The Korea Herald


Korea aims to boost content industry to world's top 4 by 2027

By Park Ga-young

Published : June 18, 2024 - 16:39

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Director Hwang Dong-hyuk (fourth from left) and casts members of Netflix's Director Hwang Dong-hyuk (fourth from left) and casts members of Netflix's "Squid Game" pose for photos during a press conference to celebrate their Emmy Awards, on Sept. 16, 2022 in Seoul. "Squid Game" won six awards at the 74th Emmy Awards, including Best Director for Hwang and Best Actor for Lee Jung-jae. (Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism)

Recognizing the content industry as the country’s next growth engine, South Korea on Tuesday unveiled a series of strategies to support the content industry, including opening up policy funds to global capital.

For the next five years, the government plans to inject funds totaling 3.4 trillion won ($2.5 billion), which includes 2.4 trillion won for the cultural account of the Fund of Funds, which pursues both profitability and public interest, and 1 trillion won for the K-Content and Media Strategic Fund dedicated to large-scale content investments.

The government announced plans to reform the current system centered on domestic capital to allow participation from overseas venture capital.

The government intends to expand the sub-funds of policy funds to include offshore funds and provide sub-fund management opportunities to foreign venture capital firms. Currently, policy funds can only invest in domestic funds, resulting in low foreign capital inflow, with the proportion of foreign investment in the cultural account of the Fund of Funds being only about 3 percent.

Some of the expanded funds will be directed toward developing new technologies and content intellectual property, by supporting research and development in three major genres: performance, video and games, as well as convergent research and development with other industries such as display and mobility, and research and development aimed at solving social problems.

The government aims to grow the content industry to be among the global top 4, following the US, China and Japan by 2027.

South Korea had the world’s eighth-largest content industry with a market size of $68 billion in 2021, according to “2023 Foreign Contents Market Analysis” published by the Korea Creative Content Agency.

The government aspires to achieve $25 billion in exports in 2027, doubling 2022’s figure of $13.24 billion. The content industry encompasses 11 sectors, including publishing, music, games, broadcasting, film and animation that create and deliver copyrighted works to the public. The content industry has grown to surpass the export figures of the nation's other emerging industries such as secondary batteries and electric vehicles.

Tuesday's plan was unveiled after a Content Industry Promotion Committee meeting presided over by Prime Minister Han Duck-soo. The committee formulates a mid- and long-term master plan for the development of the content industry every three years.

“The content industry has achieved numerous milestones, including record-high export and sales figures and investment commitments from globally renowned companies such as Netflix since the inauguration of the Yoon Suk Yeol administration. However, many content companies are still struggling with financial difficulties, making it challenging for them to grow into medium-sized enterprises, and there is a growing sense of crisis regarding growth stagnation,” Han said.