Hyundai Motor Company has launched its new service ‘Channel Hyundai’. It is a global digital media platform that provides users with various lifestyle video contents related to vehicles and allows them to take a closer look at new models through three-dimensional images. Viewers may have access to the channel anytime, anywhere through smart TVs or the internet. Currently, Channel Hyundai is offering three different menus: The Live menu, which broadcasts Hyundai’s major events live, the TV menu, which provides a number of automobile-related lifestyle contents, and lastly, the Models menu, which provides a detailed look of the interior and the exterior of newly released models.
Now Channel Hyundai will become a new showroom for the brand and the models on sale. But why launching an additional platform when the company already owns its communication platform? And what role will Channel Hyundai play in the future? Lee Mu-shin, chief manager of the Channel Hyundai project, talks about the story behind the launch and the company’s future plan for possible expansion.
Q. Tell us about Channel Hyundai.
Channel Hyundai is Hyundai Motor Company’s multi-channel media platform. So far, the company has been crafting its brand messaging mainly through texts and images. However, the trend has swiftly changed to videos. Channel Hyundai is a new communication platform designed to keep up with this trend. It is a true multimedia channel that covers not only smart TVs but also smartphones and computers. And in the long run, it will become a future-oriented platform that not only features various kinds of media but also performs e-commerce business activities as an Over The Top (OTT) platform that refers to film and television content provided through a high-speed Internet connection.
Q. Tell us about the preface of the Channel Hyundai project.
We have been thinking about a new communication platform for over four years. Based on the fact the TVs and smartphones are the core means of media consumption, it is highly likely that more people will engage in diverse activities inside their home in the future. So, we kept thinking about which devices would be the most popular among consumers.
From this perspective, TVs would be a very attractive platform. Among various platforms we use for advertising, TVs can give a much more vivid message through a large screen and a realistic sound. They even offer interaction between the user and the Smart TV through remote control. Besides, additional features such as Apple TV will provide a much more convenient sync with smartphones. Meanwhile, non-face-to-face has recently become a new normal in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this would not be a temporary phenomenon. It can be said that the pandemic has stimulated a permanent non-face-to-face era, which has already begun even before the pandemic.
And, the world is now moving from the era of non-face-to-face to ‘Ontact,’ which means online contact. It is time for businesses to get as close to their consumers as possible. This means that the media once used by consumers should be able to be more active – imagine most companies in the past chose crowded places for their advertising or promotions. Currently, the most effective online platform would be videos: video-oriented communication has become more important. Channel Hyundai offers services through smartphones and PCs, and also, content that requires high-definition and high-quality sound is available through large screens on TV. The reason why TV is important is because of the characteristics of video content – obviously, the difference between watching movies on TV and on phones or computers would be huge in many ways.
Q. The design and layout look very neat and simple. Tell us about the overall concept and the most important design element.
Most importantly, we wanted to make Channel Hyundai look as futuristic as possible. We used black as the main color, which we have never used before, and then we made the video thumbnails noticeable and stand out using vivid colors. The system is designed to make it easier for viewers to find the content they want.
We also wanted to create a platform that allows for comfortable viewing. All the UI/UX (User Interface/User eXperience) were designed for viewers using a remote control. Of course, the same convenience can be provided on tablets computers and mobile devices. Everyone including those who love to shop while leaning on a sofa can enjoy the media.
Q. Will the news about Hyundai be released on Channel Hyundai Live first?
It is not going to all change at once. Currently, brand communication takes place not only through Channel Hyundai but also through other existing platforms. However, there is content that only Channel Hyundai can handle. One example would be the World Rally Championship (WRC) broadcast, in which Hyundai participates – other platforms wouldn’t be able to deliver the content. In the case of dynamic sports games, it is not easy to convey the atmosphere of the field unless it is through a large screen such as TV, and TV apps also have relatively fewer regulations. As such, the Live menu of Channel Hyundai will not only be used to unveil new models but also to deliver direct or indirect brand messages of Hyundai.
Q. The video clips about Hyundai, which had been scattered on various different channels, are now gathered on TV. Are there any videos that are exclusively on Channel Hyundai?
Consider Channel Hyundai as an OTT (Over The Top) service that provides various video content through broadcasting services and movies. Therefore, the contents that customers really want should be the main ones. So it is very important to have original, dedicated content that can draw attention. Currently, it has produced eight ‘original content’ and is planning another fun and meaningful original content that only Hyundai can produce. The company keeps thinking about what content could be fully enjoyed by the general public. We think our primary goal is to make them stay on our platform for as long as possible.
For example, “Beautiful Vibes of Korea,” which is available now on Channel Hyundai, is a travel show for the viewers who feel trapped in their home during the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, the unique spirit of Channel Hyundai should be included. For reference, Hyundai clearly has contents that can be created based on IP (intellectual property rights) that only Hyundai has. One example is the success story of the Hyundai World Rally team, and the brand history of Hyundai can also be great content. Quality content can help generate additional revenue: the company may utilize merchandising, for example.
Q. The videos in the ART+Technology category look interesting. What message does it convey regarding the brand?
Channel Hyundai’s art-related contents show the company’s vision instilled in art. It has collaborated with the National Museum of Contemporary Art or Los Angeles County Museum of Art to capture the works of the latest artists or the process of making them, and there are also videos of technology and art mixed together. It can be said that these works contain what Hyundai is aiming for. Hyundai is becoming a mobility solution provider. This means that we should not only focus on the action of moving itself but also improve the quality of the trip. There can be many ways to do this. Naturally, in the near future, various contents of Channel Hyundai, such as motorsports and travel, may contribute to making the time in the car more meaningful.
Q. I wonder what kind of services will be added to Channel Hyundai in the future. Will I be able to book a test drive or get consulting services?
The company is considering ways to make the purchase process easier, including consultation on new cars, through the Channel Hyundai. However, it seems that the service may vary depending on the region because each country has different laws and regulations regarding commercial transactions. In addition, we all have different environments or network infrastructures. So we are thinking a lot about standardizing our service that can be used on a global scale and how to trade through the media. Our primary goal is to operate pilot services in at least one or two countries in the first quarter of next year after we are done with technical verification this year.
Services such as vehicle maintenance are also being considered. However, there are practical problems such as driver certification or vehicle authentication. Even if the users’ login methods such as password entry and smartphone authentication are the same, the legal standards for technology or personal information may vary depending on the region. We would need an accurate review of these criteria. In addition, we should think about the effectiveness of the service. In other words, the service implementation is not everything. We would need to analyze the benefit the users and the company could get. Naturally, all criteria for judgment should be focused on customer convenience.
Q. What would be the strength Channel Hyundai has?
Channel Hyundai is a means of media and a communication channel for e-commerce at the same time. First of all, Channel Hyundai is not simply for advertising brands or cars. People want content, not just ads. Therefore, Channel Hyundai aims for lifestyle content media related to cars: imagine video clips of various themes such as art, motorsports, and travel shows, and Hyundai cars are ubiquitous in these clips. This means that the viewers will meet Hyundai anytime, anywhere. Of course, for the time being, we will first create content that meets the expectations of people who are interested in cars.
The e-commerce part is even more special. You can explore the car directly through the Model menu. It’s a completely different experience from just watching the current video catalogs provided by automakers. Detailed information, realistic 3D images, and trying all the different trims and specs help the viewers get to know newly released models. In other words, the Model menu does not provide just one-way information but offers media interaction.
Q. What do you expect from Channel Hyundai and what is your ultimate goal?
We hope that Channel Hyundai will become a platform that embodies Hyundai’s vision for the future. We will try to create a platform related to people’s daily lives, not just a media platform that provides a bunch of video clips. In other words, it will be easy to find and enjoy contents and services related to automobiles or mobility through Channel Hyundai, and in the long run, we want our customers to feel proud to own Hyundai cars. Channel Hyundai will be the platform representing a mobility lifestyle.
Photograph. Kim Yoon-Sik
About Channel Hyundai
1. The Live menu for major events
On the Live menu, you can check various events of Hyundai in real-time. Its first live stream video was about Tucson’s world’s first public event. And, starting with the new Tucson, Hyundai plans to unveil all of its new cars to be released through channel Hyundai in the future. In addition, there will be a live broadcasting service presenting at global exhibitions such as motor shows. Video clips about past events will also be available for those in 197 countries around the world, where Channel Hyundai is serviced. Currently, launch events of Veloster N, Nexo, and Elantra (Avante in Korea), the 2019 New York Auto Show, and the 2019 LA Auto Show are available.
2. The TV menu highlights Hyundai’s emotional branding
From Hyundai’s brand to lifestyle, culture, and art, you can watch various media contents on the TV menu. The categories are divided into seven, including Hyundai’s vision, values, and future direction. For example, Unveil the Future Mobility category shows you the brand’s future mobility through expert interviews, concept videos, and related technologies. The remaining six categories also offer a variety of stories, about the collaboration with BTS, motorsports, art, and technology.
3. The Models menu gives you a closer look at the key specifications for each model.
The Models menu is about a specialized product introduction that provides a detailed look at Hyundai’s models. You can scan the interior and the exterior of the car in more detail through 3D images, and compare or try each different optional specifications. When it comes to exterior designs, the UI features enlarged views with details such as headlamps, radiator grille, tail lamps, and front/ rear bumpers. In addition, you can select and change various specifications that were once difficult to compare through catalogs, such as exterior color, wheel design and size, interior color, and overall changes depending on selected specifications.
*Visit Channel Hyundai through the website (https://channel.hyundai.com) or smart TVs: Samsung Electronics Tizen OS version 3.0 or higher, and LG Electronics with webOS 3.5 or higher, manufactured later than 2017.