YouTube to launch its first-ever online shopping channel in South Korean market: Report

YouTube. Image credit Pixaby

Seoul/IBNS: YouTube is set to launch its first-ever shopping channel for live commerce in South Korea on June 30, Reuters reported citing Yonhap news agency.

South Korea, already home to a thriving live-streaming commerce industry led by Naver, presents an ideal test market for the global giant as it aims to enhance its “shoppable” capabilities, according to the Reuters report.

The channel will initially operate in Korean and will commence as a 90-day pilot project, offering a live-commerce platform for companies.

Around 30 brands are expected to livestream shopping content through this initiative, as per sources cited by Yonhap and other Korean media outlets.

This marks YouTube’s first official shopping channel in any country.

YouTube Korea has not provided an immediate comment on the matter, said the Reuters report.

Google’s Chief Business Officer, Philipp Schindler, previously expressed the potential for facilitating easier shopping experiences for users, creators, brands, and content they appreciate, given the impact of reduced ad revenue and competition from platforms like TikTok.

Following the news, Naver shares declined by 4% and Lotte Shopping by 3.3%, while the broader market experienced a 0.5% drop, said the report.

Kyobo Securities forecasts South Korea’s live commerce market to expand to 10 trillion won ($7.7 billion) this year from 2.8 trillion won in 2021, with Naver currently holding a market share of approximately 60%.