Naver Makes Its First Investments into Audio Contents

Dec 05, 2017

Naver is looking to grow its audio contents business as its new driving force for the future and it is planning to make early investments as it looks to face opening of AI (Artificial Intelligence) and self-driving car generations on full-scale.
Naver announced on the 4th that it will be making investments into ‘audio contents fund’ on full-scale starting with Humanist Books’ ‘Classics: Analects of Confucius’ project.
Previously Naver selected KTB Network, which has capabilities that are specialized for investments in cultural contents, as its partner in last May and formed ‘Naver-KTB Audio Contents Investment Association (Audio Contents Fund)’ that is worth $27.6 million (30 billion KRW). This fund focuses on audio contents markets that are emerging fast due to growth of AI services such as Smart Speaker and connected car.
Classics: Analects of Confucius is an audio contents that helps audiences to easily approach entire Analects of Confucius, which is an Asian classics, in their daily lives. It will be published through Naver’s Audio Clip starting from the first half of 2018.
Starting with this investment, Naver is going to continue to invest into projects that produce and accumulate audio contents from fields of knowledge, culture, and art and experiments on new format audio contents with next-generation sound technologies.
Naver is going to continue to enhance its ‘Audio Clip’, which is a platform for audio contents, so that audio contents can grow through feedbacks from different users and new experiments. Currently creators from 250 different channels are working through Audio Clip based on various subjects such as liberal art, language, art, IT, infant care, and sound library. Currently there are some channels that have more than 10,000 subscribers. Naver recently linked Audio Clip with Clova, which is an AI platform for Naver and Line, and Smart Speakers called ‘Wave’ and ‘Friends’ that are installed with Clova. In the future, Naver is going to introduce other functions such as an ability to extract scripts automatically.
“As interface of many devices is centered on audio, number of demands for audio contents that can respond to many audio questions is rising very quickly.” said Lee In-hee who is the leader of Audio Clip. “Naver is going to create an environment where it is possible to create various audio contents through its fund and Audio Clip platform.”
Audio Contents Fund is going to hold ‘IR Day (tentative name)’ periodically in the future in order to find excellent projects through various ways such as providing opportunities to developers to introduce their projects. Currently investments can be offered through Audio Contents Fund’s official mail (audio@ktbnetwork.com).
“While industrial demands for audio contents are rising rapidly, foundations for related markets are still inadequate.” said a representative for KTB Network. “Audio Contents Fund is going to make channels that are for investment proposals official so that experiments on various audio contents with technology and cost barriers can gain momentum.”
Staff Reporter Oh, Daeseok | ods@etnews.com

■Current situation of Naver’s audio-based technologies, services, and contents
▲Search ∆Complete exposure of a microphone button on Naver's search window
▲Technology ∆Introduction of AI communication system called ‘Naver I’ in March
▲Device ∆Introduction of Smart Speaker ‘Wave’ and ‘Friends’ in June and October respectively
▲Platform ∆Release of Audio Clip in January
▲Contents &#8710;Formation of Audio Contents Fund worth $27.6 million (30 billion KRW) in May <■Current situation of Naver’s audio-based technologies, services, and contents ▲Search ∆Complete exposure of a microphone button on Naver's search window ▲Technology ∆Introduction of AI communication system called ‘Naver I’ in March ▲Device ∆Introduction of Smart Speaker ‘Wave’ and ‘Friends’ in June and October respectively ▲Platform ∆Release of Audio Clip in January ▲Contents ∆Formation of Audio Contents Fund worth $27.6 million (30 billion KRW) in May>

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