Kakao Corp.’s Japanese affiliate Kakao Japan announced that it had launched Studio 1Pic, its first subsidiary in South Korea. Recently, Kakao has been expanding its content portfolio in preparation for its initial public offering listing scheduled for next year. For instance, Kakao acquired Radish Fiction, a mobile app that provides serialized fiction and web novel content. Kakao also obtained Tapas Media, the first US webcomic platform, to gain a lead in North American content markets.
Furthermore, Kakao Japan stated that it launched Studio 1Pic to discover and cultivate more South Korean webtoon content. Established in February 2021, Studio 1Pic is a webtoon content production studio that caters to South Korean creators who aim to collaborate with Piccoma, a leading global manga app. Notably, Piccoma is a Kakao Japan-operated manga subscription platform that also offers Korean webtoons.
“Through Studio 1Pic and Sherpa Studios, we are cultivating outstanding creators and works in both countries at the same time and presenting them to the global market,” said Kim Jae-Yong, CEO of Kakao Japan. Previously, Kakao Japan and the South Korean publishing company Daewon Media collaborated to launch the Sherpa Studio. Besides helping Kakao Japan establish Studio 1Pic, Sherpa Studio also provides a content creation platform that discovers and nurtures creators.
Targeting Global Markets
Kakao Japan plans to collaborate with creators and produce content through Studio 1Pic to address the fast-growing global webtoon market. For this goal, the Kakao subsidiary would offer active support to South Korean webtoon creators by enhancing production processes. Studio 1Pic would also apply Piccoma’s market leadership and capabilities to boost Korean webtoon content globally.
In addition to creating synergies between Korean and Japanese creators and fostering mutual growth, Studio 1Pic would develop original IPs. Then, the company would expand the accumulated original IPs’ audience exposure or adopt them into other media forms. Studio 1Pic also aims to integrate Japan’s intellectual properties and South Korea’s extensive production know-how to create globally competitive content.
As Kakao stated, it aims to become a leading global player by improving its online comics market competitiveness. Additionally, Kim Hyun-Joo, the Korean manhwa magazine IQ Jump Comics’s former editor-in-chief and a webtoon specialty planner, would lead Studio 1Pic.
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