Kakao to spend 10 billion won funding authors and artists

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Kakao to spend 10 billion won funding authors and artists

Kakao Entertainment will spend 10 billion won ($7.5 million) over the next five years funding webtoonists and other creators, no strings attached.
The project will be carried out by the Kakao Creative Foundation, a subsidiary established last May.
Starting this year, Kakao will spend 2 billion won every year over the next five years. It will start by funding local webtoonists and web novelists, then expand to musicians and creators of other original works in the future.
Kakao says the creators will retain the copyrights, will not have to pay the money back and will not be obliged to use Kakao for distribution.
The first service to open will be free online classes for hopeful creators. Starting Sept. 5, 40 lectures will be made available, including classes by authors, instruction on signing contracts and classes for maintaining mental and physical health. Forty more lectures will be added by the end of the year.
More campaigns will be authorized by the board of directors and announced in the coming days.
“We are continuing our efforts to help mature the industry and provide the support that creators really need,” said Lee Jin-soo, CEO of Kakao Entertainment, in a press release.
“Kakao Entertainment promises to think about the influence of the company and ways in which we can build a sustainable and future-oriented ecosystem.”
The project comes as a part of a promise that Kakao Entertainment made last year to better treat its creators, after its CEO was questioned by the National Assembly for squeezing suppliers of intellectual property.
According to reports, the company planned to go public this year, but indefinitely postponed the planned listing due to a slowing economy and public backlash against Kakao’s market dominance. Kakao Piccoma, Kakao’s Japanese subsidiary, also pulled its IPO.

BY YOON SO-YEON [yoon.soyeon@joongang.co.kr]
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