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The Golden Ages for Drama Productions in South Korea

Small and medium-sized drama production companies in Korea are gaining popularity as competition for domestic and international online video service (OTT) platforms heats up. This because drama contract deals are shifting in favour of production firms by active investments to obtain content from the huge size of OTT companies.

Photo Source: Illustrator Ahn Byung Hyun

Chorokbaem Media recently sold a 10 billion won Korean broadcasting rights supply contract to Coupang (Coupang Play), an entertainment expert noted. This represents 21.39 percentage of Chorokbaem Media's revenues from the previous year. The remake of "Criminal Justice," which aired on the BBC in the United Kingdom and starred actors Kim Soo-hyun and Cha Seung-won, is set to premiere in November.

Chrokbaem Media, a small and medium-sized drama production company, has been outsourcing to traditional platforms including television. On the other hand, analysts believe that this deal is significant. Since it will be the first time that the firm will supply its own drama to OTT. It has protected its intellectual property (IP), it stands to benefit from increased OTT sales.

The OTT market in South Korea is becoming increasingly competitive. Last year, the OTT industry in South Korea was worth USD780.1 billion (780.1 billion KRW), up 23 per cent from 2019. The volume is up from 306.9 billion won in 2016, when Netflix first arrived in Korea. Netflix, Wave, TV, U+Mobile TV, Seezn, and Watcha are among the big OTT platforms currently available in Korea. Furthermore, major international OTT companies such as Disney+ and Apple TV Plus are planning to join South Korea, which is expected to spark a surge in good content.

Photo Source: Business KOREA

OTT companies from around the world that have yet to reach South Korea are also projecting that they will provide services. Since last month, Disney Plus has stopped supplying Disney material to Korean OTTs Wave, Watcha, and Seezn. Apple TV Plus is also speeding its launch in South Korea, having announced its first original Korean content development plan last month and begun discussions with SK Telecom about content partnerships.

The demand for the OTT has increased the ability of drama producers to profit from copyright, industry sources added.

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