Hanaros VOD Service Opens New Era
When Hanaro Telecom, South Korea's runner-up fixed-line carrier, launched ``hanaTV'' last year, its broadband-empowered video on demand (VOD) services, critics predicted failure of the feature.
Their rationale: historically VOD services have never, ever reaped success both at home and abroad and hanaTV would follow suit of the numerous precedents.
However, Hanaro silenced the doomsayers once and for all as hanaTV was a grand slam _ it has attracted almost half a million users since its debut last July.
``The responses were much hotter than expected. In some areas, we couldn't install hanaTV set-top boxes in time because demand for it outstripped supplies,'' a Hanaro spokesman said.
``We think rich content and affordable prices have worked. We are determined to further jack-up our customer pool by adding content to an already strong line-up,'' he said.
hanaTV lets its subscribers, who pay roughly 10,000 won a month, download various kinds of videos, including movies, music, news or soap operas.
The VOD services, otherwise dubbed TV portals, are serviced via a broadband pipeline and a set-top box that keeps TV sets hooked up to the Internet.
A year ago, hanaTV started with just 22,000 video clips provided under tie-ups with approximately 50 content providers but the figures rocketed to 200 with 66,000 footages.
Included in the partners are such big names as Universal Studios, Sony Pictures, National Geographic and domestic TV stations like KBS, MBC and SBS.
However, Hanaro seems not to be content with the early success of hanaTV; the company kept exploring other uncharted realms by unleashing a cocktail offering, called hanaSet, in January.
hanaSet refers to a service bundle of broadband, voice and hanaTV, which offers a maximum of 20 percent discount, which was unprecedented in Korea.
``We will continue to roll out compelling products such as hanaTV and hanaSet, which our rivals fail to come up with. We will set the trend,'' the anonymous spokesman said.