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Self Broadcasting

Posted November. 01, 2006 03:01,   


The place resembles a studio with fashion models.

The round umbrella-shaped lighting facilities are placed in select locations and reflect the room.

Jung Tae-yeon (24, interior designer) stands in front of the camera.

The large fan stirs up a breeze and toys with her hair. Jung strikes certain poses such as placing her hands on her hips that is clearly not amateurish. She also dances hip-hop with her friends.

Korean portal company Freechal recently set up “Q Studio,” a video clip production studio in Cheongdam-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul. With a size of 200 pyeong (1 pyeong = 3.3㎡), the place is complete with video shooting and editing equipment and is free for people to use.

An average of 100 people like Jung gather here to make their own video clips. Jung has uploaded this clip at her private homepage (q.freechal.com/jtaeyun).

“Broadcast Yourself”-

This is the motto of the User Created Contents (UCC) video clip service, which is gaining popularity both at home and abroad.

“Exposing Myself through the Internet and Video Clips”-

UCC literally means all content that Internet users create themselves.

But with the popularity of YouTube, an American site featuring video clips introduced last year, the meaning has been reduced to “video clips” created by users.

In Korea, similar sites such as PandoraTV and UMC were introduced, while major portals such as Yahoo! Korea, Daum, and Freechal have launched their own UCC video clip service.

As users can easily create video clips with digital cameras and mobile phones, the Internet has produced “UCC Stars.”

Cho Rae-eun (16, first year student at Kyung-il Girls’ High School, Daegu), who has appeared recently as Daum’s UCC model, became a star overnight through her guitar performance uploaded on her blog (blog.daum.net/kwiren). Having played the guitar since the fourth grade, Cho skipped middle school by taking a high-school qualification exam in order to focus on her music.

Cho’s mother Na Soon-hwa (45, manager of an academic institute) said, “I borrowed a professional recording studio to have my daughter’s performance on a video clip,” and added, “(My daughter) is encouraged by the messages left on her blog.”

Anyone Can Create and Enjoy UCC Broadcasting-

In the initial stages of UCC last year, many parodied popular commercials or TV comedy programs, but today many video clips center on transmitting personal knowledge such as cooking and caricature.

Popular features include one with two chicks dozing off to a gentle tune, or another with a piano performance to the tune of the National Exercise music.

Shooting his life through a 6mm camcorder, Kang Won (26, self-employed businessman) said, “Video clips are records that are closer to the truth than photos or writings,” and added, “By sharing it with others on the Internet, I feel like an actor or a producer.”

Yahoo and Daum held UCC contests to select “pre stars” who can sing and dance. Portal sites are establishing themselves as a gateway to stardom. PandoraTV distributes points (Quvi) up to 100 won a day for UCC uploaders, creating a profit distribution structure.

Why Korean Portals Focus on UCC Services-

Kim Jae-in, head of the communications team of Freechal, explained, “With more people creating UCC, portals can have more access to a variety of contents without relying on the traditional media,” and added, “Professional UCC is highly marketable.”

kimsunmi@donga.com jaykim@donga.com