There is a one stop internet shop in Korea and it is called "Naver". Established in 1999, it was the very first Korean portal to feature its own search engine. Naver currently provides the number one search engine in Korea along with many other services such as news, e-mail, navigation, LINE messenger, gaming, webtoons, shopping, and more. HanCinema had a chance to visit the green Naver building while with the Korea Joa 2015 program.
The official color of Naver is the color green and they put it to good use.The eco-friendly building has panels that not only make it the color green to outside viewers, but that also act "green" as energy savers. The building is LEED certified and recycles water and energy. Signs of the eco-friendly design are everywhere: the "Design Forest" has plants atop the vast library collection; relaxation areas make use of the aforementioned panels for light and shade; elevators arrive and only go to specific floors.
The first two floors of the Naver building are open to the public. A cafe just outside several rows of low magazine shelves sits by the entrance. The library is found on the second floor as well as a rotating collection of art by contemporary artists. Meeting rooms shaped like books on a shelf are open for rental and a room geared for people with disabilities is equipped with the latest technology for their library research.
Above the two floors is where the Naver employees work, and a key card is necessary to gain access. On the upper floors one can find a vast array of amenities for employees: a fitness center with health programs, a twenty-four hour convenience store, a bank, resting rooms, maternity rooms, a cafe, and more. Employees can get almost everything they need without leaving the building.
As for the Naver portal itself, it has grown into a booming business with subsidiaries and mountains of awards (including being named by Forbe's as one of "the World's Most Innovative Companies.) It is not only internet users that enjoy Naver. Nearly twenty-four million mobile users make use of the wide variety of services it offers. One of those newest services is V-app, a streaming broadcast service that boasts of real-time broadcasting with little lag. Naver prides itself on how well it reduces time delay. The program itself allows K-pop stars to stream their activities, programs, and performances. K-pop stars can use filters for their recordings for emotional effect.
Several other services that are popular are the webtoons and TVcast. The webtoons are so popular that Naver actually had to change the update time to an earlier time so Korean kids could get to bed at a decent hour. They were staying up to catch the latest updates that happened during the wee hours of the morning. The very same webtoons are also now becoming popular web dramas. In a few one-on-one's with Naver employees, HanCinema dug deeper into what Naver users could expect to find. There are very short web dramas, fifteen minutes and under, that are part of what Korean call "Snack Culture". These are meant to be watched on the go: on the bus, on a subway, catching a bite between activities. They work with the fast-paced life of the common Korean citizen. Also, web dramas are a great place for new actors and directors to make their debuts and break into a market that is saturated by big names.
Another popular service is the LineTV app that allows for drama, film, and video watching, all with English subtitles. While the international web drama market is still growing and not many web dramas are available, Naver employees are working to tap into international business potential and make them so. It's a tricky thing, the international market, because of the costs behind the marketing, the partnering, and the sharing of content. However, it's a challenge Naver is willing to take on, which is a great thing for international fans.
You can find all of our Korea Joa 2015 coverage on this page.
Written by: Raine from 'Raine's Dichotomy'
Journalist, drama lover, and foodie, Lisa enjoys exploring Korea, speaking the language, and soaking in all that dramaland has to offer. Her Korean husband laughs that she knows more than he ever will about dramas and K-pop. Lisa Espinosa can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.
"[HanCinema's Korea Joa] Visiting Naver"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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