Korean social networking Cyworld's recently launched U.S. unit said on Thursday it signed with a Hollywood talent agency to help it win licensing deals with media properties that appeal to young Web users.
Cyworld USA (http://us.cyworld.com), a unit of South Korea's SK Communications, has asked United Talent Agency of Beverly Hills to represent it in reaching partnerships with entertainment, digital, consumer product and retail companies.
UTA will aim at music, film, television, and digital media to create marketing opportunities to help Cyworld reach its target market of 16 to 24-year-olds, the company said.
Cyworld, a play on cyber world that literally means relationship world in Korean, is a virtual community where participants create cartoon-like avatars to interact with friends and meet new people. Its youthful audience create buddy lists and trade messages, photos and art with one another.
Introduced in South Korea seven years ago, Cyworld has recently expanded into China, Japan, Taiwan and the United States. It is aiming to add Europe, South America and India soon. SK Communications is a unit of SK Telecom.
UTA's roster includes Hollywood writer/directors Joel and Ethan Coen and actors Don Cheadle, Joan Cusack and Jeff Bridges. It's corporate consulting clients include Amazon.com Inc. and American Eagle Outfitters Inc..
The vast majority of South Korean in their twenties hold Cyworld accounts.
While drawing rave reviews from analysts for its creative blend of animation, technology and social networking, Cyworld faces an up-hill climb in winning an audience in the U.S. youth market, which is dominated by News Corp.'s MySpace unit and the popular college student networking site Facebook.
Earlier this week Piczo, a popular social networking site among British teenage girls, unveiled plans of its own to expand in the U.S. market.