it signed a deal with CJ ENM to produce and distribute programing globally. As a part of the transaction, California-based Netflix could also own stock in a subsidiary of the Korean company.

BY PARK EUN-JEE [park.eunjee@joongang.co.kr]