Many of us look to South Korea for what's next in broadband media, so what's next? Pandora TV, a video sharing site launched there in 2004, has just launched in English, Chinese and Japanese and unveiled "HD" support, Pandora's Nathan Lee told us. Which is to say, it added the higher-quality H.264 codec now being taken to by the likes of Dailymotion. That's not necessarily what a filmmaker would call "HD", but Pandora is inviting users to test out its storage capabilities by uploading as much HD content as they can find.
Can Pandora challenge YouTube? It already claims to have beaten the Google (NSDQ: GOOG) site to the video sharing market by about four months and boasts it has Korea's largest overseas internet investment - $16 million from California's Altos Ventures and DCM back in 2006 and 2007. It also claims eight to 10 million daily visitors, and a whopping 50 percent of all domestic video ad sales, each of which is a 15-second pre-roll. Pandora has the live streaming feature that YouTube plans to add later this year - but none of that is to say YouTube's version won't be as good when it launches.
By Robert Andrews