Yonhap, a South Korean news agency, said on Wednesday that YouTube will launch its first official retail channel for live commerce on June 30.
South Korea is an ideal test market for the global heavyweight as the Alphabet-owned (GOOGL.O) company works on becoming more “shoppable” because the country already has a flourishing live-streaming commerce industry that is driven by digital behemoth Naver (035420.KS).
The new channel will first function as a project lasting for a period of three months and will broadcast in the Korean language. According to Yonhap and other Korean media, citing persons familiar with the topic, it has been stated that in the beginning it will give businesses with a live-commerce platform and plans to livestream shopping material from approximately 30 different brands.
According to Yonhap, this is the first official retail channel that YouTube has launched in any country.
According to a statement made by a YouTube spokeswoman, “We may experiment with a variety of YouTube Shopping features from time to time,” but the spokesperson did not provide any further details.
Philipp Schindler, Google’s Chief Business Officer, stated in February that there was “lots of potential in making it easier for people to shop from the creators, brands, and content they love.” This statement was made in light of the fact that YouTube’s ad revenue had suffered as a result of advertisers reducing their spending and competition from platforms such as TikTok.
On Wednesday morning, shares of Naver plummeted by 4%, while shares of retailer Lotte Shopping (023530.KS) fell by 3.3%. This was in comparison to a decline of 0.5% across the market as a whole.
According to Kyobo Securities, the live commerce market in South Korea is expected to expand to 10 trillion won ($7.7 billion) this year from 2.8 trillion won in 2021. Naver now holds approximately 60 percent of the market share.
($1 = 1,291.1600 won)