Naver, the first web portal in South Korea, announced on Tuesday that it is expanding its audiobook services to secure its No. 1 rank in the local audiobook market amidst an escalating competition between key players.
According to the online platform, its service, Audio Clip, conducted the first in the series of its author-reader meeting events on December 7. The event introduced award-winning novelist Kim Yeon-su, who wrote “Five Pleasures for Those Who Take Walks,” “I am a Ghost Writer,” and “Goodbye, Yi Sang.”
The event occurred at Naver’s Seongnam headquarters in Gyeonggi Province and attended by more than 200 people, with the online live streaming drawing more than 10,000 concurrent viewers to the event.
An Audio Clip official said that the series aims to restart the joy of reading for those who find themselves drawn to video content instead of books. The official added that the program would remain to feature popular and renowned authors.
Along with the event, the audiobook service recently started a “90-minute Compact Audiobook” service. The service allows authors to summarize their book into a 90-minute narration. Audio Clip featured its first piece, a 90-minute version of Buddhist monk Haemin’s book, “The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down.”
Audio Clip has been offering free audiobooks to attract more listeners releasing content every Wednesday since June 26. As of November 6, “The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared” is one such popular content that has 106,525 listeners enjoy.
The official stated that by the end of this year, Audio Clip will offer new free audiobooks from a slew of bestsellers such as ‘The Salmon Who Dared to Leap Higher’ by Ahn Do-hyun, ‘The Secret Life of Writers’ by Guillaume Musso and a slew of other bestsellers.
The Naver audiobook’s recent expansion of its services is a response to global audiobook streamer Storytel beginning service in Korea last month. Storytel collected more than 50,000 audiobooks since the previous year from signing partnerships with several big Korean publishers.
According to Naver, Audio Clip possesses the most extensive collection of Korean language audiobook database. The company will expand services and make additional investments to keep its No. 1 status in the local market. The online platform added that it plans to enter the global market in the near future.