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Annyeonghaseyo! WEBTOON announces growing the StoryTech Platform, collaborations with HYBE and DC Comics

Earlier today, Korean digital publisher WEBTOON released a media meetup where the founder and CEO Jun Koo Kim analyzed the success of the webtoon genre and explained future plans for global growth. The publisher will also host collaborations with HYBE and DC Comics as well.

WEBTOON hosted an online Meetup on August 18 to report on its business performance and reveal the future direction of WEBTOON, the world’s No. 1 StoryTech Platform, such as upcoming collaborations with HYBE and DC Comics.

WEBTOON has evolved into the global StoryTech platform with the biggest creator and fan base. The company is writing new rules for the storytelling content business. Its Page Profit Share (PPS) program, launched by WEBTOON for the first time in the content industry, integrates and diversifies revenue streams for creators, and its intellectual property (IP) value chain enables global viewership for webnovels, webcomics and their film adaptations. WEBTOON announced on the same day that it will work with global entertainment companies to grow storytelling content into a key genre in creative industry.

WEBTOON, the only StoryTech platform in the world where both amateurs and professionals can make a success of their stories

During the Meetup, WEBTOON founder and CEO Jun Koo Kim identified open platforms as a key enabler of WEBTOON’s storytelling creation ecosystem. WEBTOON operates open platforms, such as CANVAS, where anyone can participate as amateur creators and freely publish their stories, providing the opportunity for original creators to fulfil their potential and grow popular. Open platforms and original creators are creating synergies in the content business.

As a result, the company has established a competitive creator and fan base, which is the core of the content platform.

As of August, there are 167 million monthly average users, 6 million creators and 1 billion content creations on WEBTOON.

WEBTOON maximizes creator profits up to USD 11 million (KRW 12.4 billion) per year, USD 238,000 (KRW 280 million) on average

Kim revealed the amount of profits earned by creators through the PPS (Page Profit Share) program. In 2013, NAVER introduced a new monetization model, PPS program by integrating all revenue streams, including advertisements, paid content and other IP development.

​​The highest annual income a WEBTOON creator has made was USD 10.6 million (KRW 12.4 billion) last year. The average revenue of all WEBTOON original creators was about USD 238,000 (KRW 280 million) over the past 12 months through the PPS program.

WEBTOON’s PPS program, which has become a stable revenue source for creators to focus on content creation, is generating more than KRW 1 trillion annually. WEBTOON expects that the PPS program will be more profitable as an IP-based value chain, including webnovels, webcomics and transmedia, when it is completed.

Expanding the storytelling content ecosystem through collaboration with global top-tier entertainment companies including HYBE and DC Comics

Thanks to having content in various languages, WEBTOON’s platform provides a virtuous circle of crossover IP adaptation, ranging from webnovels and webcomics to video content. When one content creation becomes popular worldwide, other versions of the content become popular as well. For example, an original webcomic, ‘Sweet Home,’ has enjoyed increased popularity in various regions since it was adapted into a popular Netflix Original series with global viewership.

WEBTOON also announced partnership with global entertainment companies that have a worldwide audience. In support of those efforts, the company unveiled Super Casting, a new project to adapt external IPs into webcomics or webnovels for users around the world.

The Super Casting project will start with HYBE and DC Comics and expand with partnerships with other brands. WEBTOON plans to create webcomics or webnovels in collaboration with various artists from HYBE including BTS, or produce original contents based on DC’s universe and characters.

“Webcomic was once a new form of digital content but has grown through NAVER’s PPS program into a robust business,” said Kim. “In the future, WEBTOON’s IP value chain will create masterpiece entertainment content in the global market.”

Kim added, “I feel proud and responsible that WEBTOON’s creation ecosystem is expanding globally. We will continue to make storytelling content the core of the global entertainment industry.”

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