[Digital Daily Correspondent Choi Min] As the potential of Korean webtoons is spreading all over the world, Naver and Kakao are aiming for the European market. The plan is to expand the experience of being successful with webtoons in Japan and Southeast Asia, the country of origin of comics, to Europe.
Of these, France deserves attention. France occupies the largest comic book market in Europe and is growing as a digital comics market. According to the Korea Creative Content Agency, the French comics market was worth $298 million last year, or more than 360 billion won in Korean currency.
First of all, Naver, which was inaugurated as the new CEO Soo-yeon Choi, appointed former CEO Han Seong-suk as the European business development representative, and began its global advance in earnest. Going back and forth in France, he plans to develop European businesses such as commerce and contents business.
Content is one of Navers global core businesses. Naver Webtoon was used in Netflix series such as Now at Our School and Hell and was successful, taking a look at the competitiveness of intellectual property around the world. In addition, Naver Webtoon, which has exceeded 1 trillion won in annual transaction value, is in a position to expand the global content market.
Naver operates Naver France in France, and launched Naver Webtoon French service in 2019 through the Webtoon service. It switched to a paid service in November of last year, and it ranks first in both downloads and revenue in the French Google Play comics category. The global webtoon platform Taffetoon, invested by Naver Webtoon, also ranked in the top sales rankings in France.
In addition, Naver Webtoon will add about 200 works to its French platform this year. In addition to strengthening the Korean webtoon lineup, the company plans to strengthen various genre contents by adding popular works in the United States and Japan.
The popular webtoon ‘Goddess Advent’ in Korea has about 700,000 subscribers and ‘The Remarried Empress’ has about 390,000 French subscribers. There are also about 320,000 French subscribers in the ‘all-reader’s point of view’, which is well-received by male readers. In addition, Naver Webtoon is building a global webtoon ecosystem by discovering local contents, such as holding a contest in France and nurturing amateur writers.
Kakao is also working hard on the French webtoon market. Kakao announced ‘Beyond Mobile, Beyond Korea’, announcing the appointment of Nam Goong-hoon as CEO at the end of this month. Here, Beyond Korea is led by Founder Kim Beom-soo, who drives the global strategy of Kakao affiliates.
In particular, Founder Kim Beom-soo resigned as chairman of the board of directors while maintaining his position as an executive director of Kakao Piccoma. He has served as an inside director of Kakao Piccoma since 2017, and has succeeded in the global webtoon strategy while traveling between Korea and Japan. Kakao Piccoma, which operates a webtoon business in Japan, the homeland of comics, ranked first in Japans webtoon service and first in sales in the non-game app sector.
Kakao Piccoma, who wrote the success equation, is now heading to France. Kakao, which completed the establishment of ‘Piccoma Europe’ in September last year, started the official service of Piccoma, a comprehensive digital comics platform, in France on the 17th. Introduces a ‘wait-and-free’ business model that allows users to experience content optimized for the digital environment.
Before launching the service, Kakao Piccoma analyzed local culture, content usage, lifestyle, etc. France is known for its rapid growth in the digital comics market and a high preference for Japanese manga. Recently, the recognition and popularity of Korean webtoons have been steadily rising. Piccoma will simultaneously service Japanese manga and Korean webtoons, and introduce works from around the world. In the future, it plans to include works from all over Europe, including local French comics.
As such, Naver and Kakao have used ‘France’ as their base in Europe to expand their global webtoon business. Naver & #8231; Kakao, which shouted global all-in for the new head, is expected to fight for dominance in the European webtoon market.