Content Wavve Corp., a major South Korean streaming platform operator, announced it would invest 998 billion won ($882 million) for original content expansion. Established in 2019, Wavve is a joint venture between SK Telecom and three leading local broadcasting companies: KBS, MBC, and SBS. As Wavve stated, it invested in original content expansion to strengthen its foothold in the growing domestic and foreign competition.
Original Content Expansion
Currently, Wavve is steadily carrying out strategies to increase its global activities and reinforce its competitive edge in the industry. Wavve would establish an original content production studio under its latest investment plan during this year’s first half. In addition to securing backing for the studio, the streaming services provider would also appoint a new Chief Content Officer. Wavve has also recently established the Content Strategy Division to upgrade its original content production and portfolio growth. Moreover, SK Telecom, Wavve’s biggest shareholder, would provide an additional investment worth 99.2 billion won ($88 million) to support Wavve’s business buildup.
Since its launch, Wavve had been investing in creating original content, such as the web series “SF8,” “The Tale of Nokdu,” and “Zombie Detective.” As part of its initial content expansion, Wavve would also provide a backing worth over 78.9 billion won ($70 million) for drama production.
Some of the series Wavve would produce include “Going to the Blue House,” “Bossam: Steal the Fate,” and “Taxi Driver.” Wavve also plans to release its broadcasting partners’ materials and continuously seek collaboration deals with other content creators.
Growing Competition Amid the K-content Industry
“Through the original content investment, we plan to expand partnerships with broadcasters, production companies, and IP holder companies,” said Lee Tae-Hyun, Content Wavve’s CEO. Besides forming partnerships, Lee revealed that Wavve’s investment also strives to discover competitive small and medium-sized production companies. Lee also added that Wavve would take the lead in cultivating the growing K-content and K-OTT platform ecosystem.
Recently, local and foreign entertainment providers have been investing in original content expansion, intensifying the competition within the K-content industry. This month, KT enhanced its content production through KT Studio Genie, planning to release over 100 original dramas by 2023. Similarly, Kakao Entertainment and SK Broadband partnered to promote KakaoTV’s original releases to BTV, an IPTV service operator.
On the other hand, Netflix announced this year that it would allot $485 million specifically for K-content projects. Disney+, Walt Disney’s streaming network, would also enter the South Korean market this year.
Based on data from IGAWorks, a mobile analytics firm, Wavve had over 3.9 million monthly subscribers in February. Furthermore, TVing, a local video-streaming provider, had 2.6 million monthly users while Netflix had 10 million.
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