Naver accelerating its movement towards the world’s largest digital storytelling contents platform.
On the 20th, news that Naver would acquire 100% of the largest web novel platform in North America, Wattpad for 600 million dollars (about 653 billion won) was announced.
Established in 2006, Wattpad is a web novel platform with more than 90 million users worldwide. According to the company, 90% of users are made up of MZ generation (collectively referring to the millennial generation born in the early 1980s to early 2000s and the Z generation born in the mid 1990s to early 2000s).
The industry analyzes that "Naver has expressed its willingness to expand its influence beyond the platform company to the content company." When the actual deal is completed, Naver will be reborn as the world's largest storytelling platform operator with about 160 million users (which is a simple summation of Naver Webtoon and Wattpad monthly users).
Naver defines the new digital content 'Webtoon' created by Korea as an opportunity in the global market and has been focusing on discovering local creators. The company raised the influence of their content and attracted users, while presenting domestic webtoon works overseas through a localization strategy.
Today, when the content border has disappeared, Naver Webtoon is making content created in various regions to meet more users through a distribution method of 'cross-border' (connecting content from one region to multiple countries). This strategy is leading to increased corporate performance while meeting needs of various users.
Contents cross-border distribution is taking a role of increasing the probability of global success of secondary works such as movies and animations. According to Netfilx, ‘Sweet Home (Original contents from Naver Webtoon recorded 1.2 view)’ launched in December last year, was view by 22 million households in less than a month.
This is meaningful in that it can strengthen the existing platform by introducing web novel IP (Intellectual Property) and secure a number of IPs that can be imaged.