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Industry Insight: Korea′s webtoon market to boost further in 2015 and beyond 웹

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Industry Insight: Korea′s webtoon market to boost further in 2015 and beyond   웹

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They aren′t just comics on the Internet… Korean webtoons have evolved into a totally new type of media…
On this week′s Industry Insight we take a look at what′s helped the market to continuously grow and what′s in store in the near future.
Kwon Soa has this story.
Korea′s webtoons are doing better than ever… made possible through the easy accessibility of digital comics. The industry is expected to be worth some 270 million U.S. dollars this year, doubling from two years ago.
“The webtoon market began in the 2000s during the dot.com wave,… but then platforms specifically adapted for smart devices emerged.”
The popularity of webtoons have also surged due to their recent crossovers into dramas and movies.
Webtoons are usually a quick read,… so it′s no wonder that hundreds of titles are uploaded on webportals every day.
Not only has it offered rookie cartoonist opportunities… but businesses have also jumped in to contribute to virtuous webtoon cycle.
“It′s hard to evaluate webtoons just by their rankings, so we give reviews to help introduce people to webtoons that fit their tastes.”
Jeon Jin-seok, who′s busy with his real estate serial “Realtor” and Lee Jong-beom, whose psychological-thriller webtoon “Doctor Frost” has been turned into a TV drama,…
… both agree that the boom has fostered intense competition, resulting in better overall quality.
But, despite this, most webtoons are still enjoyed for free.
“Back in the day, when Koreans had to make do with comics printed in books and magazines like this, fans never hesitated to dig into their pockets to buy them or even borrow them.”
The same may happen for webtoons.
“More platforms are charging money now and many of them don′t censor language or content.”
And with a vast supply of original content, the industry is looking to jump overseas.
“Webtoons are trying to make their mark in China and Southeast Asia, as Internet and smartphone penetration in these regions are high and have gotten much faster.”
But experts say, challenges lie ahead for the industry as it still needs to figure out what genres will appeal most to overseas audiences and how to accurately translate webtoons into foreign languages.
Kwon Soa, Arirang News.

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