Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Korean Netizens Flock to YouTube, Making it Number One

As reported by the Korea Times, YouTube recently became the number one video-sharing website in Korea for the first time since it entered this market in 2008. KoreanClick, a local online consultancy, said Sunday that Youtube carved out a 42.79-percent market share last month, up from 36.29 percent in May, in overall usage time.
It outdistanced business bellwether Pandora TV, which saw its market share dwindle from 40.75 percent in May to 34.19 percent last month.
Youtube's footing was expected to slip further in April, when the site was at odds with the Korean government due to the Internet real-name system.
In April, the government urged Youtube to embrace the real-name system ― the Web site was obliged to ask users to present their names and identification details before uploading any video files or write-ups. In defiance of the instruction, Youtube stopped Web users from posting video clips or comments on its Korean Internet site, prompting concerns that users would leave Youtube.
As the Planet Size Brain blog put it, YouTube basically told the Korean government to bug off when it announced that it would reject a local law that requires users to prove their identity when they upload videos and post comments.  By voluntarily disabling comments and video uploads from the Google Korean language site, Google actually generated a favorable reaction from many netizens in Korea, who could easily go to one of Google's many other YouTube portals to upload their comments and content.  Some even said they would seek "online political asylum."   Whatever the reason, use of YouTube in Korea and Korean-language contributions have increased markedly since April.

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