This week’s digital world offers a look into trends in Russian and Brazilian social media, South Korean search and Chinese tourism, among other things. Read on to find out about: a music copyright ruling with big implications for vKontakte; recent additions to Naver; why Netflix would have a difficult time in China; the youthful Social Media market in Brazil; Chinese National Day and Russian medical tourism.
As announced by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), major Russian social network player vKontakte (VK) has been told by a Russian court that it must start to use more effective technology to prevent copyright infringement. The ruling specifically refers to songs owned by Universal Music and Warner Music, and obliges VK to remove all illegally uploaded music while deploying effective technology to prevent future uploads.
Music uploads are a major part of the social experience on vKontakte, with friends and groups widely circulating music with no consideration for copyright infringement. With more rights holders likely to take action as a result of the ruling, it will be interesting to see how VK reacts, and whether players in the legal digital music space gain more prominence.
Surely one of the most intriguingly unique of the world’s digital markets, the big differentiator in South Korea is the population’s preference for Naver, a homespun search engine that adds further challenges for foreign businesses operating there. Naver is a platform evolving just as fast as Google, Yandex or Baidu, but it may not be on everybody’s radar: helpfully, a blog called Korea Online Marketing has highlighted several features newly introduced and currently in beta on the mobile version of the search site that may be of interest.
Illustrated with screenshots and annotations, new features include Naver Post (a micro blogging platform), Naver Modoo (a mobile website creator), Naver Shopping (self-explanatory), Naver Tag Search and more.
Responding to rumours of a Netflix launch in the Chinese market, TechInAsia.com has an interesting opinion piece examining why – even if the rumours are true – it may be a case of too little, too late. The first issue: Alibaba has already released its own service, Tmall Box Office. It costs less than Netflix costs in any of its other markets, and even with a powerful partnership, Netflix simply will not have the data, local knowledge and loyal customer-base that Alibaba has achieved by being at the top of Chinese ecommerce for several years.
The article goes on to say that while Netflix’s original content may be its way into the market, its competitors are already creating their own (and Netflix may have its work cut out appropriately censoring its shows).
According to comScore data profiled by eMarketer this week, over 40% of Brazilians use social networks at least one per month (76% of internet users total), and the demographics of this group reflect the country’s large young population. Just 19.4% of social network users in Brazil are over 45, and only 40.5% are over 35. In fact, eMarketer speculates that the userbase may skew even younger than this, considering that the survey did not take into account mobile internet users.
Other interesting facts include the fact that Brazil is ahead of wider Latin America for average monthly use (8.8 hours compared with 6.16 hours). Social networks are almost evenly used when comparing men and women, and 46.9% of users can be found in the Southeast (though this tends to be true with most figures in the country – the region includes Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro and accounts for 60% of the country’s GDP).
October 1 is Chinese National day, heralding the country’s second annual golden week holiday – and as usual, Chinese tourists are most interested in heading to Japan, specifically Tokyo, this year. A report published by tao.117go.com reveals that around 15% of outbound bookings were for Tokyo – and Japan’s second city, Osaka, was third choice at 12%. Los Angeles was the most popular destination outside of Asia Pacific, accounting for around 3% of outbound travel.
Travel of a different, medical kind, is also profiled over at Yandex’s Russian Search Marketing blog this week, where it is revealed that over 1.5 million search queries are made for medical tourism every year. Israel, China and Germany are the top three destinations, though the blog specifically examines the case of the fourth-place US, which sees high volumes of city-specific search. Miami is especially popular, as are the topics of “treatments” and “childbirth centres”.
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Moscow Festival Circle of Light 2012 photo by Flickr user Pavel Kazachkov
Movie Theater Posters near the office photo by Flickr user M S
Block photo by Flickr user Leonardo Veras
Yokohama Chinatown photo by Flickr user Carles Tomas Marti