Wednesday, June 1, 2005


Funny coming across this from Rafat's newsletter:

"Japanese Hot IPTV Market, Thanks To Korean Soaps"
Also part of the Newsweek cover feature (read stories below): a story about the Japanese online/IPTV market: Dozens of companies offer old dramas, anime series, movies, news and variety shows on IPTV (Internet protocol TV), and hundreds of thousands of Japanese are getting their TV online. Yoshihiro Adachi, an assistant director of Tokyo's Fuji Chimera Research Institute, estimates the broadband-TV market will be worth $230 million in five years, up from $42 million in 2003. Why has the market taken off so suddenly? Because in Japan, IPTV has a killer app: Korean dramas.

And I don't believe I'm reading about Bae Yong Joon in a MSNBC article instead of a Korean gossip rag:

Why has the market taken off so suddenly? Because in Japan, IPTV has a killer app: Korean dramas. "Winter Sonata," which was produced by Korea's KBS and starred the smiling heartthrob Bae Yong Joon, jump-started the Korea boom in Japan, when the series aired on Japan Broadcasting Corp.'s satellite channel. Due to overwhelming popular demand, the TV station aired repeats through 2004, but "Yong-sama" fanatics clamored for older programs starring Bae and other dramas with the actors and actresses from "Winter Sonata." Service providers soon jumped on the bandwagon by dredging up old programs. Fans were more than willing to pay $2 to register for the service and about $2 per episode.

First, he's a geeky looking Korean actor that captured the hearts of Japanese women a couple years ago. Second, I met him a couple times and he's definitely a player. Nice, shy guy routine that's definitely shady.

Anyway, this article is interesting for me since my friend Jeff mentioned to me a few months ago how him and his wife, who is Korean, download TV shows from Korean broadcasting websites to his PC and then plugs it into their TV to watch them. He told me there was a niche market for Korean soaps in the U.S... obviously he's an early-adopter. Maybe Korean soaps will also drive the IPTV market in the U.S. :)

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