Business
‘Pooq still needs more work’
Published : Jul 24, 2012 - 20:12
Updated : Jul 24, 2012 - 20:12
Network, copyright differences remain for online content platform


Pooq, a media platform formed by Contents Alliance Platform, was officially launched on Monday in Korea, with over 5,000 users already subscribing to its inexpensive service.

But company officials said that more work needs to be done before it can become a global platform where overseas users can access and watch a variety of TV content provided by Korea’s four terrestrial broadcasters ― KBS, MBC, SBS and EBS.

Contents Alliance Platform executive director Lee Sang-sool said that it would have to settle differences with Korean telecom companies over the use of their Long Term Evolution networks amid a heated debate on network neutrality.

“Pooq can also face possible conflicts of interest with telecom firms as they have their own media service platforms such as KT’s Olleh TV and SK Telecom’s Hoppin,” Lee told a group of reporters.

Despite these differences, Lee added that it will have to work with telecom operators through strategic partnerships.

Another matter that is keeping Pooq from growing as a global platform is copyright and distribution, which the four broadcasters have to sort out with content producers.

These remarks came after EBS CEO Kwak Duk-hoon said in his congratulatory speech that the alliance must exert efforts to make Pooq a global service platform where users around the world can watch Korean content without boundaries or time restrictions.

To this end, Kwak said that Korean content should also be offered with various foreign language subtitles, which can further help maintain Hallyu, or the Korean Wave, ignited by the popularity of Korean dramas and music.

Contents Alliance Platform co-president Kim Dong-hyo said that it could start the globalization process for Pooq next year after it fine-tunes copyright and network differences.

Kim also pointed out that the alliance is against a policy that supports controlling and limiting the use of communication networks by telecom firms.

“Controlling the networks will only hinder innovation,” Kim said.

Given that it is starting anew, the company expects to operate in the red for at least the next two to three years.

Contents Alliance Platform is a joint venture between SBS and MBC. State-run KBS and EBS also formed a partnership with the joint venture to provide their content on Pooq.

The platform offers a total of 40 channels which users can see on their personal computers, tablet PCs and smartphones.

This marks the first time where four terrestrial broadcasters have united to provide a single media service to counter a rapidly changing IT and broadcasting environment and declining TV advertisements, said Kim Young-ju, co-president of Contents Alliance Platform.

By Park Hyong-ki (hkp@heraldcorp.com)
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