LOS ANGELES, CA, July 1, 2021 / 24-7PressRelease / – Amid the fierce content war between Naver and Kakao in Korea and the world beyond, the industry has an eye on the next battleground.
Recently, Kakao announced its entry into the Southeast Asian markets in Thailand and Taiwan, where Naver first entered and has already formed an ecosystem. By disclosing positive performance data early in the launch, the company also expressed its ambition to maintain the confidence that comes from Naver’s victory in Japan.
In response to this, Naver went into a mental war with Kakao by posting data that he had accumulated for a long time by dominating the market.
As Kakao has announced its intention to expand its range of services to other languages such as French and Spanish during the second half of the year, competition in countries speaking these languages is expected to increase. In particular, as Naver leads this market, Kakao should aggressively follow Naver’s path.
According to the content industry on June 16, it was confirmed that Kakao Webtoon has recently entered Thailand and Taiwan, and starting with the IPX (IP Experience) strategy, it is achieving positive results in the market.
Kakao Webtoon took first place in comics category on Google Play Store in Thailand and took second place in Apple App Store entertainment category. In Taiwan, it ranked first in the comic book industry and sixth in the entertainment industry after Netflix.
With Kakao’s entry into Southeast Asia, fierce competition is expected with Naver Webtoon, which has established itself as the # 1 platform by preemptively entering this market.
From the start, the two had already entered the power struggle. Looking at the data leaked by Kakao Webtoon, Naver refuted by presenting a counter-argument.
Kakao plans to continue its successful know-how in Japan, which is the world’s largest webtoon market. Line Manga, who has dominated the market since entering the Japanese market, lost face last year by losing to the late Kakao Piccoma.
In order not to make the same mistake again, Naver should use different IP addresses so as not to lose its clients.
As the two companies try to expand their influence in Southeast Asia and other countries around the world, they are expected to compete in various locations.
The next battleground after Southeast Asia is that of the countries where French and Spanish are spoken. Kakao has expressed its willingness to actively target the global market by providing services in English, French, Spanish and German through the global Kakao Webtoon platform during the second half of this year.
Naver is already present in this market. Naver launched the globalization of webtoons by launching Spanish and French services respectively in November and December 2019.
In the third quarter of last year, a year after its release in Europe and South America where there was no webtoon, monthly net users (MAU) topped 5.5 million, quickly taking the market control. From April of this year, he began serving in German, focusing on strengthening his power in Europe.
Meanwhile, Kakao Entertainment acquired the North American webtoons platform Tapas Media and the web novel platform Radish Media.
By relying on Tapas and Radis, which have established their presence in the United States, Kakao Entertainment intends to gain a foothold in the North American market and strengthen its global influence.
He had worked hard to acquire Tapas. Tapas is the first webtoon platform in North America established in San Francisco in 2012. It is experiencing explosive growth with sales multiplied by five compared to the previous year in 2020.
Kakao Entertainment entered the North American market very early and maintained a cooperative relationship with Tapas, which served as webtoons, before integrating it into an overseas subsidiary in November of last year. Beginning in the second half of last year, Kakao Entertainment began delivering its primary “Office Dating”, “Space Sweepers”, “The Uncanny Counter” and “Navillera” IP addresses to the North American market via Tapas.
Currently, around 80 Kakao Entertainment IPs that provide Tapas represent about half of the sales of Tapas, which distribute around 90,000 content. Tapas serves as the logistics base for K-webtoons in the North American market and works hard to develop IPs with local writers by actively operating a community writers program called Tapastry.
Radis is a mobile-specific English novel content platform established in New York, USA, in 2016. Since 2019, it has been making boxes with original “Radis Original” content with the group creation system . This resulted in a tenfold increase in annual turnover in 2020.
Compared to other platforms that mainly offer free content, Radis has an unmatched competitive advantage, with 90% of all revenue coming from the original IP. By acquiring Radis this time around, Kakao Entertainment will work to advance Korean web novels in the UK and US markets in addition to K-Webtoons.
Kakao Entertainment’s super IPs, which rank # 1 in the web novel category in Korea both in name and in reality, have been recreated as secondary creations such as webtoons, dramas, and movies, and many of them became box office hits, so expectations for K-web novels to be introduced via Radis are high.
Building on the IP value chain thus built, it also extends the global network of platforms. After Japan, Kakao Entertainment accelerated its growth in North America with Tapas and Radish, and also introduced its own platform in Taiwan and Thailand. In the second half of this year, Kakao’s global influence is expected to expand further as it is poised to enter the Chinese and Indian markets, the world’s most populous countries.
Naver and Kakao are located in Pangyo. Pangyo Technovalley is an innovation hub for global companies comparable to Silicon Valley in the United States, Zhongguancun in China and STATION F in France. It is an Asian technology hub with 1,259 IT, BT, CT and NT companies that have innovative products and technologies. Located just south of the metropolitan area, it provides the best environment for Korean companies to do business with excellent access to transportation and infrastructure.
Various high-tech companies are located at Pangyo Technovalley, and it is staffed by 64,000 full-time employees, many of whom are between 20 and 30 years old. In terms of industry, companies are engaged in information technology, content technology, biotechnology and nanotechnology.
With the support of innovative companies with global capabilities such as Kakao, Naver, AhnLab, Krafton, NCSoft, Nexon and Hancom, Pangyo Technovalley companies recorded 107 trillion won in sales last year. Investment and infrastructure growth in Pangyo is expected to continue, with the Metaverse hub entering Pangyo this year.
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