South Korean entertainment contents producers have become bolder in global foray as they find themselves on equal footing on the international stage due to global raving over Korean original contents.
CJ ENM Co. commands a trove of creative properties after it added Endeavor Content, the Hollywood studio behind “La La Land” and other global blockbuster movies, through a $755 million stake purchase. In April, BTS agent Hybe took over Ithaca Holdings, a U.S media company managing global superstars Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande, at $950 million.
K-pop producers have found it easier to find overseas partners.
Last year, JYP Entertainment, the label of girl groups TWICE and ITZY, created Japanese girl group NiziU after running a TV audition show jointly with Japan’s Sony Music. Its bigger Korean rival SM Entertainment partnered up with a Chinese firm to set up a talent agency where it is training singers and actors for the Chinese market. CJ ENM is also in search for new idol stars in Japan together with Japanese entertainment conglomerate Yoshimoto Kogyo.
Bulking-up through alliance has been in fashion on the international entertainment scene.
"NiziU" [Source: JYP Entertainment]
In the U.S., WarnerMedia merged with Discovery and created a new global media powerhouse with an estimated worth of $150 billion in June. WarnerMedia also is preparing to launch a new CNN streaming video service.
E-commerce giant Amazon has acquired MGM Studios for $8.45 billion to beef up its video stream service Amazon Prime Video’s contents library. France’s leading commercial broadcasters TF1 and M6 in October partnered up to catch up with rapidly expanding streaming services.
The Korean industry has gained confidence to join the trend in line with the popularity of Korean pop culture ranging from music to TV series and films.
"BTS" [Source: Big Hit Music]
Exports in music gained 22 percent to $688.9 million and TV shows 21.8 percent to $486.95 million last year from 2018, according to the Korea Creative Content Agency.
The industry must enhance production system and marketing networks on global level to sustain growth, said Kwak Gyu-tae, professor of cultural industry at Soonchunhyang University.
For one, Squid Game TV series became a global hit through collaboration with international streaming platform like Netflix, he pointed out.
By Park Dae-ui and Cho Jeehyun
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]