Naver makes first investment in audio content tech

By Sohn Ji-young

Published : Dec 4, 2017 - 15:21
Updated : Dec 4, 2017 - 16:53

South Korean internet giant Naver said Monday that it will make its first investment in a new audio content archival project via the joint fund that it formed with local venture investment firm KTB Network earlier this year.

In May, the two companies created the 30 billion won ($27.53 million) Naver-KTB Audio Content Investment Fund to invest in promising audio content technologies that form the basis of artificial intelligence-powered products such as voice-activated smart speakers and connected cars.

And now, the fund is making its first investment in a project that will transform the ancient classic text “The Analects of Confucius” into audio files for mass consumption. The files will be available through Naver’s Audio Clip service from early next year.

Screenshot of Naver Audio Clip website frontpage (Naver)


Naver’s Audio Clip platform, which is connected to Naver's voice-activated smart speakers, will host many of the firm’s audio technologies in the future, it said.

The platform currently has about 10,000 subscribers and features around 250 channels spanning topics including the arts and sciences, languages, internet technology and parenting.

“Voice is increasingly becoming the central interface of consumer devices, fueling growing demand for audio content that can meet voice-delivered queries from users,” said Lee In-hee, the head of Naver’s Audio Clip business.

“We will continue to build an environment that enables diverse forms of audio content creation through our fund and Audio Clip platform.”

Naver is the operator of Korea’s biggest portal website. It dominates Korea’s internet business ecosystem in everything from web searches and online shopping to translation and news. It also runs the mobile messenger Line, which is used widely in Japan, Taiwan, Thailand and Indonesia.

By Sohn Ji-young (jys@heraldcorp.com)

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