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Seezn OTT is introduced by KT

Service is latest salvo in the all-out war to keep and gain viewers

Nov 29,2019
Models promote KT’s over-the-top service Seezn at the company’s headquarters in Gwanghwamun, central Seoul, on Thursday. KT released Seezn on Thursday after changing its name from Olleh TV Mobile and upgrading content. [KT]
Seezn, an over-the-top (OTT) media service streaming at 4K resolution, was introduced by KT Thursday.

The company says that it will offer enhanced sound effects and read facial expressions.

KT currently offers the Olleh TV Mobile IPTV streaming service. The rebranding into Seezn comes at a time when the competition for OTT services in Korea is heating up.

Netflix and YouTube are active in the market, and SK Telecom’s Wavve joined the battle last September. CJ ENM and JTBC are in talks to start a joint OTT venture next year.

“Our most important principle for devising this integrated media service was being strong with the basics - resolution and sound,” Yu Hyun-joong, KT’s director of mobile media business, said during a media event held at KT’s headquarters in central Seoul on Thursday.

Seezn offers movies in 4K resolution, regardless of the purchase plan. It’s the only OTT service at the moment that presents movies released this year in ultra-high definition, KT said. For sound, it has a “VSS Supersound” function, which optimizes sound according to the video, whether it’s sports, music or movies.

With a 5G connection, Seezn is able to reduce latency to a one second, which is faster than the latency experienced on IPTVs.

Seezn can analyze facial expressions, filmed via a phone camera, and categorize them into six different emotions.

It can process viewing records, time of day and weather in order to recommend shows or movies. For people who remember specific scenes in a film but not the movie itself, Seezn has a function where people can search for a specific scene using three keywords that describe it.

Another battleground is original programing. KT announced partnerships with CJ ENM and studios under broadcasters SBS and JTBC. Among its global partners for the task are Discovery Channel and Migu, an entertainment subsidiary of China Mobile. Seezn will have a Discovery channel that plays videos in ultra-high resolution. With Migu, KT plans to distribute 4K-resolution Hallyu, or Korean Wave, content in China.

The OTT service offers access to more than 110 cable TV channels and videos of past TV shows from Korea’s three terrestrial broadcasters. This number will be expanded to 200 next month with more CJ ENM channels joining. At the moment, Seezn does not play the three broadcast channels live.

“We don’t see Wavve or [CJ ENM’s] Tving as enemies - we’re open for collaboration to expand the choice of content for our users,” said Kim Hoon-bae, executive vice president of KT’s new media business unit.

“Disney Plus may be coming next year, and I think we need to raise the question - can multiple players all survive at once?” Kim added, emphasizing the company is open for more partnerships in creating original content.

BY SONG KYOUNG-SON [song.kyoungson@joongang.co.kr]


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