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WEBTOON, “we will go beyond webcomics and become a global top-tier entertainment company.”
“WEBTOON, which nurtured the webcomics ecosystem in the world’s largest entertainment market, will take a leap to become a global top-tier entertainment company.”
On January 12, founder and CEO of WEBTOON Entertainment Junkoo Kim shared WEBTOON’s efforts and achievements to pioneer the global digital comics market at an event held in Redwood city, California. In particular, he highlighted the strategic importance of the US, the world's largest entertainment market, and the achievements of WEBTOON.
CEO Kim began his talk by mentioning WEBTOON’s English original title <Lore Olympus> which won the top 3 American comic awards (“Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards”, “Harvey Awards”, “Ringo Awards”) last year, and the case where INSEAD, a prestigious global business school, produced a case study based on WEBTOON’s growth strategy. He said, “Last year was a year in which WEBTOON was recognized not only for its artistic quality and mass appeal, but also for its innovation and potential in the industry in the global market beyond Korea.”
■ The United States, the base of the global entertainment industry... the journey of WEBTOON’s challenge
Such a feat was the result of WEBTOON’s continued investment in expanding the base of the global webcomics market since the time when WEBTOON was unfamiliar in many countries. In particular, WEBTOON has been focusing on the United States, the core market of the entertainment industry, since the beginning of its global expansion.
CEO Kim said, “The United States is a strategic region that companies in the entertainment business must succeed in.” He explained, “The United States has the largest content market in the world, so success in the United States itself is meaningful for a business. Thanks to the nature of the English language, it has the strength that various titles can be produced consistently. Content discovered in English-speaking countries, such as the United States, is highly valuable as seed content when we enter Europe or South America. As WEBTOON series, the new form of content succeeds in the US, we will get more opportunities for collaboration with entertainment companies around the world.”
In fact, WEBTOON has laid the foundation for the webcomics industry by pioneering the US market by launching a service in English in 2014 and establishing WEBTOON Entertainment in the US in 2016.
CEO Kim said, “In the early days of entering the U.S., the awareness of WEBTOON was so low that no one responded to us when we sent out proposals of serialized titles to 400 creators. We had to start from scratch.” He continued, “After launching our English service in 2014, we continued investing to expand the webcomics ecosystem. Now, a huge number of creators are voluntarily uploading their works to the amateur creative space 'CANVAS', and WEBTOON has started to attract attention from the global entertainment market.”
■ Achievements in the U.S. (1) Overwhelming number of creators/users, (2) Continued business proposals from global entertainment operators
To date, more than 120,000 creators have registered their works on the English CANVAS service. WEBTOON’s monthly active users (MAU) in the U.S. reached 12.5 million as of the second quarter of 2022. According to data.ai, a mobile app market analysis company, WEBTOON's monthly user base in the U.S. last year was overwhelmingly No. 1, more than 7 times higher than the second-ranked company. It is unrivaled in both revenue and monthly users in the overall global webcomics market.
As WEBTOON has become a platform where the largest number of creators and users gather in the world, business proposals from global entertainment companies such as Marvel, DC Comics, and Netflix are pouring in. WEBTOON plans to continuously reveal notable partnerships in the entertainment industry.
■ Aiming to be a global top-tier entertainment company
CEO Kim was confident that what WEBTOON achieved in the U.S. has contributed to expanding opportunities not only for the company but also for the webcomics industry as a whole. He pointed out that “As WEBTOON launched and grew its service in the U.S., awareness of WEBTOON has risen tremendously. I think it is meaningful in that those who came later than us to start global business in this field benefited from the widened door of opportunity. We will continue to make efforts to help the entire webcomics industry grow further as we move forward.”
CEO Kim concluded his remark by sharing his vision, saying that “WEBTOON will go beyond its current position as the overwhelming global No. 1 storytech platform, and grow into a top-tier entertainment company in the world."
WEBTOON, “By solidifying our position as the overwhelming No. 1 global webcomics platform, we will go beyond webcomics and become a global top-tier entertainment company.”
- Junkoo Kim, founder and CEO of WEBTOON Entertainment, introduced the efforts and achievements to pioneer the global digital comics industry at an event held in Redwood city, California on January 12.
- “The United States is the most important strategic market in the entertainment industry… WEBTOON preemptively pioneered the market.”
- “Once we secured an overwhelming number of creators and users, proposals from global entertainment businesses poured in.”
- “Investment to expand the base of the webcomics market will offer more opportunities not only for WEBTOON but also for latecomers in the industry.”
- “WEBTOON will take a leap to become a global top-tier entertainment company leveraging its firm base as the overwhelming No. 1 platform”