Genie, KT’s music service for smartphones, has become one of the core future growth engines for the mobile carrier with it rolling out in 45 different nations last week.
KT, the country’s largest fixed-line operator, said Wednesday that the music content app, which launched as “Genie KPOP,” aims to fulfill the needs of overseas K-pop fans.
The smartphone app allows people to have access to music, music videos, images and video clips of K-pop artists from the country’s top entertainment companies, including YG, S.M. and JYP.
As an exemplary case, photos and videos of the SM Town Live World Tour concert in Los Angeles and boy group Super Junior’s Seoul concert were uploaded on Genie in real-time last year.
Launched in Korea in April last year, the smartphone-only music service drew up to 1 million users in its first five months. The app, which is currently available for Android devices, was also picked as the No. 2 music app in Google’s Play Store.
|Two KT officials celebrate the global launch of the company’s smartphone-only music app service called “Genie K-POP” in Seoul last week. (KT)|
The service is now branching out to smartphone owners abroad this year, based on the fact that K-pop has become an inevitable part of Korean culture. K-pop is also thought to be the most effective way of spreading the Korean Wave worldwide.
Genie will be available in four nations in Asia, 29 nations in Europe, five nations in Africa, three in South America, two in North America and two in Oceania.
KT also plans to introduce the new service in other countries ― such as Hong Kong, Japan, the U.K., Thailand, Israel, Turkey, Italy, Belgium and South Africa ― in the near future, its officials said.
What is unique about the service is that it offers a Full Track Preview that enables users to preview tracks from beginning to the end three times for free, according to KT officials. Many similar music app services only give a 1-minute preview of each selected song.
“This is a more reasonable method since our customers could make their purchase decisions after listening to the music sufficiently,” said Ahn Tae-hyo, executive vice president at the mobile data business unit at KT.
The so-called “Sponsor Zone” also lets the users download up to 40 songs every month at no cost. On top of such moves, it will present specialized content for its users within the app, the company officials said.
Previously unreleased video clips of K-pop stars and events involving new groups will be available through the smartphone app service as well, they said.
In Korea, Genie has set a new trend in the music industry because it allowed content rights holders to price and add value to their products. It increased royalties to the content rights holders by up to 70 percent.
As a result, seven major record labels ― Media Line, Star Empire, Union CAN and Music Factory, along with the previously mentioned three ― have given the thumbs up to the global expansion.
“With Genie K-POP, fans around the world can now enjoy various K-pop music and content,” said Ahn. “We will continue to target the global virtual goods market, riding the rising popularity of Korean Wave around the world.”
By Cho Ji-hyun (email@example.com