Kakao M reveals plans for W400B of original content from 2023
Kakao M, one of the largest entertainment companies in Korea and a leader in the music, film and digital content industry, is aiming to produce and release 400 billion won ($331.8 million) worth of original content annually from 2023.
In the company’s first official press event since its establishment in 2018, CEO Kim Sung-soo personally came up to the stage to introduce the vision for the future of Kakao M, at Blue Square in Hannam-dong, central Seoul, on Tuesday.
“To create good content, you need to gather talented people and create an infrastructure that can support them,” said Kim. “We plan to pursue more mergers and acquisitions [M&As] with more agencies later on.”
True to his word, Kakao M has already formed M&As with music agencies such as Play M Entertainment, Cracker Entertainment, Starship Entertainment, Flex M Entertainment, and acting agencies, VAST Entertainment, BH Entertainment, Management Soop, Awesome Entertainment, J,Wide-Company and King Kong by Starship Entertainment.
In terms of production companies, Kakao M has made deals with Moonlight Film and Sanai Pictures, Logos Film which produced drama series such as tvN drama series “Lawless Lawyer” (2018) and “Good Manager” (2017) on KBS, Story & Pictures Media which produced JTBC drama series “Misty” (2018) and tvN drama series “Romance is a Bonus Book” (2019).
Kim dismissed questions that likened the company’s avid pursuance of M&A to monopolizing the content industry and said he saw it as part of the process of recruiting top talent for one overarching goal of progress.
“Right now, Korea’s infrastructure [on content] is too fragmented,” Kim pointed out. “I want to make a fair environment which can protect and fully support creators, which only then can lead to a good content.
“Although on one side it can be seen as monopolization, on the other hand this is progress,” Kim continued. “A majority of local production companies and agencies are small-scale, and in order to heighten [the quality] to a higher level, we need investment and accumulated know-how.”
He emphasized the need to build a strengthening systemic structure that is needed to develop content, which can’t be drawn up through monetary input alone.
“One good way to look at it is integration of those with aspirations who wish to advance the content industry, ultimately working toward one unifying goal of progress,” Lee explained. “In the United States, this is called packaging — in which a studio interferes in the entire content-making progress from scriptwriting, casting and production. This is the reference of packaging service that we hope to achieve [in the future].”
Last month, Kakao M and MBC signed a memorandum of understanding to globally expand their digital intellectual property.
“We think that there’s a lot of potential with MBC, especially for their variety shows,” Kim said. “We [MBC and Kakao M] plan to create spin-offs from popular series such as ‘I Live Alone’ and ‘Hangout With Yoo.’”
BY LEE JAE-LIM [firstname.lastname@example.org]