Kim Yu-na Also Internet Sensation
Kim Yu-na has enjoyed a light-speed ascent to become a figure skating queen and media darling over the past few years, and now her star seems to be shining even more brightly in cyberspace.
According to Enswers, a Seoul-based Web technology firm, there were about 2,350 online videos on Web sites here and abroad of Kim's recent performance at the World Figure Skating Championships as of Tuesday, with the clips generating more than 4.54 million hits.
Kim became the first South Korean to win a world figure staking title after grabbing the gold in the event in Los Angeles last week, cementing her status as the top talent in the women's event and making her rivalry with Japan's Mao Asada look rather lopsided.
The 18-year-old is already one of the country's most popular personalities, hogging newspaper headlines with ease, and appearing in a slew of television commercials for anything from cosmetics and air conditioners to milk and laundry detergent.
And looking into the data provided by Enswers, Kim's athletic achievements are allowing her to become a transcendent star internationally as well.
According to the company, about 160 clips of Kim's world championship performance were streamed on foreign sites, generating about 1.82 million hits.
The online videos come in a variety of versions, featuring footage from different broadcasters including Japan's Fuji TV, the United States' NBC and Canada's CBC. The large number of viewer postings attached to the videos indicates that Kim is becoming a more familiar name to non-Korean sports fans, the company said.
About 1,300 of Kim's online videos in the world championships were about her performance in the short program on March 28, in which she set a record score of 76.12 points ― these got about 3.17 million hits.
About 860 videos were about Kim's free skating performance, which sealed her title, and generated about 1.17 million hits. There were 170 videos of Kim skating in the closing gala of the event, which generated about 1.7 million hits.
Enswers believe that the number of Kim's online videos will increase significantly in the coming days as more Web users upload clips from the gala show.
Enswers is positioning itself as an influential Web company for its search technology, which successfully locates video content based on image fingerprinting programs, a significant improvement over conventional video search programs that rely on text data such as titles and category information.
As well as improving search relevance and accuracy, the image recognition technology also allows Enswers to track the movement of video clips across the Web and analyze consumption.