SK Broadband Co., a major South Korean Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) service provider, has spun off its television commerce (T-commerce) business with an aim to nurture it as the country’s leading T-commerce platform with sales of 500 billion won ($459.6 million).
SK Broadband announced Monday that it has demerged its T-commerce business to set up new subsidiary SK Stoa. It initially injected 20 billion won in the new T-commerce subsidiary and holds a full stake in it. Currently, the new subsidiary hires 100 employees and plans to add more workforce by up to 60 every year to expand to 210 by 2020, it said.
SK Broadband pledged to cultivate SK Stoa as the country’s leading t-commerce platform provider with 2 trillion won transaction volume and 500 billion won in sales by 2021. The ultimate goal of the company is to transform SK Stoa into a leading media-based retail channel within SK Group. SK Broadband is under SK Telecom Co., a major wireless telecommunications company in Korea owned by SK Group.
T-commerce is a television electronic commerce (e-commerce) service that enables purchases of goods and services via digital data broadcasting platform. In Korean, one of the most connected countries on earth, demand for T-commerce is fast rising.
To lead the market, SK Stoa plans to offer more customized services to subscribers of its digital platform by launching products that reflect different household patterns based on big data analysis and algorithms, said the company. It also plans to introduce its own TV payment system that allows its subscribers to pay simply using their remote control. To enable such differentiated services, SK Stoa plans to invest 50 billion won by 2020 to set up its own studio and big data analysis system as well as to develop mobile application.
Currently, SK Broadband operates its own T-commerce channel B Shopping at nine local cable TV channels, two Internet TV channels, and one satellite channel. IPTV subscribers of SK Broadband, however, were not allowed to have access to the t-commerce channel because of the current regulations that ban an IPTV service company from providing its self-produced channel on its own platform. With the latest launched of subsidiary SK Stoa, however, SK Broadband will be able to offer its t-commerce channel service to its IPTV subscribers starting later this month.
By Seo Dong-cheol and Lee Eun-joo
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]