The Korea Herald


Kakao webtoon service exits from Europe

By Lee Yoon-seo

Published : May 13, 2024 - 15:36

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Kakao Piccoma (Kakao) Kakao Piccoma (Kakao)

Kakao Piccoma, the overseas webtoon distributor of Kakao webtooons, said it would end its service in Europe, following an underwhelming performance in the French market.

Kakao Piccoma currently distributes translated versions of Korean webtoons serialized on Kakao Page and Kakao Webtoon as well as Japanese manga series,via its digital cartoon platforms in Japan and France.

The company said it is scheduled to stop its services in France in September, two years after it commenced local services there.

According to Kakao Piccoma, the company first decided to launch services in France due to the strong preference among French readers for Japanese manga series. The decision was also influenced by the growing trend among French readers to consume comics via digital platforms, rather than traditional offline methods.

However, citing a deceleration in the growth rate of the French comic market, the company said it decided to cease its operations there.

"In light of the slowdown in (France's cartoon) market growth since the company's decision to launch operations in France, Kakao Piccoma is currently undergoing the process of withdrawing its operations from France to refocus its priority. Kakao Piccoma intends to persist in its efforts to initiate the company's next phase of expansion, by retaining its experience in conducting business in France," an official from Kakao Piccoma told The Korea Herald.

Meanwhile, riding along high demand from the Japanese market for its manga series as well as K-webtoon content, the company's Japanese webtoon and manga distributing service reported strong performance in 2023.

Kakao Piccoma logged a record annual transaction volume of 100 billion yen ($641 million) in Japan last year, based partly on its strategy to use algorithms to recommend content tailored to readers' preferences. Piccoma, the company's Japanese service application, also claimed the top spot in Japan's mobile application market consumer spending rankings, last year.