SEOUL, Oct. 17 (Korea Bizwire) – South Korean search engine leader Naver announced today that its AI speakers will become available for purchase on its music service website starting October 26.
The special promotional deal will offer the capsule-shaped, Brown and Sally-inspired (popular emoji characters from Naver’s messaging service Line) AI speaker with a one-year Naver Music subscription for a price of only 99,000 won.
Individually, the music subscription goes for 90,000 won and the speaker for 129,000 won, making Naver’s offering a steal for consumers and a costly venture for the company.
Considering that there have been no limits set on the number of units available for purchase nor an expiration date for the deal, Naver will most likely incur considerable losses.
The internet company in the past ran a similar promotional deal for its AI speaker Wave, offering a package with a one-year music subscription included. However, the deal was significantly smaller in scale as it was a limited release only.
Industry insiders interpret Naver’s deal as an attempt to establish dominance in the still nascent AI speaker market. Though competitors like SK Telecom (NUGU), KT (Giga Genie) and Kakao (Kakao Mini) have all introduced products into the market, none have emerged as the clear cut market leader as of yet.
A Naver representative referenced the tremendous success of the promotional deal for the Wave, which saw the device sell out in a matter of seconds, as a factor in moving forward with the latest promotion.
The Line Friends AI Speaker is a 17 cm-long, miniaturized Wave. It is equipped with Naver’s AI service Clover and comes with its own battery.